Alternative Interviews (i.e. phone, skype, etc.) and How to Ace Them

How to ace your virtual interview

With the advent of computer and internet technology, companies are now utilizing various kinds of alternative interviews, such as a video conference interview. For job searchers, a video conference interview presents a perfect opportunity to do long-distance job searches. What it does is eliminate the need for a job seeker to travel, while also allowing employers to interact with applicants just like in a conventional interview setting. Since such alternative interviews can connect people regardless of their locations, it enables job searchers to apply in companies they might not have considered.


How does one prepare for it?

A video conference interview doesn’t differ much from a traditional face-to-face job interview, aside from the fact that the former makes use of technology to connect you and the person conducting the interview. Don’t make the mistake of skimping on your preparation thinking that anyway, you won’t be personally meeting with your interviewer. It is also important that you make sure your computer’s webcam is working properly. Ideally, you should practice answering interview questions with your webcam on.


What should you wear?

It’s too tempting to just dress from the torso up by wearing a blouse or a suit. You will never know if you will need to get something from across your desk, which will let the interviewer see your entire appearance. Wearing dark colors is also ideal for video conferences. For men, a dark suit and a tie are recommended, while women could go for a fitting blouse without a plunging neckline. Just like in an office-based interview, you should avoid wearing too many accessories, think makeup, or anything that would distract your interviewer.


What other materials do you need?

Long before you start with your interview, turn your computer and webcam on so you could know if there are glitches that you need to address before your interview begins. Make sure also that you have a copy of your resume. You may also need to access your resume and other documents in your computer file, so you’d better open them in a separate window beforehand. You also have to open your mailbox and having it running just in case your interviewer asks when you sent your application. To make sure you won’t be missing any details of the interview, it is best to have a pen and paper at hand.


What is the right demeanor?

During your Skype interview, for instance, you may have the tendency to exaggerate your facial expressions and hand gestures because you know the distance between you and your interviewer. This should not be the case, though, and you should act just like how you would in an actual conversation. You should keep eye contact without necessarily looking at the screen. Speak loud and clear enough so that your interview will not have a hard time understanding what you are saying. It would also not be a good idea for you to keep staring at the notes or your career change resume beside you because this could make your interviewer doubt your preparedness.