If a company said 15 years ago that they conducted interviews remotely through a camera in your computer, you would have thought you were applying to Hogwarts.
Now, webcam interviewing is becoming a mainstream method of recruiting — saving employers both time and money while still giving them (almost) all the information they need to make a hiring decision.
While some people prefer webcam interviews because they take some of the pressure off, others think the complete opposite.
Whether you have a webcam interview coming up or just want to be prepared in case one comes your way, here are four tips you can use to pull one off flawlessly:
1. Make sure your environment is professional
By environment, this means everything behind you that the interviewer can see. If you’re interviewing from your house, a messy room could prove distracting, as well as give off the impression you’re unorganized and unprofessional.
Also, make sure you’re interviewing away from any loud noises or potential interruptions, such as a TV/radio, pet, or smoke detector that needs new batteries. Just like in a traditional interview, keep your phone on silent the entire time.
As for lighting, make sure you’re set up in a room with adequate lighting to show off your face. When a hiring manager sees shadows on your face or a darkened picture, it lessens your impact and hurts your appearance.
2. Wear the correct clothing
Just because you’re interviewing remotely doesn’t mean you can’t still give off a terrible first impression. Wearing anything but professional dress is absolutely unacceptable and shows the interviewer you didn’t put in effort or care enough about getting the job.
When choosing professional dress, it’s always better to wear lighter-colored clothing so the webcam can pick you up clearer and easier.
For women, wearing a little makeup to supplement your features will help show the interviewer more detail. You can’t show them exactly what you look like in-person, but doing this can help give them a better idea.
3. Have a strong internet connection
You may think this one is out of your control, but there are plenty of ways you can be sure your wireless signal is strong. Here are a few:
Restart your computer before the interview to ensure background programs aren’t slowing you down.
Turn off unnecessary programs to allow your computer to better focus its resources.
Make sure other people using your wi-fi aren’t downloading large files or playing video games that require large drains in Internet speed.
If your residence has a history of poor Internet connection, find a location (friend’s place, library, etc.) that has a stronger, more reliable connection.
4. The interviewer may feel uncomfortable, too
Since webcam interviewing is relatively new, older and less tech-savvy hiring managers may feel out of their element dealing with confusing technology.
You can use this to your advantage by staying calm, focused, and confident when answering questions. This could diffuse any awkward vibe being given off, and show the recruiter that you know how to adapt to different situations.
Keeping a positive attitude will make a shaky interviewer feel more at ease, letting both parties maximize the success of their roles.