It is always exciting news when you hear that a prospective employer wants to see you for a job interview. Interviews are a great opportunity for the company to get to know you and for you to learn about the organization and the opportunity. But what if the company asks to do a remote or digital interview?
With the prevalence of software and apps such as Skype and FaceTime, digital/online interviews are becoming more common. While you don’t have to worry about traveling to an office for a face-to-face meeting, there are many things you need to do to ace a digital interview:
Tip #1: Dress the part. Simply put, dress like you would for an in-person interview. Groom yourself and dress professionally from head to toe, and resist the temptation of showing up for the interview without shoes (and whatever you do, don’t wear pajama pants). Dressing the part will get your mind into “interview mode” and you will be better focused. You also want to make sure you wear colors and patterns that will not distract someone on the other end of the video, since complicated details in your clothing may appear to be “messy” on the viewer’s screen. You should also try to avoid wearing the same color as your background, because you might just end up looking like a floating head.
Tip #2: Have a professional picture and Skype username. This is your first impression so make it count! You don’t want to contact them using a “KegStand92” username or have your prospective employer see a picture of you and your friends out late one Friday night, so make sure your online ID and any associated icons and photos are appropriate and professional. If necessary, create a new Skype account for interview purposes only.
Tip #3: Be aware of your surroundings. It’s best to do an online interview in a business-like setting, so pay close attention to everything your laptop camera is capturing. Avoid having posters, pizza boxes, or soda cans in the background. A blank or neutral background with good lighting is best. If you have roommates, make sure they know the date and time of your interview so they ’don't accidentally walk into your interview.
Tip #4: Practice, Practice, Practice. Whether you have done a digital interview before or not, it is always a good idea to practice. Do an online run through with a friend or family member to get a feel for the technology. Make sure that your camera, Internet connection and microphone are working. Your practice partner should focus on details in your presentation, such as focusing your eyes on the camera, the loudness of your voice, and even what you’re doing with your hands.
Online interviews are a great learning experience, so take advantage of them! Good luck landing your dream job!
Readers, have you been interviewed online before? If so, write about your experiences in our comments section below.