Video Call Interview Etiquette

Nov 23, 2017 | Blog, Interviews


Love ’em or hate ’em, Skype/Google Hangouts/GoToMeeting interviews are becoming more and more popular in the hiring process. Chances are you have either had one or will at some point in the future.

Live video interviews are often dreaded for a few reasons – they’re new and weird, poor internet connection issues can make them awkward, you don’t feel as though you are able to represent yourself as well as you would in person, and so on. However, there are ways to make the experience more enjoyable and the interview more successful. We, at CA, have some tips on how to make your video interview a good one.

Shut it all down

It might be tempting to just leave everything open, believing focusing on that little Skype or Google Hangouts box in the middle of it all will be sufficient. Do not do this. Close down every other application you have going for the duration of the interview. No email notifications, no open web pages not relevant to the interview, no other callers bothering you (set your status to ‘busy’ once the call is underway) and certainly no other instant messaging programs. Make sure you replicate this on your phone as well and ensuring everyone in your house knows you’re interviewing so you don’t get any other interruptions.

Test first

It’s important to first make sure that your internet connection is strong enough to hold a flawless video call, so test it out on a friend. Secondly, preview how you will look on camera to your interviewer. This step is primarily to make sure the lighting is right and not casting odd shadows that may be distracting to your interviewer. A last test should be for your position – you don’t want to sit too close, but of course, too far away will look odd as well. It’s important to sit close enough for your interview to be able to read your expressions clearly, but not too close that your face takes up the entire screen!

Make sure your handle is appropriate

You may have set your Skype account up back in the days when ‘kooky’ handles were in, but nowadays that simply looks unprofessional. So, if your handle is currently ‘partyanimal446’ – get rid!

Dress as for a normal interview

You should treat a live video interview as if it were a normal interview – that’s exactly what it is. This means dressing the part, so make sure you appear well-turned out on camera. Doing this will also help you to do things that you’d need to remember in a face-to-face interview, such as sitting up straight and not fidgeting.

You can still have eye-contact in a video call interview

One of the biggest complaints with a live video interview is that you, as an interviewee, are not able to connect properly with your interviewer. Indeed, it’s not as easy, but one thing that won’t help is if you are looking at your screen the entire time and not at the webcam. By looking into the webcam lens you create the illusion of eye-contact and your interview will feel far more connected to you.

Wait your turn

Cues to talk can be harder to pick up even on the clearest video call interviews so by simply waiting a little longer after you’ve spoken and after your interviewer has spoken, you can avoid any talking over each other.

Video call interviews certainly take a bit of getting used to but with a few steps, they can be successful and even enjoyable.

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