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How to Prepare for a Webcam Interview

How to Prepare for a Webcam Interview

Adoption of new technology by talent acquisition teams has led to some significant changes in how many companies interview candidates. Traditional phone screens have been replaced by Google Hangouts and Skype calls so the recruiter can gain a better understanding of the individual before deciding if they want move the candidate forward in the interview process. Webcam interviews are growing in popularity but since they are still a fairly new practice, taking the time to prepare in advance can greatly increase how well your interview goes.
Here are some general guidelines and suggestions to help you prepare for a webcam interview:

  • Use a hard-wired internet connection. Wireless is convenient, generally reliable, and a big part of our everyday lives, but there is a greater risk for choppy/interrupted audio or for the call to be dropped entirely. A hard-wired connection will eliminate potential network issues.
  • Use an external microphone or headset. It’s going to be very difficult for the interviewers to fully engage in the conversation if they are having trouble understanding what’s being said because of a poor internal microphone. Many quality external microphones and headsets can be purchased for $35- $75 – a small price to guarantee sound quality.
  • Test your lighting. Natural light works well for webcam chats so if your interview is during the day open up the blinds and let the light fill in the room. In the event that natural light isn’t an option, make sure that you have sufficient overhead lighting and that you test your light setup before the interview.
  • Do mock interviews. The social “cues” of a webcam interview are very different than an in-person interview. The strategy of arriving ten minutes early, greeting all coworkers in the lobby and beginning the interview with a smile and warm handshake is taken out of the equation. Learning to take an extra half second to make sure someone is done speaking, looking into the webcam when you speak (instead of the monitor), and getting used to wearing a headset are “soft skills” that take time to develop.
  • Eliminate external distractions. Many people live with family members, friends or pets and it’s important to remember that just because our loved ones share living space with us, they don’t need to participate in the interview. Dogs barking, children yelling, and background conversation can break the flow of an interview and kill momentum.
  • Have an appealing background. The background/backdrop can provide a lot of insight about an individual. If your backdrop for the interview is an unmade bed or a sink full of dirty dishes it can be distracting to the interviewer and detrimental to you.

These are the Perficient team’s picks for webcam interview best practices. Are there any you think we should add to the list? Please share them in the comment section below.

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Eric Osterman

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