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Interviews knows no reason, no boundaries, no distance

Despite the fact that the world is getting smaller, there are times when you simply cannot make it, to an in-person interview. Or in some cases, where you might be working as part of a remote team, a video conference or Skype interview is part of the whole on-boarding process. So before you are tempted to brush off a video conference or Skype interview as being on on a par with either a telephone or an in-person interview, you may want to think again.

In some respects, video conference interviews or Skype calls can be harder to prepare for then a regular one, so don’t discount preparation. In fact there are a few extra steps you should take beforehand, to ensure you do not jeopardize your chances. Take a look at our top crucial preparation tips:

Cloud InterviewsLooking The Part: Gauging a company’s culture is difficult, let alone doing it from a distance. To make sure you are getting your look just right, check out the company’s website and social media pages to gauge how other employees in similar positions are dressing.

And whilst working from home or remotely might mean that you lean towards a more casual style of dress, don’t underestimate what a polished appearance can do for your confidence and switching your mind in to professional mode. Unkempt hair and PJ’s are most certainly out of the question – and let’s not even think about the work shirt with jogging bottoms combo!!!

The Right Surroundings: Wherever your video conference takes place, make sure that you settings are absolutely suitable. Ideally you should have a business like setting with good lighting; within quiet surroundings and ideally a door that you can shut to make sure that you do not have any disturbances, whilst affording you some privacy. If there are family members, pets, friends or colleagues around, inform them that you cannot be disturbed under any circumstances, or make arrangements for them to be elsewhere – in the case of pets, a juicy bone might help!

Also, take time to view the vantage point that the other person will have of the room that you are using. Consider, what pictures you have on the wall? Are the walls fairly neutral in colour? Is there any clutter? Do you have an organised desk? Ideally you want to have the least amount of distractions around as possible, so that you do not take the attention of the other person away from you.

Have A Dry Run, Or Three: If this is your first remote interview, then do not underestimate how awkward you might feel. This will lead to fiddling, not speaking clearly and maybe moving out of range of the webcam. Try a few dry runs beforehand, so that you can gauge how close or far you need to sit from the webcam, what range of movement you have and what they can see in their line of vision. This will give you the chance to iron out the kinks ahead of your interview. And, if you can tape the session and view it back – even better!!

Keep it Natural: Without a person in front of you, it can be hard to be natural, which means those interview lessons we have previously learn may go out the window. So remember to smile as you begin your video conference. Avoid staring directly into the webcam. And if possible, create a point of focus just above the webcam, so that you can direct your questions, acknowledgements and smiles to it without feeling self-conscious.

Show That You Care: It is all too tempting to try and get some work in whilst taking a Skype call, but nothing says “you are not listening” then hearing the tapping on a keyboard in the background. Not being present in the room, can make it harder to show that you are listening, or gauge whether you are being heard, so make sure you include acknowledgement noises to demonstrate that you are still involved in the conversation and are actively listening.

Reference Points: One of the big benefits of remote interviewing is that you can make notes in advance. Anything that you feel you wish to mention about yourself, the role, or the company can be written down ahead of time, making it easier to refer to them during the interview. Of course you don’t want to be reading from a sheet of paper, or get side tracked reading through your notes when the other person is talking, so keep them to short bullet points or reminders.

Expect Anything: Never rule out equipment failure as something that could go wrong during your call, even if you have practiced a zillion times beforehand. So prior to starting your call, make sure that you have good internet connection for transmitting speech and video. That all equipment is plugged into the mains or has ample battery life. That popups are switched off (particularly important if you need to screen share), and that other phones are switched to silent, or better still ‘off’. But if problems do arise, they need not be negative. In fact, how you deal with an issue speaks volumes about you. So rather than ignore it, apologise for the interruption, but deal with it promptly so that you can get your call back on track.


2023-07-24T14:31:26+00:00 Careers, Training, Work Tips|