The question is –

“How do you prepare for such an interview?”

Uncharted territory is always difficult but with some preparation and practice this just might work in your favor. Taking some tips from television interviews I have been involved in, there are some things to avoid and some things that will make you come across in a more powerful manner.

Rule #1 – Practice – with Skype.

You will be far more at ease in a job interview if you have used Skype and the Camcorder before the interview. The good news is that the experience doesn’t require expensive equipment. In fact, if you have a laptop computer there is more than likely a built in camera and you are all set to begin.

For those who do not have a laptop – small webcam cameras are available at stores that sell electronic equipment for a reasonable price (starting at $19.95).
Skype itself is easily installed on your computer and you will up and running in no time.

Rule #2 – Adjust the Camera before the interview.

Becoming comfortable with the adjustment of the camera level and angle will give you the power to position how the other person will see you. If you call in before the interview you can “play” with the placement of the camera so that you can look your best.

Rule #3 – Makeup/Lights/Camera

As with any interview, judgment starts at first sight. There is a limited amount of things that you can do to change your appearance but looking your best is as important as in any face-to-face interview. A few basic rules:

  •  Look Professional – at least for the part of you in camera range.
  •  Wear solid colors – not prints or bold patterns. Pastels are softer than white.
  •  Make sure that you are well groomed – hair, facial hair, teeth (no spinach in the teeth)..
  • Sit up straight – posture is important to your impression and self-confidence.
  • Smile, as appropriate. You don’t want to look like a deer caught in headlights.
  • Avoid looking down at notes – try to look at the screen/camera. You will
    be talking to a face, or faces, on the screen. Look into the person’s eyes just as you would in an in-person interview.
  • As tempting as this may be, avoid staring at yourself in the small box. This is about you having a conversation with another person.
  • Avoid sudden or jerky hand gestures. Sometime there is a camera delay and it will be to your advantage to use smooth hand gestures and movements.
  • If you wear makeup, wear eye makeup to emphasize your eyes and softer colored lipstick. Experiment with this look.

Rule #4 – Good Content Is Essential

It is a given that unless you have something that will “grab” your viewer’s attention, they will more than likely delete the recording and not invite you in for another interview. This is a professional endeavor and should be treated as a professional presentation. You may not be the most objective person to judge whether anyone will watch beyond the first 30 seconds. Get feedback from a professional, friend, or family member. Remember to choose someone who will be able to dish-out some honest feedback without you becoming defensive or having your feelings hurt.

Rule #5 – Beware of Phony Postints/Contacts

If you are actively screening job postings you may have seen an item posted on some company’s websites. It’s an offer for a “Free Application Screening.”  Surprise – this is nothing more than a job interview – using the camcorder to see you and make a judgment whether to pursue you further.

As with anything new, there will be a learning curve with this process. Experiment with others to feel more at ease when you do receive that call for a camcord/Skype interview. Once you get the call, it will be too late to start to practice.