As Skype and video conferencing become more commonplace and reliable, employers are starting to regularly use this technology for preliminary interviews with potential employees. Recent market research reports state that approximately 50% of employers are using video interviewing to recruit all levels of positions. While there are some similarities between a video interview and a traditional in-person interview, there are also many differences. Here are some important aspects to keep in mind when preparing for a video interview:
- First Impression and Dress—Your Skype username and profile picture will be the first thing that employers see when they sign on to call you for your interview. Make sure these are 100% professional. Also, dress as you would for a normal in-person interview. Sweat pants and a t-shirt are not going to cut it.
- Practice with the Technology—While some technical glitches are unavoidable, make sure you know how to properly use Skype and that your internet connection is reliable. Practice with your friends and/or family to make sure your lighting is good and that your microphone is working properly. You should find a place in your house that looks professional and that is free of clutter and distractions. While it might be cute for your pet to jump on your lap during the interview, most employers will probably not appreciate it.
- Eye Contact—Just like with an in-person interview, eye contact is very important. The most common mistake people make in video interviews is looking down or at something else on the computer screen instead of into the web cam. A good way around this is to move the mini-Skype window of yourself right below the web cam so you can see how you look and maintain eye contact with the interviewers.
- Follow-Up—Follow up with a video interview the same way you would with an in-person interview by writing a thank you note or e-mail. If you want to follow up directly with the person/people who interviewed you, a phone call or e-mail is considered professional. Just because you had a Skype interview with a person doesn’t mean you should follow up with them via video chat or stalk them whenever you see them available online. That sort of behavior will surely not earn you an in-person interview.
As with any sort of interviewing, practice is extremely important. Schedule a mock interview via Skype with a counselor in UCS to get important feedback on how to improve your video interviewing techniques. Being able to perform well in a video interview will set the stage for a successful in-person interview and hopefully earn you a job.