The New Secrets to Rocking your Video Interview
Upgrade Your Profile
Your Skype or Google profile information will add (or detract) to your employer’s first impression of you. If you’ve been using the same user name since middle school it may be time for an upgrade. Your profile picture is equally important. Choosing both a professional picture and user name will prevent your employer from misjudging you or having to start off the interview by asking awkward questions.
Dress to Impress
While you want to dress professionally (from head to toe, not head to waist), don’t just pull out any old interview outfit—take care to make sure what you’re wearing works for video. Darker colors work well, brights can be tricky. Pay particular attention to anything that might be a distraction, like shiny jewelry, tattoos or showing too much skin.
Set the Scene
While most employers are forgiving, they’re also pressed for time. Your safest bet is to Skype with a friend or family member before your interview and check all of the following:
The Set: Find an appropriate place to make the call, and make sure to clean up the background. A keen employer will be inferring everything about your surroundings, so make sure to pick a representative location to have the Skype call.
Internet Connection: If your connection is flaky, find somewhere more stable. Dropped calls are understandable, but they distract from the interview and reflect poorly on your ability to plan ahead.
Lighting: Do you look washed out? Is your face shrouded in shadows? Use a variety of lighting sources including lamps and test this ahead of time. Have at least one light source shining on your face so you aren't backlit. Think about using some face powder if your face looks very shiny (even guys). TV anchors do this all the time.
Sound: Don’t necessarily rely on the built-in microphone. Get a dedicated microphone and test it out. Also, make sure you’re not in an area with a lot of background noise. A quiet room by yourself is ideal. Be sure there is no background noise from pets or children.
Script: Have your attachments—resume, cover letter, portfolio, supporting documents—printed or loaded up before the call, so you can reference them easily without having to conspicuously click around during the interview.
Eyes on Your Interviewer
Focus on keeping your eyes on the camera—not on your screen as you would normally do. It's easier if you put your laptop on a box or stack of books so the camera is at eye level. Your eyes need to look straight into the camera, so it appears on the other end that you are looking right at the other person
. Try downloading a photo of the hiring manager, printing it, and making a hole in the photo to allow the camera lens to see through. Now you can look at the photo, which makes it more human to conduct your digital interviews. Minimizing the size of your video window and moving it up closer to the camera also helps.
Don’t Forget Body Language
Be engaged, lean forward, and avoid excessive hand motions which can be very distracting on video.
Adapted from TheMuse.com