By now, most of us know the hiring process starts off with the telephone screen. This filter is designed to assure the hiring company that you have all of the “hard skills” needed for the position – and that you are a fit salary wise.
If you did well you would go on to the face-to-face interview.
On the horizon, there is a new dimension to this technique.
Up close and personal.
With the advent of Skype and other technologies, it will be more commonplace to have the screening phone interview live on camera.
You can share documents, photos, etc. Now.
Having the capability to accommodate a request by a company for a video interview can give you an edge over others who do not.
So what to do?
Here are 10 steps to get you in the game:
- Join a VOIP provider. Besides Skype, there are other competitors worth looking at as well. Be it Skype, Google Hangout, iChat, et cetera, make sure this program works for you on your computer. And add your new address to your resume, business card etc.
- Most new computers have an internal camera (my MacBook Pro has “iSight built in). However, I recommend that you purchase a good external HD webcam that offers great video quality. Keep in mind that the companies calling you will have HD. CNET offers a very good comparison of webcams at various prices.
- Become familiar with your equipment and service. This is an obvious one but you can’t say during an interview “I am just getting used to this, please bear with me.”
- Look at the camera, not your monitor. As in a face-to-face interview, this making good “eye to eye” contact.
- Lighting is important. Natural light is the best. Be sure that you get the artificial lighting correct.
- Be sure your background is not “busy” or cluttered. The interviewer can see everything behind you.
- Control your environment. Make sure that you are not distracted. In a Skype coaching session, my cat Duke walked across my keyboard and disconnected my call.
- Attire: Yes! Dress up completely as if you were going to an interview. There is a story going around about a candidate looked good from the waist up. When he stood up, he wasn’t wearing any pants. Surprise!! Don’t wear white or anything that is “busy” like plaids or checks.
- Rehearse via video with a friend beforehand. This is not so much for content but to see “how you look”. “How” you come across is just as important as the answer. This would be a great time to adjust the lighting.
- Prepare for the call. Take exactly the same steps you would normally to prepare for a face-to-face interview. This includes: obtaining a copy of the job description in advance: researching the company, checking out the interviewer on LinkedIn, evaluating “the fit” — where you are strong and where you are weak, prepare answers to potential interviewing questions (feel free to download my list of 35 most difficult interview questions and how to frame your answers http://www.randyblock.com. Be sure that all of your answers are relevant to the job.
Above all, relax.
If you follow the suggestions above, you will be just fine with the call.
Written by Randy Block