Have you been asked to do a virtual video interview with a reporter, university recruiter or potential employer? Most conduct these online interviews through video conferencing services such as Skype or GoToMeeting. It can be a little nerve-racking to do an on-camera interview online, but you may find it easier than battling traffic, weather and confusing directions to get to an unfamiliar office.
To make sure your first virtual video interview goes smoothly, consider the following four tips.
- Create a professional setting
Use a room that’s well-lit with lots of sunlight or indoor lighting. Make sure the background isn’t cluttered and looks nice. Choose a quiet room and shut down all programs and devices that make noise. Don’t forget about pets or children that could cause an interruption.
- Frame up the shot
Put your computer camera, the internal one or a USB device, at eye level. You may need to raise your laptop by placing it on a stack of books. Looking down at the camera will make your chin and neck look disproportionate to your face. Frame yourself in the middle of the screen so that there is not too much space above your head (headroom). Make sure you are looking directly at the camera, not some other part of the computer screen when you speak. Don’t forget to smile.
- Conduct a practice interview
Test your internet connection, audio and software by setting up a trial run-through with a friend or relative. Have that person ask a few questions and make sure he or she can see and hear you well. The built-in computer microphone should work fine. Another option would be to buy a USB microphone and stand. There should be no need to wear headphones or earbuds.
- Dress for the camera
The best clothing option for an on-camera interview is a solid-color long-sleeve shirt, suit jacket, blazer or sport-coat. Choose a primary color instead of patterns or prints. Jewel tones and pastels are better than white for the camera. Don’t wear jewelry that moves and makes noise.
Now you’re ready for your interview.