Tips for Video & Zoom/Skype Interviews
- Before the interview: Arrive early and familiarize yourself with the room and the equipment. The better you understand the equipment, the more comfortable and confident you will be. Be sure that the camera is set up so it focuses on you. If you can get a tight head/shoulders/desk shot, this is best. Try to keep other objects out of the shot, or the viewers could get distracted. Make sure the microphone is near you. In addition, just as you would in any other interview, research the employer thoroughly and have questions prepared for the interviewer(s).
- Begin the interview: Introduce yourself - “Hi, I’m Jane Smith. It’s nice to meet you.”
- Hesitate slightly: Be prepared for a very slight delay in receiving the audio and video. This takes a few moments to get used to. Try and get into the habit of hesitating slightly before speaking to assure that the other person has finished speaking.
- Look at the monitor: Look straight into the monitor at the interviewer. It will give the impression that you are looking into their eyes. If you cannot make direct eye contact because there are multiple interviewers, signal to whom you are speaking by using their name.
- Avoid excessive motion: Rocking in your chair or rapid arm movements will appear as a blur to the other person. Don’t be unnaturally stiff however. Relax just as you would if you were speaking to someone in person.
- Speak naturally: The microphones will pick up your audio without you having to raise your voice. There is no need to shout. Speak slowly and clearly.
- Show your energy and enthusiasm: Remember that the camera will stay static. You and the interviewer will be “talking heads”. Therefore, image and voice are all you have to make yourself interesting and stand out. Don’t forget to smile!
- Consider some rules of dress: As in any interview, a conservative suit is best. Pastel shades work well on television, as do bright blues, pinks, fuchsia and green. Avoid shades that match your skin tone and large areas of red, bright whites, black and navy, as well as plaid, stripes and overly busy patterns. Glittery jewelry will catch the light and be distracting.
- Manage the microphone: Be conscious of where the microphone is. Remember that microphones pick up and often amplify any sound, so be careful about shuffling papers and tapping on the table near the microphone. Microphones can be very sensitive and little noises are very loud and distracting on the other end.
- Listen with your eyes: Non-verbal listening cues often become more prominent in a videoconference. That is, while you are talking, you will become more aware of the facial expressions of the interviewers, and they will be more aware of yours. Be sure to remain focused.
- Relax: The biggest mistake people make when videoconferencing, by far, is that they are afraid of the technology, and their anxiety comes across in the interview.
- End of Interview: Thank the employer, hit the mute button and leave the room.
Additional Tips for Zoom/Skype Interviews
- Choose a location wisely: Be sure to choose a well-lit, quiet space where you will not be interrupted. Think about the back-drop that will appear on the screen. A plain wall is best.
- Check your technology in advance: Make sure you can log in and that your webcam and speakers are working. Remember to charge your device in advance (it is always smart to have a charger with you just in case). Close out any open programs that could serve as a distraction. Silence any other devices in the room.
- Look into the camera: In order to make eye contact, you’ll want to look at the camera during the interview rather than paying attention to yourself on the screen. This can be difficult if you aren’t used to it, so you might want to practice with a friend or a CP&P counselor prior to the interview. (Drag the window with your face in it nearer to the webcam if you can’t control your impulse to glance at yourself.)