Video job interviews have become pretty common. Anyone who’s ever had to endure a phone interview knows how hard it is to connect without seeing someone. Plus, just about anyone under 60 has the technology to make free video calls in their home — or in their pocket.
And while pretty much all of the basic job interview rules still apply for video interviews — research your potential new company, don’t trash your current job, have questions ready, etc. — there are additional rules you should follow that can be just as impactful as your job qualifications.
1. CREATE A PROFESSIONAL ENVIRONMENT
“Put forth a clean, professional image by making sure the background is free of visual distractions,” Rangel tells us. In other words, make sure that your old baseball card collection, Entourage DVDs, and piles of laundry are out of sight. Also, be sure the place is well lit so it doesn’t look like you’re broadcasting from a Taliban cave.
Think of a few practice questions, send them over to a friend or family member, and have them interview you via Skype or Facetime. Says Rangel: “Recording your performance and watching it will make you aware of mannerisms, eye contact, and background elements that could hurt your chances of being hired.”
3. DRESS THE PART
Chances are, your interview will take place from the neck up — but resist the urge to get dressed up only north of the border. Dress like you would for an in-person interview (in other words, wear a suit). “I’ve never heard of a video interviewer making the interviewee stand up just to see what he’s wearing,” Rangel says. “But why risk it? Just wear your damn pants.” That’s good advice pretty much all the time, but here’s some advice that’s especially good for when you’re on camera: Prints and patterns can be overpowering and even difficult to look at onscreen, and the last thing you want to do is make the interviewer hate looking at you. So stick with solid colors.