If you’re looking for a job in 2015, chances are you’ll need to learn how to ace the digital interview.
With the rise of video calling, more people are comfortable with the idea of using a camera and microphone to talk. But digital interview expert Paul Bailo, of Stamford, Conn., says not to make the mistake of thinking you can handle a digital interview like you do a FaceTime or Skype call.
"So many people are now trained to use the technology and sometimes they treat the interview with too much informality, like they would a Skype call with a friend," says Bailo, author of "The Essential Digital Interview Handbook" (Career Press, 2014).
The digital interview should be treated with as much professionalism as a face-to-face interview. Bailo says interacting over the web in this context needs to be as close to an actual physical interaction as possible.
Your goals should be to land a face-to-face interview.
"When your camera and microphone have been turned off, you want your hiring manager to still be thinking about your interview, turning your skills over in his or her head and wanting to continue interviewing you for the opportunity," Bailo adds.
The process starts with investing in a good quality microphone and web camera. Discard the idea of using a built-in laptop camera or a smartphone camera for the interview. Bailo says a professional image is required in this competitive market. The best option is a high-definition webcam placed on a tripod in front of your monitor.
Beyond the camera, Bailo offers a few more tips to consider.
- Create a professional setting. You don’t want to wear your $2,000 dollar suit and conduct your digital interview in the kitchen with the refrigerator behind you.
- Prepare for a stellar introduction that should include a 10-degree nod, the equivalent of a digital handshake. Then, take the time to connect with the interviewers; don’t rush into the interview.
- Make eye contact with the hiring manager and give the correct social cues through your video camera. You must give them the opportunity to speak, to be heard and to be understood.
- Handle a blooper with confidence. Don’t spend too much time apologizing or explaining it. Recovering from a mistake can help you as it shows that you can roll with the punches.
- Address each interviewer by his or her first name. This enables you to show respect and keep the conference call organized.
- Explain why you want the job. You want to make sure the hiring managers know that you’re a perfect fit for the job and explain how you can help them solve their problems.