Communicating in a Virtual World – The Rise of Video Interviewing

There’s nothing like a digital twist to make job interviews a little more stressful. All of a sudden, you’re reduced from a full person to head and shoulders on a screen. When the stable, sterile environment of a conference room is gone, professionalism threatens to fly out the window. What should you do in this high stress situation?

Luckily, the answer is simple: everything you’d be doing anyway.

For the most part, the keys to video interviews and in-person interviews are about the same; it’s your mindset that might need some adjustments. Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind:

  • Be aware of your whole self. When all you see is a tiny piece of yourself on a tiny corner of your computer screen, it’s easy to neglect the rest of your body. If your legs are all sprawled out or anxiously twisted up just below the edge of the screen, that energy – whether nervous or a little too comfortable – will show in your face. Keep your body poised from head to toe, even if your interviewer only sees you from head to shoulder.
  • Treat your interview like an interview. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you’re off the hook when it comes to presentation. Present yourself in dress, speech, and general demeanor as though you’re walking into a physical interview.
  • Think about the other side of things. Here’s where Skype and sit-downs are a little different. Where is your gaze while you’re talking? Will it look like you’re making eye contact, or are you stuck checking your own thumbnail? Looking into the camera will allow your interviewer to feel like you’re giving them all your attention, just as you would sitting across from them.
  • Be aware of your environment. Do everything you can to make sure you are in an uncluttered, well-lit space that allows you to stand out. If possible, test out your surroundings and your Internet connection by staging a mock video interview with a friend who can tell you if your audio and video are coming through clearly.

Above all, treat every interview with a professional approach and a true sense of who you are and what you have to offer. Once you’ve got the technical details down and the right mindset in place, you can shine over any medium!