Webcam interviews are becoming more and more commonplace. While this format has revolutionized the way we conduct long-distance interviews, they also present new challenges and things to consider. Some of these tips are pretty obvious but in my experience they have always given me positive results! Here are my tips for webcam interviews.
- Make an account
If you haven’t already, make a skype account. Go ahead and make one right now even if you don’t have an interview scheduled. Familiarize yourself with how the program works.
- Make an appropriate status update
This may be a point that is often overlooked. Skype has a feature where you can make a status message. Make your status message professional or relevant to the position for which you are being interviewed. Remember that your status message history will be visible to your contacts, so keep it all clean and positive.
- Choose a professional username
Keep it simple. Using your name in a form like “hong.gildong”, “contact.honggildong”, “info.honggildong”, or “hello.honggildong” are safe choices.
- Choose a professional avatar
This is a no brainer. Make sure your avatar is professional. This is literally most likely the first time the interviewer has ever seen you, so make a good impression from the start.
- Hide your number of contacts
Unless you have a large number of contacts (50+) hide your number of contacts.
- Confirm internet connection or use ethernet
I can tell you from experience that even the most trusted wi-fi connection can go out. Land-based internet connections are a safer option.
- Test your call quality (visual and audio)
Have a friend test call you before your interview to tell you what they see on their side of the screen and if you ned to make any adjustments.
- Turn OFF your cell phone
Eliminate ALL distractions during the interview. Imagine yourself doing really well and then someone calls you mid-interview. Do you really want a ringtone blasting off in the background? I think not. Even if your phone is on silent or vibrate, it is best to turn it off or remove it from your immediate area. This all goes back to the main fact that your interview is all about giving your attention to your interviewer, answering their questions, and telling them how excited and qualified you are for the position.
- Choose an appropriate interview space
The space in which you conduct the interview could be a make-or-break-it variable. Some say webcam interviews should take place against a solid nondistracting background while others simply say that the area in the background should be tidy. Either way, make sure that your setting 9or at least the area within the 4 corners of your webcam’s view is professional and presents a positive image to your interviewer.
- Be aware of the interviewer’s timezone
If you are having an international interview triple check the time of your interview. Take note of the time of day for your interviewer and tell them “good morning”, “good afternoon” or “good evening” during the interview.
During the interview
- Maintain eye contact with webcam lens
This is either really easy or really difficult for most people. I have no problem maintaining eye contact during in-person interviews, but during webcam interviews, it seems odd to not look at your interviewer (or even yourself to make sure you look good!). However, during a webcam interview, when you look at your interviewer on screen, your eyes are NOT looking at them like they normally would during an in-person interview. Yes, you will feel odd smiling and staring at a webcam lens, but this is what you should be doing. It is one of the most awkward points of webcam interviews, in my opinion.
Extra: Before the interview, tape a set of printed eyes near the webcam lens so that you feel like you are making eye contact with the interviewer.
- Set up a stopwatch
If you have an idea beforehand of how long your interview will last, you may choose to set a stopwatch on your phone or computer to keep track of time. Only look at the clock while your interviewer is not looking at the screen, though.
- Let your interviewer send/end the call
Allow your interview to initiate the interview and end the interview. This lets your interviewer know that you understand that they are in control of the interview. Of course, if your interviewer tells you to begin the call, then by all means you should start the call.
- Dress professionally
Make sure you look presentable. Some people like to say for webcam interviews you only need to dress professionally from the waist up but I think going all out will make the interview feel more ~real~.
Remember to smile and let your personality and enthusiasm shine through~ 🙂
- Expect the unexpected
Again, be prepared for technical issues during your interview. What if your webcam doesn’t work during the interview? What if the wi-fi goes out? What if your sound doesn’t work? What if you are unable to log into skype? Be prepared for anything.
Wear headphones to reduce auto feedback. Some people even wear the headphones with a microphone. I mean the ones that look like they belong in 1990s/ early 2000s pop-star stage performances. I personally use the earbuds that came with my iPhone as they also have a microphone, but appear less distracting. Again, this is a matter of personal choice.
- Have your documents in front of you
Have your documents in front of you for reference during the interview. Your interviewer may ask you to discuss a point on your applications or resume.
I hope these tips will help you as you prepare for your interview! As always, if you have any questions, suggestions, or tips, feel free to share them in the comment section below.
EPIK Applicants – Read my input on the EPIK interview here: Interview of EPIK proportions: EPIK Interview- Fall 2016 perspective
Ad astra per aspera,
Disclaimer: The review provided in this post should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the mentioned service(s). No compensation was provided in exchange for the review of these service(s).