Video Job Interviews

Prepare for Your Video Interview

Video interviewing has become a common practice among employers. It provides numerous advantages for both employers and candidates. Being prepared and familiar with the technical side of the video interview will enable you to focus on what counts -- your skills and experience. We've compiled valuable information and are sharing it with you to help you ace the video interview. By reviewing the suggestions, videos and articles provided you can become more comfortable, cognizant and confident with the entire video interviewing process.  

Should you have questions, we invite you to talk with your recruiter who can provide answers, make suggestions and be available to practice with you.  

References & Additional Resources at the bottom of the page.

Before the interview

CREATE A PROFESSIONAL USERNAME/SCREEN NAME

The cardinal rule of any interview: dress to impress. On a computer, your employer's first impression of you is your Skype username or Email Address (Don’t use spicygrl88). If you have a cute name, versus a professional one, think about how that reflects on you. Consider creating a username / account that you use just for interview purposes.

DRESS FOR THE OCCASION

The key to a successful video interview is making sure you look presentable. You might feel silly sitting at home wearing business clothes and talking to a computer, but it will make all the difference. When your interviewer thinks you look great they can picture you in their workplace. Dressing for success will also help you to mentally prepare and get into a professional mode of thinking.

CLEAN UP YOUR ROOM

Your surroundings can be just as important as your personal presentation. Whether the interview is being conducted from your home or an office environment, the interviewer does not want to see you sitting in front of a pile of junk. Clean up the room as you don't want anything in the background to distract the interviewer from what you have to say.

PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR PHYSICAL BACKGROUND

You'll look much more professional sitting at a desk or table and against a neutral background without any clutter. Make sure that you don't have wine glasses, cigarettes, or clutter visible in the background.

POSITION YOURSELF CORRECTLY

Don't sit as close to the computer as you normally would. Instead, sit a bit farther back so that your face and upper shoulders are framed in the shot. Additionally, place the computer slightly higher than you normally do, so that it's capturing you face-on and you're not looking down at it. (An easy way to do this is to simply prop it up on some books).

CLOSE OTHER PROGRAMS ON YOUR COMPUTER

Getting Facebook notifications during your interview is distracting and unprofessional. Before your interview, make sure all other windows on your computer are closed (especially if they make noise).

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

Doing a run through interview with a friend beforehand is helpful because your first few Skype calls are likely to feel awkward, especially if you have to retrain yourself to watch the camera and not the screen. Play around with everything beforehand so that when it's interview time, you can shine without being distracted by the program.

PREPARING FOR ANIMAL & HUMAN DISTRACTIONS

Animals have no place in a job interview -- on or offline. They can be distracting for you and the person who is interviewing you. In addition to making sure your pets aren't entering your interview space, you'll want to keep human distractions out, too. Put a note on your door saying 'Do not knock' or something similar to keep the FedEx guy from inevitably ringing the bell at the wrong time.

During the interview

SIT UP STRAIGHT!

All of those things your mother told you about maintaining eye contact and good posture also hold true for a Skype interview.

KEEP THE NOISE DOWN

Finding a quiet place to do the interview is vital as the microphone picks up more background noise than you might think. Dogs barking, children crying, mobile phones or music are not welcome distractions when an interviewer is trying to determine whether you will be suitable for a job. Nor does it look good if you have people walking in and out of the room. If necessary, make yourself a 'do not disturb' sign and stick it on the door and a 'do not ring bell or knock' sign’ – especially if you are expecting a delivery.

USE NOTES

Don't be afraid to help yourself with post-it notes or a copy of your resume handy when you interview. A benefit of having a Skype interview is that you can have a cheat sheet in front of you so that you don't have to memorize everything you want to mention.

IF IT'S YOUR FIRST - TELL THEM

Don't hesitate to tell your interviewer up front that this is your first time doing a video interview. That will help break the ice, and most interviewers will be very understanding (and inclined to cut you some slack if you seem uncomfortable).

LOOK AT THE CAMERA, NOT THE SCREEN

If you look directly at the image of your interviewer on your computer screen, you'll appear to be looking slightly away from her. Instead, looking directly into your webcam will read as direct eye contact on your interviewer's end.

BUT DON'T RELY TOO MUCH ON YOUR NOTES

Just make sure your notes are easily scannable so that you use them as quick reminders, not a script. While having notes is certainly a plus, relying too heavily on them can cause awkward pauses during your interview. An interviewer won't be impressed if they only see the top of your head during the interview. So while having notes is good, be sure to use them sparingly.

After the interview

LOG OFF

Be sure you double-check that you've signed off to prevent undermining a good interview. If not, the other party can keep watching whatever you do. Even if you've carefully contrived a professional environment for the interview, it becomes a wasted effort if you "lift the curtain" by forgetting to log off.

SEND A FOLLOW-UP EMAIL

Your Galileo Recruiter will be happy to forward your follow-up Thank You letter to the appropriate parties. Send your note within the same business day of the Skype call. Using a cordial tone, mention a few points that stood out for you. Also include an important fact or insights you learned from the interview. As with all business communication, be sure to pay special attention to grammar and punctuation.

References & Additional Resources

How to Set Up FaceTime on an iPad

Making Video Calls with Skype

How to Set Up Skype

Skype Essentials: Equipment & Installation

How to Look Good in Skype Interviews