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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Experiment with the lighting to make sure you don’t look dead on camera.
- 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.
- Think about all the times you’ve Skyped with your parents in Florida, then avoid doing all the things they do during their calls.
- 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.