Preparing for the 21st Century Job Interview

Thursday, April 17, 2014

With graduation for many MBA programs just around the corner, now is the time to start thinking ahead to your next job interview.

As a recent article at eFinancialCareers reminds us, many job interviews take place via video chat. This is increasingly common, especially for first-round interviews. Jobs with geographically diverse workforces are also leaning on video interviews for candidates. 

The most common error cited in the article is failure to test the technology prior to the interview. Because your interview demonstrates your ability to function in the workplace, be sure that you prepare. 

Here are some tips to help you prepare for a video interview: 

  • Don't be afraid to ask: Ask the recruiter to help with the technology prior to your video interview. If you've been selected for a video interview, the recruiter wants you to make a good impression. Asking for help testing your ability to connect sends a sign that you're taking the interview seriously.
  • Test your personal settings: Prior to joining the video chat, take a minute to check your camera, speakers, and microphone one last time. Most video chat programs, like Skype, have diagnostic tools that let you check the settings on your PC, laptop, or tablet. Also, be sure to turn off incoming call notifications before your interview starts. 
  • Dress professionally: Just because you're interviewing from home doesn't mean casual dress is acceptable. Research the culture of the company and dress as if you were in-person and already on the job. 
  • Take a look around: Turn on the equipment where you will be using it and look at what's behind you. Photos, pictures, or items on shelves behind you may be a distraction to the interviewer. Put away the personal items until after the video interview. 
  • Review your account settings: Prior to your video chat, review your account settings. Make sure your user icon, e-mail address, chat name, etc. all reflect a professional image. If your chat is being held via Skype, connect with a peer or friend. Review how your profile looks from their device to avoid surprises. 

More companies are relying on video conferences when screening out-of-town candidates, so it's important to master the basics of video interviews. Preparing your technology can help you stay focused on content, and makes a world of difference in your interview. 

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Photo credit: Per Olof Forsberg via photopin cc

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