Edited by Laura Morrison, for GradSchools.com, March 2014
Technology has made it so that you can do everything from pursuing online graduate degrees to working a job from the comfort of your home. Thanks to video and voice technology, you can interview for a position in another state, or even on the other side of the world, so long as you're seated in front of a computer. As you finish up graduate school, you may find yourself interviewing for jobs as well. If you're asked to participate in an interview over a program such as Skype, it certainly helps if you're prepared. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you agree to this type of conversation with a potential employer:
Is this thing on?
Doing a video interview is fine, provided you have the right technology. Never agree to meet over Skype if you don't have the program on your computer. At the same time, having good hardware is essential. Are you using an old laptop that tends to slow down after a few minutes? Then you probably shouldn't use it for your interview, unless you want it to freeze your face and create an awkward moment for everyone involved.
CBS MoneyWatch recommends a test run before the actual video interview. Whether you end up calling a family member or friend, you'll get to familiarize yourself with the software and make sure you know which buttons do what.
You saw that?
While it's fine to sit for a video interview in the comfort of your own home, you don't want to be lying in bed wearing pajamas. You should treat your video interview no differently than an in-person meeting. That means dressing to impress, not to underwhelm.
In terms of choosing a background, Business Insider recommends one that's simple, but not white. Tacky wallpaper or a bookshelf loaded with collectibles could be too distracting. Remember, the attention should be on you, and not what's going on in the background.
Ready for your close-up?
Where you position the camera can have an impact on your video presence. Business Insider suggests placing it slightly above your hairline. This will help you maintain good posture throughout the interview, which is essential to leaving a good impression.
USA Today recommends you look into the camera. This is the next best thing to making direct eye contact during a face-to-face meeting. It may be tempting, but you need to do your best not to watch yourself on your computer screen.
About the Author: Laura Morrison is the Web Content Manager for GradSchools.com. She earned an MBA from the Rutgers School of Business in 2010.