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Keith Hayes, AIA, LEED AP

Don’t Blow It: Tips for Video-Conference Interviews

Video-Conference Interviews

Over the past six months or so at BRS, we have conducted a number of employee interviews using video conferencing. What was once novel is now becoming common practice as we reach out worldwide to meet the very best job candidates.

And by now, we think we've seen it all—from disruptions and inaudible responses to bad lighting and poor posture. Interviewing remotely is a slightly different animal than interviewing in person, with more variables to control. Follow these tips to ensure your success:

  1. Be prepared. Download the software and log on early. Have your résumé and portfolio downloaded and the files open and ready to go.
  1. Practice. If there is time, set up a practice video conference with friends or family. Make sure everything works, including the lighting and sound. Get familiar with the software. Work out the bugs.
  1. Choose your location with care. Find a room that is quiet with good lighting and minimal audio interruptions. Good acoustics (curtains on windows) can be a plus, too. Try not to sit with something distracting behind you. If there is a door, post a sign so no one will open it. Don’t be afraid to use supplemental lighting if the room light is unflattering.
  1. Dress for success. This is an interview, so dress and act as you would if you were interviewing in person. Sit up straight. Smile. Speak clearly and with authority. And wear pants! Although you may think you're clever by wearing a shirt and tie, but only boxer briefs from the waist down, imagine what your interviewer(s) will think when you get up to retrieve that document you left over in the printer tray? Trust us on this one. You're likely to take the interview more seriously, too.
  1. Show your very best work. This should go without saying, but make sure you are showing the best graphics and that they read well on a screen. Sometimes what looks good in print lacks luster on screen and vice versa. Also, clean up your desktop: we don’t need to see the photo of you and your best buds from your spring break trip to Cancún. And maximize the size of whatever you show so we can see it on our screen.
  1. Be yourself. This is more important than ever when meeting remotely. And no matter what the interview format, show some enthusiasm!

Don't let your first video-conference interview spiral into disaster. A little preparation goes a long way. You've only got one shot to make a good first impression, so take these careful measures and propel yourself to success!

Posted by Keith Hayes, AIA, LEED AP on April 28, 2014 at 03:17pm

Tags: interviewing & hiring (1)

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