Much of workplace life has moved online for the time being—including interviews. While the internet is replete with hilarious video-conference fails, it’s subtle issues that sabotage most of us. A video interview presents some unique technological and mental barriers. Here are our three tips to present a clear and positive picture:
Test-run your technology. Enlist a friend or colleague to help you practice placing and receiving calls using the platform your interview will be held on. How does your image look? Is your background professional? Can they hear you clearly? Ensure you have a phone number for the person you’re interviewing in case you encounter technological challenges. Just as you would allow plenty of time for transportation and parking for an in-person interview, make sure you sit down at your computer early so you feel calm, collected, and have all the technology in place.
Be calm. As we’ve all discovered by now, online communication can be a little awkward. Even if you can virtually see the other person, it doesn’t allow for many of the non-verbal cues that make interactions smooth. Be aware of that from the outset and be prepared to stay unflappable throughout. A genuine smile goes a long way to keep things relaxed and engaged.
Create connections. It can be easy to get so caught up in the technology hurdles or navigating the interface that you lose track of the people you’re interviewing with. Be warm. Ask them how they are. Do the virtual equivalent of looking them in the eye by looking directly at the camera (not at your own reflection). Genuinely thank them for their time at the close of the interview. Allow space to have a personal interchange, even if it’s mediated by technology.