Someone I am representing for a job has done well on his initial rounds of interviews with my client. They want him to meet his future boss but schedules have been a problem. He is a successful account executive, travel all the time supporting clients; so is his future boss. The solution was simple– a video conference set up at a facility in a city each will be in so they can finally connect.
Don’t just think of a video conference as being something formal like this. Some firms are scheduling with Skype and others are using other online services to interview potential hires. And, frankly, sometimes I use it when I am interviewing someone. It gives us a way to connect better than just using a telephone or email.
So how can you prepare for an effective interview?
1. If you’re using Skype or a webcam, just make sure everything is working properly so you don’t have a last minute disaster.
2. If you are being interviewed at a facility, I would like you there early so that you can become familiar and comfortable with the set up.
3. Practice. Do not walk in to the interview cold. If you own a webcam, record yourself talking to the camera and notice how you look. Do you find yourself NOT speaking to the camera or looking away?
4. Read any written material that the facility makes available to you. They want this to be a successful experience for you and have much more experience than you do creating a successful experience.
5. Dress for an interview. Whatever the convention is for your field, dress the part. The expectations of a a business leader in circumstances like this generally are different than those for a web designer. Dress appropriately.
6. Check the lighting, particularly if you wear glasses. Glare off your lenses can be a distraction for someone meeting you. Check it out before you start.
7. Look at the camera when you speak. Look at the monitor for the interviewer when they do. It will be tempting to look at the interviewer the entire time . . . but they won’t be seeing your eyes or feel like you are speaking to them if you only look at the monitor that they are speaking from. When you watch the news or an experienced interviewer, generally, they are speaking to the camera or the tv audience. You an audience of one–the person interviewing you. Talk to them!
8. If you must have notes or a note to refer to, do not keep it on the desk in front of you. They will see the top of your head as you look at your notes. Instead, print it on an oversized piece of paper and tape it under or above their monitor so you can see it without breaking eye contact.
9. If available, use the “Picture in Picture” feature so that they appear on the same monitor as you are speaking to.
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