by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.
Read the most important do’s and don’ts (rules) that job-seekers must know to succeed with Webcam, Skype, FaceTime, video job interviews.
Has an employer contacted you to schedule a screening interview via Webcam?
What are some of the most important rules for job-seekers when faced with an online or video job interview?
Check out these key rules — do’s and don’ts — to empower your success and take your candidacy to the next step.
Do use the best technology and connection for the interview; buy or borrow equipment, if necessary.
Do develop a plan to conduct the interview in a place/room in which you will not be disturbed. And do make sure you can control the lighting and provide a simple background.
Do set your system up so that you can be seen from the waist up.
Do have a strong comfort level with all the technology you’ll be using for the interview.
Do conduct at least one test of your system with a friend or colleague; ideally, do conduct an entire mock interview at the same time as the test, so you can also get feedback on your interviewing skills. (Read more about mock interviews.)
Do complete full interview preparations before the interview, which includes researching the employer, preparing strong responses to expected interview questions, and developing several questions to ask the interviewer.
Do complete a full run-through of the technology and connections the day of the interview.
Do dress professionally, but don’t go overboard in colors or patterns that might interfere on camera. Don’t wear flashy jewelry.
Do turn off all other devices that might interrupt the interview.
Do remember to look directly into the camera when speaking so that you can maintain virtual eye contact.
Do keep nonverbals in mind when interviewing — including eye contact, smiling, posture, and hand gestures.
Don’t rely on off-camera notes, but do have a few with key points you want to make in case you get flustered.
Do expect there to be some glitches — even on the employer’s side — but don’t let the issues derail you.
Do talk conversationally, as in a face-to face interview, but do leave a short pause between when the interviewer asks you a question and when you respond, especially important if the connection is slow.
Do attempt to establish a rapport with your interviewer. (Definitely a bit harder to do in these situations.)
Do ask, toward the end of the interview, about next steps in the process if the issue has not been addressed.
Do write a thank-you email shortly after the interview.
Do follow all the standard rules and protocols for job interviews. In fact, do read our Job Interviewing Do’s and Don’ts.
Final Thoughts on Online and Video Job Interviewing
For many job-seekers, these types of interviews are doubly stressful — you have to be accomplished at both interviewing and speaking to a camera. There is definitely a learning curve, and the more practice you get, the more natural you’ll feel in the interview.
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
Dr. Randall S. Hansen is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web, as well CEO of EmpoweringSites.com. He is also founder of MyCollegeSuccessStory.com and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com. He is publisher of Quintessential Careers Press, including the Quintessential Careers electronic newsletter, QuintZine. Dr. Hansen is also a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He’s often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Finally, Dr. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Visit his personal Website or reach him by email at randall(at)quintcareers.com. Check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.
Have you taken advantage of all of our job interviewing resources? Find articles, tutorials, and more — all written to help job-seekers learn how to master all types of job interviews.