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Guest blog: How to prepare for a video chat job interview

by Shannon Houde

Job interviews conducted by means of video chat are on the rise. Contributing factors in its popularity are improvements in Internet speed and the fact that most devices nowadays from smartphones to laptops come with integrated webcams. If you are reading this blog chances are that you have been invited to a video job interview. To progress your career further, you must come triumphant from the interview. Here are 10 tips to help you come on out top.

  1. Come across eager and positive – If the recruiter or future employer suggest video interview, don’t come across hesitant or worried. Welcome the opportunity because you are a step closer at progressing your career.
  2. Time and place – Video interview is often used as a modern day replacement of the phone interview. With phone-based interview it was easier to agree on time and place due to the lack of visual factor, however more thought should given when you agree on time and place for video chat interview. The background must appear clutter-free, lighting should be sufficient to capture your face and importantly, background noise should be minimal.
  3. Get the technical side out of the way – If the recruiter or future employer asks you to use specific software (most commonly ‘Skype’), download and configure the software well ahead of time. 5 min before the interview is due to start isn’t the right time, or more to the point, maybe not enough time. Starting the interview late will give the wrong signal.
  4. Learn its basic functions – The most common software are Skype, GoToMeeting and Google+ Hangouts. If you are new to the software, watch a YouTube tutorial to get familiar with its basic functions.
  5. Have a backup – Most people have a number of smart devices whether another laptop, tablet and of course a smartphone. You may want to configure the video software on another device to have a backup in case your default device fails (due to battery depletion, frozen screen etc).
  6. Test your device – Once the software has been configured, test your device. Make sure the microphone is working, as well as the speakers.
  7. Dress accordingly – Don’t make the mistake of dressing only from the waist up. Pick an outfit, shoes and accessories that you would normally wear to a face-to-face interview. Wearing suitable cloths will help you get into the right state of mind needed to acing the challenge.
  8. Take a test interview – You can ask the recruiter (if your next interview is with the employer), family member or friend to video phone you and ask a number of interview questions. Use this opportunity to test your knowledge of using the software and to test your device.
  9. During the interview – There is no need to raise your voice. In fact, the more you raise your voice, the more you are likely to sound distorted to the other party. Keep normal tone, and if possible try to mimic the tone and tempo of the individual(s) asking the question(s). Make eye contact by looking directly at the webcam. Avoid tapping with your hands or legs. Sit up straight and avoid slouching or moving your seat from side to side.
  10. Overcome an obstacle – Technology can fail at time, but this might be your opportunity to come across as a problem solver, rather than defeated. If your device failed, switch to your backup device. If your Internet crashed, consider using your mobile provider 3G signal instead. If the recruiter or future employer is having difficulties at their end, reassure them that you are available at another time or that you continue the interview by phone.

Good luck!

***

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This article was contributed by The Carling Partnership. They are an international search and selection company in the drinks and brewing jobs sectors. CPL (The Carling Partnership) works across different sectors from cider production jobs to sales jobs in the wine industry.

Photo by Greg Habermann, via Flickr/ CC BY, cropped from original

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