Video Conferencing Guidelines

Technology makes it possible to interview from anywhere in the world. Employers are now more likely to request live video interviews and may even record the interview and share it with all persons making the hiring decision. It is important that you familiarize yourself with live video conferencing to optimize your video interviewing skills.  The following are some important considerations:

Scheduling Your Live Video Conference:

  1. Consider the time zone.  Avoid confusion by clarifying the time zone, i.e., 2 p.m. pacific time or 11 a.m. central standard time.
  2. Determine who initiates the call.  Avoid another common confusion by clarifying who will initiate the call.

All of your social media, including Skype, should have professional profiles, photos and handles.  It is your first impression on how you present yourself to your professional and social networks.  Clean out anything that casts you in an unprofessional light.  Check your privacy settings and connect with your interviewer well in advance of the interview date.

It is prudent to check your technology, conduct a practice interview, record it and ask trusted friends or your recruiter to critique your technology, environment, appearance and demeanor so you have time to make appropriate changes.

Prior to and again on the day of the interview check all technical aspects so that you can make adjustments if necessary.  You want to avoid making your interviewer wait while you struggle to resolve technical issues at the beginning of the interview.

  1. Is your internet connection strong enough?
  2. Are you using a computer or laptop since it is more reliable than your mobile phone or tablet.
  3. Check your microphone for echoes, feedback and background noise.
  4. Clean the camera lens and adjust your chair to make sure the camera is at eye level.
  5. Decide whether or not you will use a headset.
  6. Is your background clean, neutral and professional? Consider the impression your background will give to your interviewer
  7. Optimize your lighting by using soft lights on either side of you.  Does your lighting create shadows across your face or a glare?
  8. Is your environment quiet and free from distractions such as crying children, barking dogs, outside lawn maintenance and persons walking behind you?

Prepare yourself as if your video interview was an in person interview.  Rehearse your answers to potential interview questions in advance.  Keep your area uncluttered with only a few essential items nearby.  You want to appear organized, professional and focused at all times.

  1. Make a few concise bullet points you must cover and check them off as you discuss them.
  2. Print out a copy of the job description and your resume so that you have them for quick reference.
  3. Have concise information about your interviewer and the company available.
  4. Prepare a list of questions in advance.
  5. Decide what you will wear for the interview and see how it looks on the web camera.  Dress in the same professional attire and groom yourself as if you were attending an in person interview avoiding anything that will compete with your background.  Solid white, solid black, busy patterns and very bright colors are generally not flattering via web camera.
  6. Practice looking straight into the camera rather than at your screen.  You should know how to minimize the window with your interviewer’s image and move it close to the camera lens so you can see your interviewer without looking like you are staring out into space.

Important considerations during the interview:

  1. Open your video conference site and make sure your status is “Available”
  2. Keep all your browsers and programs closed.
  3. Remove all unnecessary items from your work space.
  4. Turn off your cell phone.
  5. Speak slowly since there may be a delay in the internet connection
  6. Maintain good eye contact during the interview but don’t stare at the camera.
  7. Remember to relax your face and smile when appropriate.
  8. Remain still and focused but not stiff – avoid fidgeting and making off camera gestures since the interviewer will not see them.
  9. Keep your elbows off the table – resist the temptation to rest your chin on your hand.
  10. Maintain good posture at all times – resist the temptation to lean forward, recline backwards or cross legs making your body twist.