Approximately 3.9 million people in the world work remotely once a week and if you are hoping to join this group, then you had better prepare for a video interview. Once you know you will be interviewed via video conference, you should plan on making the experience seem as real-life as possible. Remember that even if you are applying for a freelance role, there may be other applicants in the same area as the company and these applicants may have the advantage of meeting recruiters in person. Of course, they don’t have to be in a privileged position if you take all the steps you need to give a glowing interview via Skype, Google Hangouts, or any platform chosen by your prospective employers.
Ensuring You Have the Right Equipment
You will need to have fast fiber broadband so that the conference call is conducted crisply and in real time. The camera you use is also key. Don’t assume your computer’s built-in HD webcam will make the grade. Record yourself on it first and see whether the picture quality is up to scratch. Issues like lighting and speed are key. If you have a handycam that you normally use to record live action events, there is no reason why you can’t use it for your interview, provided it has a USB streaming port. If your built-in camera isn’t up to speed and you make frequent video calls, you can buy a top-rated webcam for less than $80, with features such as high resolution, background removal, low-light correction, stereo audio and more.
Sound Quality is Key
Recruiters will be asking you all sorts of tough questions about your skills and experience, so you want to ensure you are calm and collected when answering them, and that means not having to repeat your answers or speak in a higher-than-normal volume so you are understood. Use a headset, which adds a rather professional touch, especially if you are applying for a job in communication. A wireless mic, meanwhile, will work great if you aren’t into visible headsets.
Getting Your Background Right
If your camera doesn’t have background elimination, make sure your background is professional looking and neat, and that it does not contain anything personal (like toys, food, or any items that can make you seem less professional). Ideally, you should conduct this interview in your home office. If you are working from a non-professional looking room, consider hiring office space in a shared workspace for a day, or ask a friend who has a nice study or office to lend you their space for the small time frame that your interview lasts.
Dressing the Part
Don’t make the mistake of dressing too casually just because the job involves working from home. Research has shown that first impressions count to a dramatic extent, and that means you should dress the way you would if you were carrying out the job in your target company’s office. A suit always looks professional but you may not necessarily have to dress so formally. A good way to find out more about the dress code is to check out the website and social media pages of the company. If the company is in a creative sector, for instance, more color or individual designs may be the norm. If the job is in finance, on the other hand, you probably can’t go wrong with a suit and tie.
Remote work is on the rise the world over, and this means that you can look forward to more than one job interview occurring via Skype. Prepare for it by ensuring you have a quality webcam or handycam, and test for sound, lighting, and speed in the days leading up to the interview. Finally, remember to dress the part and don’t forget to record yourself beforehand to ensure your body language is where it needs to be.