Companies are evolving in the "Internet of Things" (IoT) era to increase speed, reduce costs, work smarter:
- Talent they need is not always where the talent is
- Travel costs in dollars and time are expensive
- Interviews were expensive yet necessary
- Technology is reducing the impact of the above
Video conferencing was popular but not often used due to the $350 per hour plus resource person charge with limited facilities available and there were inherent problems getting a good quality video connection in 5 minutes. Today, costs, locations and technology are dramatically better.
The Internet and tools, like Skype, have changed the playing field once again. Now video conferencing, even when the parties are in town, makes sense due to convenience, east access, low cost access from home, office or a foreign country.
So how does someone who's never been on camera before come across polished, classy, organized and like "the winner" for the job or anything else?
STEP 1: Do not panic. You have some preparation and planning to work on first.
Consider finding a friend with a laptop who uses the same software. Invite
them over and connect to each other so you can see HOW you will look on
camera in the room and desk or table you plan to use.
Trial runs like this affords the opportunity to really enhance your image.
Is that giant wall picture of cartoon characters appropriate for your interview?
The location may not work well on video so explore but try to insure you
keep a wire connection to avoid bandwidth issues or other network gotchas.
Some additional Tips...
Try some pillows around you but out of view of the camera. Pillows can minimize
or stop echos.
- Your or Your Neighbors Pets:
Put pets where they will be happy and quiet. Pet noises are distracting and that's
bad for everyone. Even outside, barking dogs can be heard.
- Door Bells:
If you are expecting a delivery, request a delayed delivery or pick it up from
somewhere. Nothing like someone ringing the door bell over and over and over again during your interview.
- Shock of Seeing Yourself:
Spend time getting use to seeing yourself on screen. For some it can be very
uncomfortable or distracting. You simply need to get over this to perform well.
The audio may use the connection through your laptop, but confirm this for your
interview up front. If so, disconnect telephones that might be heard during your
interview. We're all trained to answer a ringing phone so insure they can't ring. Cell or land line phones, same problem. IF YOU NEED YOUR PHONE, use a land
line connection if at all possible for a better quality sound. Cell tower reliability is
not 100% just like land lines but cell towers can fail more often.
- Heavy Vehicles: (School Bus, Waste or Recyling Trucks, Delivery Trucks, Ice Cream Trucks, etc.)
Heavy trucks with big noisy engines are not good along with emergency vehicles,
low flying aircraft, etc. Try to schedule around these or use a room insulated
from such unwanted noise sources.
A baby crying will compel attention and thus impact your interview. See if a family
member or good neighbor can watch the baby during your interview. Older
children, post a big note on the door they come in through reminding them of
your interview time period and to stay outside or stay quietly in a
a remote part of your residence. Consider the same for any spouse or fiancee who
has access but with a softer kinder approach.
Different bulbs will produce different color of light due to the different materials
used today. Experiment to find which provides the best color for your skin to
leave a better impression.
- Hair, Face, Eyes, Teeth, Ears & Eyebrows, Neck, Clothing
- Is your hair all in place looking sharp?
Keep a brush out of sight should you need it before the interview begins.
- Any food left on your face from lunch or some quick snack?
It will distract your viewers wondering what you have or if it is some medical
- If you are having "red" eyes from lack of sleep or allergies, address that starting
24 hours before your interview so extra sleep, eye drops or other aids can
- Brush your teeth before the interview. Bread or other items stuck to your teeth
is not professional.
- Like the rest of your facial hair, make sure these are problem free, trimmed and
- Do you have some birthmark on your neck or injury? Use appropriate clothing
to help hide that.
- Make sure the colors you wear work for you and not against you. Insure you
check the clothing for possible problems (spills, stains, etc.) in advance of the
interview for time to correct things. And do not eat in those cloths until after
- Assume You Are Being Recorded
- Plan in advance what you want to say to avoid stuttering or looking stiff or
awkward. Use your laptop to record yourself answering questions from
someone else with you for practice. Review your session for potential areas of
improvement. And as with every interview, have your questions to ask them.
Whether in person or via video, asking questions shows interest.
- No matter what, never bash or "bad mouth" anyone during an interview. If you
will trash someone you will one day potentially trash them or their employer.
Consider yourself OUT if you do this.
- IF THERE ARE PROBLEMS...
If there is an emergency, if you suddenly fall ill, if there is something that prevents
you from being focused and well prepared to be at your best, consider requesting
a reschedule. If this is not possible but you can still attend the session, restate up
front during the session of your impact so the others involved will understand any
loss of focus, delays, other other unexplained things they may observe.
Video conferences are easier to reschedule than having to insure everyone can be
in the same room at the same time. And this may be your best shot so insure you
are at your best when you get that shot.