One increasingly popular tool is to use Skype to conduct the interview, or at least pre-screen candidates. For employers, this is a convenient and cheap way to interview a large number of candidates, regardless of their location. It also allows for employers to assess the technological skills of a candidate.
While convenient for employers, this approach can be a challenge for job seekers, who perhaps are not as comfortable with this technology.
To help you impress an employer on a webcam interview, here are 10 simple tips:
1. Be prepared. Treat this the same way you would any interview. Check out our check list for preparing for a winning interview.
2. Dress appropriately: Dress as you would for an interview, but keep in mind that solid and simple colours may show better on video. Also avoid shiny distracting jewellery.
3. Set up computer carefully. Position the computer and camera so you are facing it directly. Make sure the room is brightly lit, professional looking and quiet. Make sure that your face is properly lit, but not too brightly, and that the background is appropriate and not distracting. Don’t sit too closely to the camera.
4. Eliminate all possible distractions. Switch off your cell phone, put off the ringer on your home phone, turn off email and chat on your computer, and put your pets/kids in another room.
5. Set up and test your equipment. Make sure you are registered with Skype, with an appropriately professional user name. Video yourself talking to the camera and play it back to hear and see how you come across. Test it with a friend.
6. Keep eye contact with the webcam and NOT the screen, otherwise you will not be seen as looking directly at the interviewers. Try not to move too much or talk with your hands, which can be very distracting for the interviewers.
7. Speak loudly and clearly; remember to project your voice and make sure to enunciate your words. Don’t swallow your words at the end of the sentence.
8. Be organised so you can easily find your resume, as well as a paper and pen, and your day timer (to set up the next interview, hopefully!)
9. Smile! When people are anxious, they sometimes forget to smile. Remember that your face is all they can see, so your expressions are more important than ever
10. Relax. If you are well rested and relaxed, you will be able to present yourself in the best possible way. Expect that — no matter how prepared you are — there might be technical problems, and be prepared to take a big breath and solve any problems that come up in a relaxed and confident manner. This will go a long way to showing the employers what they can expect if they hire you.