Thursday, February 24, 2011

Video Interviewing: Tips to Prepare for this New Interview Trend

With the growing popularity of telecommuting and tools such as Skype and video teleconferencing at their fingertips, some employers are forgoing the traditional in-person interview – at least for the first initial interview. This trend is a result of busy schedules, reduced travel budgets, and increased convenience for both parties. However, if done incorrectly, video interviewing can create a negative first impression. Follow these tips for success.

Make Eye Contact
When you are speaking with someone via video teleconferencing it can be difficult to know where to look. Not making eye contact with your interviewer will cause disastrous results for your interview. The employer will think you lack confidence, are untruthful, or are disinterested. When answering questions, look at the camera – not the computer screen.

Make a Good Impression
First impressions are usually formed in the first 7 seconds and are often based on visual cues. In a video interview, it is still important to dress professionally, pay attention to grooming, and watch your posture. However, one other factor you may forget is the environment around you. A messy room, piles of laundry or mail, empty pizza boxes, and a table full of empty beer bottles are not good backdrops for your interview. You should be alone in the room with no kids, pets, or distractions. Turn off your phone, television, and radio.

Practice, Practice, Practice
You don’t want your video interview to be the first time you have ever video teleconferenced. Practice on Skype with your friends. Get used to looking into the camera instead of the screen and familiarize yourself with the concept of having a conversation with your computer screen. Get comfortable with the technology so you don’t add the stress of setting up the conference to your pre-interview jitters. If you appear comfortable and confident in the video interview, this will convey the impression that you are flexible and adaptable.

Whether your interview is in person or on the phone, do your research, think about what you are going to say, and practice your interview questions in advance.

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