Interviewing Via Webcam

Until Tuesday, I never gave this topic much thought. However, while at the Association Forum’s Holiday Showcase, I attended a seminar called “Trends in Hybrid and Virtual Events.” The presenter, Mike Westcott, talked about the importance of training speakers to present well via webcam. Because they’re speaking to a computer, they are not receiving the visual and verbal cues of an audience. This can lead to some pretty distracting habits such as rocking in the chair and wavering side-to-side.

This got me to thinking about successfully presenting yourself during an on-camera interview. With organizations cutting expenses whenever possible, it’s likely that someday you’ll be in the position of interacting with a prospective employer through videoconferencing. Of course, many of the basics of in-person interviewing still apply – speak clearly, dress nicely, and spend time preparing potential responses beforehand.

While I’ve personally never had a video interview, I’ve been on both sides of the camera. While the tips below may seem like common sense, a reminder doesn’t hurt. Put them into practice and they can boost your confidence and improve the impression you make on the interviewer.

1)      Eliminate distractions: Before the call, make sure your telephone ringer is turned off, your pets are in another room, and your family members have been reminded not to come in during the interview.

2)      Give your appearance extra care: The top half of your body is what will be seen, so choose your top carefully. Also, in general avoid wearing patterns and all white and make sure your hair doesn’t fall in your face.

3)      Remember to stay still: It can be easy to fall into casual mode when you’re sitting at your home computer. Until the interview is over, treat the situation exactly as you would if you were meeting the hiring manager in person. Avoid rocking in your chair, reaching for a drink, or anything else that can make you appear nervous or uninterested.

For those of you that have interviewed candidates by webcam, do you have any tips to add?


About Charlotte Weeks - Executive Career Coach / Executive Resume Writer / Outplacement Consultant

Prior to founding Weeks Career Services, Inc. Charlotte Weeks worked in human resources at a national association, where she experienced the hiring process from the other side. She's also the past president of The National Resume Writers' Association (The NRWA). Charlotte specializes in providing C-level executives (CEO, CFO, CMO, etc.), association executives, executive directors and senior-level professionals (director, VP, SVP, etc.) with comprehensive career coaching services and high-ROI resumes. She is author of "I Want a Job in an Association -- Now What?? A Guide to Getting a Job in a Professional Association, Membership Organization, or Society" and featured author of "101 Great Ways to Enhance Your Career." Additional book contributions include "The Twitter Job Search Guide," "Resumes That Pop!," and "Step-by-Step Cover Letters." As an internationally-recognized expert, Charlotte provides programs and documents tailored to each individual’s needs. To ensure that each person is given the highest quality of attention and service, Charlotte works with a limited number of new clients each month.
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