Be Ready for the Video Conference

If you are searching for a new job, it will happen sooner or later—you will be selected to have a screening interview via video conference.  Here are some tips to make sure you have the best video conference possible:

  1. Yes, wear a suit. And wear pants, too. I know it’s funny to tell people that you didn’t wear pants for your interview, but if you have a leather chair, your bare legs might make a funny sticking sound and people will wonder what’s going on down there.
  1. Make sure you have an appropriate background for the call. If your office is a desk in your bedroom, move the computer elsewhere.  No one wants to see a bed over your shoulder, even if there are a million pillows on it.
  1. Look at the webcam instead of being fascinated with your image on the screen. Put a sticky note over your face if you have to.  No, no–on the screen.  Put the sticky note over your face which is on the screen.
  1. Experiment with the lighting to make sure you don’t look dead on camera.
  1. Don’t sit too close. Webcams are ‘fisheye’ lenses and the closer you get, the bigger your nose will look.  I may be projecting my own feelings here, as I have a prominent nose and hate webcams.
  1. Think about all the times you’ve Skyped with your parents in Florida, then avoid doing all the things they do during their calls.
  1. Give other family members the heads up that you will be having this video conference. A nude spouse in the background is thrilling, but ultimately unprofessional.

Handle the call with as few distractions as possible and you will have accomplished your mission.  Video conferencing has a long way to go before it truly is a suitable way to communicate professionally, but ready or not, here it comes.