Job interviews are one of the most nerve wracking forms of human interaction. You have around an hour to convince a near total stranger you are the greatest person in the world. The fast pace of technology has only compounded – and somewhat de-humanized – this experience.
Your resume is no longer vetted with eyeballs but an algorithm searching for key words. The best references you can muster fill out forms with simple “yes or no” questions. And now the true breakthrough – web cam interviews. No longer do you get to look the person you are selling to directly in the eye. No more physical office or body language cues. Instead, you’re facetiming on steroids with the highest of stakes.
While the good news is you only have to look professional from the waist up (“No pants!”) this modern wrinkle in the interview process presents a new set of, shall we say, opportunities.
First, as with any interview, dress appropriately and turn off any electronic devices that could distract you.
Maintain eye contact as much as is possible. Remember, this is a professional setting, not your Snapchat story.
Also, there are a few things experts agree on to prepare for these technological terrors:
This is not an improv show. While you do not want to come across as too rehearsed and robotic, you do need to familiarize yourself with talking into a camera. Make sure you get the angle right; you want to be looking straight across. This is not a selfie! Adjust the lighting so you are clearly seen. And, check out your background! While you’re talking the interviewer will be looking at what is behind you, on your desk, etc. Finally, do this from a quiet environment – like your home – and not at Starbucks.
Check to see how good your webcam is. It would be better to use a computer rather than your phone – for stability purposes. You may want to invest in a decent webcam and microphone so you come across professionally. As part of your prep, you want to make sure you know how to run the equipment like a pro. That said, be prepared for technical glitches. How you handle those will show how you operate under pressure.
Keep it simple
Assume your entire interview will be recorded and may be viewed by other people in the decision tree after the fact. Your answers should be to the point. This kind of sterile setting does not afford the opportunity for “bonding” with the interviewer so do your best to stay on point. It might also be a good idea to record yourself giving mock answers so you’ll know what the interviewer is seeing.
As with any job interview, come prepared, relax, and be yourself. They would not be talking to you if they were not interested in hiring you so do your best to engage and communicate. It will be a bit different in this kind of setting but the end result is what you are after – getting the job!