There are numerous companies currently offering the ability to interview digitally or via online web cam, including HireVue, TruHire and Skype. Especially for long distance job opportunities, these technologies have saved companies and jobseekers a great deal of time and money. Don’t be surprised though if a local company you have applied to wants to interview you via a webcam or your digital device. The following are the 12 most important tips I offer to my clients for this type of interview:
- Test your phone and Internet/webcam connection! Make sure both the technology and place where you have decided to speak with the potential employer don’t have call quality or drop off issues, and know how loud your voice sounds over the phone. Use an external microphone where possible to avoid echoes and feedback in the interviewer’s ear (and yours). Call several friends and test your phone, internet or headset quality in multiple situations.
- Avoid loud spaces – like the outdoors, coffee shops, restaurants, malls, etc., as the background noise will be too distracting for you and the interviewer(s). Also, when interviewing at home or in a car, please turn OFF the television or radio, make sure the dogs aren’t barking, children talking loudly, or any other distractions. Try to interview away from people and pets in a room with a closed door.
- Ensure the lighting is appropriate so the interviewers can see you clearly but the light isn’t too bright on your face, and adjust the angle of the webcam or phone to give you the most complimentary look. Be sure to straighten up the area that displays in the background for a good presentation.
- Make certain you have all necessary documents in front of you, including your resume, cover letter, job description, questions for the interviewer(s), research on the company/organization, references and reference letters, and even a calendar in anticipation of another interview.
- Dress just like you would for an in-person interview: professionally. Remember, they can see you!
- Be ready early, know the exact time of the interview, and note any time zone differences.
- Do not watch yourself in the monitor. Look directly at the camera numerous times during the interview and give the interviewer(s) the feeling you are looking directly at them.
- NO checking email, watching your Facebook or Twitter feed, texting, playing games, or surfing the net. You must give your full attention to the interview and interviewer.
- Take your notes by hand, not on a keyboard, to avoid distracting noise in the background.
- Pay close attention to the volume of your voice throughout the interview, and avoid too many nervous gestures (biting nails, playing with hair, licking your lips repeatedly, tapping or clicking pens, twirling your chair, bouncing a leg or moving your feet nervously, jingle jangle jewelry, nodding your head or saying uh-huh to everything the interviewer says, etc.). People often think of phone interviews as more casual, but the facial expressions, dress, demeanor, and use of too many ums, likes, and you knows are just as problematic here as in person.
- Have a glass of water with you, as you will get nervous and your mouth dry.
- SMILE!!! Interviewers want to hire happy, confident people, not grumps!
Hoping these tips help you to feel more comfortable with webcam and digital interviews!
Karen Silins is a multi-certified resume writer, career, business and personal branding coach working with individuals and small businesses. After graduating with degrees in education and vocal performance, she made her own career transition into the Human Resources realm. Karen left Human Resources to become an entrepreneur and help jobseekers and fellow entrepreneurs achieve their goals. She keeps her pulse on the resume writing, coaching, HR, small business and marketing industries by working daily with individual clients on resume development and career coaching, consulting for small businesses in business plan development, marketing, hiring and overall HR processes, and providing 50-70+ seminars and workshops annually to a variety of organizations in the greater Kansas City area. She can be reached via her website at www.careerandresume.com.