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Don't dress like a maniac on your next Skype interview.

8 Dos and Don'ts for nailing your next video interview

Any job interview is scary, but there’s something about a video interview that’s especially tough – choppy video and a via-satellite delay can derail the conversation all too easily. But with a little preparation, you can rock your Skype small talk.

Here are some dos and don’ts to consider:

Do have a plan B – most likely a phone call. At the outset, establish how you’ll proceed should your employer tire of staring at a four frames-per-minute feed. This will paint you as a proactive problem solver and allow the conversation to continue with minimal interruption.

Don’t take the video call anywhere with a problematic Internet connection. You don’t want any tech bosses believing you still use a modem.

Do your research regarding the workplace’s dress culture, even if that means asking your contact prior to the interview. Err on the side of overdressing, but if everyone wears t-shirts to work, you don’t need to rock a tux.

Do some brushing up on your video chat knowledge and apply your mastery to utilize different features – this could mean screen-sharing your portfolio so that you can lead the interviewer through your work step-by-step, or simply having links prepared to drop into chat.

Don’t have too much happening on your screen. If you’re hopping from window to window while you speak with the interviewer, they may think you’re not fully engaged. Keep hard copies of your résumé and any other notes in front of you instead, and look into the camera to simulate eye contact. If Morley Safer can still do it, you can too.

Don’t sit with a light source directly behind you, as shadowy figures are rarely appealing employees. And avoid a room with too much going on, either visually or aurally. That means no distracting decorations behind you, no loudmouths across the table, and no air conditioners that will sound like a jetliner when powering up.

Do have an alternative audio channel prepared, in case the acoustics of the room aren’t conducive to using your device’s built-in microphone. Headphones or an external microphone should do the trick.

Don’t lose your cool. Something will probably go wrong, but performance under pressure is important at any workplace. If you’re muttering curses because of technical issues, you’re going to look like someone who’s easily flustered.

Now go forth (and get connected.)


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