Although the bones of a virtual interview are the same as an in-person interview, there are a few things you should remember before hopping on a Skype or Google+ Hangout with a potential employer.
Here are few online interview mistakes you should avoid:
1. Not Setting Up A Good Background Shot
When you have on online interview, the background of your shot matters quite a bit. The interviewer is going to judge you by the things that are happening in the background. Plus, your interviewer is probably going to have the usual arrogant conditioning that almost all humans have, and is going to believe that he or she can read things about you personally by the things in the background.
This occurs when you have things in the background that may be rather telling about you. Things such as shelves full of DVDs about girl fights or hundreds of different perfumes. And, the worst of the worst, a mess in the background.
Your best bet is to have as little in the background as humanly possible. The less they have to look at in the background then the more they are looking at you.
2. Not Dressing Appropriately
There are very few online interviews where you stand up to take the interview. (This is actually a shame because your posture often looks better when standing.) Even though you are sitting down, you should still wear trousers or something that covers your legs. If you do not bother to wear trousers, then you can bet your bottom dollar that you are going to have to get up and fetch something and your interviewers are going to see your underwear!
3. Not Testing Your Equipment Before The Interview
The best thing you can do is contact someone you know and do a little test run. You can test your equipment and find out if everything is working okay (you can even have a little practice interview). This is also a good idea because the person on the other end can tell you if you are making silly mistakes such as moving your head out of shot or slouching too much.
If you start your interview and your interviewer cannot see or hear you, you have to spend a few awkward moments fixing it. When this happens, you end up wasting everyone’s time and there is a chance they will halt the interview. Plus, it makes you look bad and unprepared at the same time.
4. Eating/Drinking During The Interview
You should not have food in sight, and you should not drink during the interview. You do not need it, it will not make you look more relaxed, it will not make you feel relaxed, and it will not make it feel as if you are talking to them in a café.
You do not take food or drink into interviews, so your online one is no different. It makes it appear as if you do not care about the job and that you are disinterested. No only that, but you risk spilling something on yourself or getting something on your face.
5. Not Smiling
Smile, but make it more that you are smiling because you are having the interview. Remember the feeling you had when you discovered you got an interview? Hold onto that feeling and smile about it. Show enthusiasm!
However, you don’t want to appear on the screen with a big cheesy grin on your face. Make your smile genuine. First impressions still apply online, and you do not want to make a bad one straight off the bat.
6. Sitting Still
In a real interview, you would allow your hands to move around as you talk, so and this is what you should do during your interview. Don’t sit there with your hands on the table as if you are being interviewed by the police, or having your hands down by your side as if you are having your photo taken at the police station.
This post was originally published at an earlier date.
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