Tips for Video Chat Interviews

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As employers expand their search for talent, sometimes on a global basis, interviewing job candidates through video chat has grown more prevalent. Video conferencing is particularly useful for early-stage interviews, during which hiring managers can use this technology to get a fuller impression of a candidate than they would through a phone call alone. Preparing for a video interview is a lot like preparing for a telephone or an in-person interview, but there are some wrinkles unique to the format. Be sure to keep the following in mind before you interview over video chat:

—Prepare your interview space. When you interview over the telephone, your interviewer has no idea whether your office is messy or not. However, when you interview over video chat, you need to make sure that whatever appears on-screen around you makes you look good. Remove distracting objects like photos and artwork, clean the space, and make sure no pets or other people will disturb you.

—Arrange your lighting and camera angle. Verify that your webcam points at your face, rather than your chest, and that you are in the center of the image. You also need to be sure that the room is bright enough for your interviewer to see you clearly. To facilitate natural eye contact, place the window in which your interviewer will appear on your screen as close to your webcam as possible.

—Conduct a test run. Assuming that your technology will work on the first try is asking for trouble. Before your interview, get together with a friend for a dry run. Schedule it for the same time of day as your real interview to get the best sense of lighting and identify any potential interference. You should also double-check that your equipment is functioning properly half an hour to 45 minutes before the actual interview.

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