This article was originally published on ComeRecommended.com.
Video interviews are on the rise, but many job seekers are failing to master the concept. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Skype interview or a one-way video, this is the first impression a potential employer will have of you. Make it count.
Here are some things real people have done in video interviews that you should avoid:
Don’t wear something unprofessional. Just because a video interview takes place where you decide, you can’t use this as an excuse to wear whatever you want. It’s still a professional interview setting, so dress the part. The employer isn’t in on the joke if you’re wearing pajamas or a goofy costume.
Don’t have a distracting background. It’s tough to find the perfect location to sit for a video interview. Avoid sitting in front of an open closet or distracting wall-hangings. Find a place with a neutral background so the employer can focus completely on you.
Don’t leave your phone on. You wouldn’t leave your phone on during an in-person interview, so a video interview should be no different. It’s not just your ringtone that’s distracting either. If your phone is visible on to the camera, there’s a chance it will light up and the interviewer will notice. Have your phone out of sight and out of earshot.
Don’t forget to turn on the lights. Video interviews are all about lighting. Make sure there is a source of light in front of your face, so the interviewer can see you. One mistake people make is sitting with a light source (like a window) to their backs. This puts your face in a shadow, which makes it harder for the employer to connect with you during the interview.
Don’t read your answers. It’s definitely a good idea to prepare for a video interview by writing down a few notes. That being said, it’s not a good idea to read your answers directly from these notes. You wouldn’t read a script in-person, so why do it now? You might think you can get away with it, but your interviewer will notice you reading.
Don’t mumble. In video interviews, it’s important to speak clearly and audibly. It makes for a terrible first impression when the interviewer can’t understand your responses.
Don’t get distracted. If you look away from the camera in a video interview, the employer will notice. It has the same effect as breaking eye contact. You don’t want the interviewer to think you’re distracted or uninterested. Maintain eye contact throughout the interview.
Have you noticed other problematic habits during video interviews? What would you recommend avoiding?