Technology has no doubt changed the world—even when it comes to the job search. The advent of the internet and social media has changed the name of the game when it comes to nabbing a new job. Candidates submit resumes online; recruiters comb through social profiles; and the thank-you follow-up has even turned digital.
So it makes sense, then, that even the interview has found its new home behind the computer screen. But with the change of interview medium comes a change in interview strategy. Some traditional interviewing tips, such as standing up and shaking hands when someone enters the interview room, just won’t work when you are separated by technology. Read on to learn key tips that will help you slay your next Skype, and any video, interview.
Dress To Impress, Even From Miles Away
Just because literal miles may separate you and your interviewer doesn’t mean this is the time to let your sartorial skills slide. Still dress exactly as you would if you were meeting in person. Yes, this means putting on appropriate pants even if only your waist-up is visible on screen. (What happens if you have to stand up?) Top-notch threads show that you are taking the interview seriously and that you are a viable contender for the position. This applies to your overall cleanliness as well. Even if you err on the more casual side at home, take the time to freshen up.
Mind Your Surroundings
For any video interview, be sure to take into consideration what your side of the screen looks like to those looking at you. Are you in your bedroom with last night’s dinner plate stashed on your bedside table and clothes strewn on the floor? Let’s hope not. Find a quiet area with a neutral background that isn’t distracting. Let any roommates or family members know ahead of time that you will be taking an important call so that they mind your privacy. If you have pets, take steps to minimize any barking or distractions they might cause. Take note of your computer’s surroundings as well. Keep your email and any social networks closed to limit distractions.
Get Any Awkwardness Out During a Dress Rehearsal
It takes practice to be able to execute a seamless video interview. In order to best mitigate any awkwardness you might feel, be sure to practice ahead of time. Along with your normal interview preparation, decide what you going to do with your hands, where you are going to look and how loudly you need to speak. This should also help calm your nerves going in; you have a clearer picture about how to execute the interview.
Keep Important Notes Handy
While harder to pull off during an in-person interview, keeping important notes and documents handy during a video interview can be a great strategy. Stick a post-it note of key bullet points you want to mention in the interview on your monitor, and have a copy of your resume nearby for easy reference. Just don’t rely too much on these cheat sheets. Ideally, you will be prepared enough to not need to reference any materials, but having them close can give you an extra sense of security and control.
Don’t Freak If The Technology Freaks
Technology is ever powerful, but it can have its shortcomings, especially when you least want it to. If any technology glitch happens during an interview, remain calm and don’t let it get the best of you. Just acknowledge it as soon as you sense a problem and take the necessary steps to fix it. This can also show the interviewers how you keep your cool during stressful situations.
Burchard & Associates is an executive search firm specialized in accounting and finance recruiting across all business sectors, including manufacturing, retail, wholesale/distribution, healthcare, financial services, and more.