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Job Interviews: 5 Ways to Fail a Video Interview

Companies are starting to interview via Skype and other video tools like never before.  Here are things to avoide in a video interview to ensure a successful result.

Webcam Video Interviews

Webcam Video Interviews (photo by Raymond Fruseth Gangstad via Flickr/Creative Commons)

1.  Dress–  Just because you can work at home in bunny slippers doesn’t mean you should do the same for a video interview.  Dress just as you’d dress for a face to face meeting.  Dress your best.  Suits for men with white shirts and conservative professional dress for women.  You can always become more casual over time, but never are able to remove the image of the “My job sucks” tshirt you wore to the video interview.

2.  Environment-  You shouldn’t go into a face-to-face interview with your ringer on carring your 2 year old.  Same goes for video interviews.  Lock down the doors, turn off the ringers, clear the styrofoam cups off of your desk and be respectful. 

3.  Roaming Eyes–  The streaming video of yourself is distracting.  Prior to the meeting, get familiar with the software tool you’ll be using.  Roaming eyes during the interview say, “I’m not taking this seriously and I’m not that interested in your company.” Don’t do it.  Know your way around the software prior to the meeting by practicing with a friend, if it’s your first time.  Minimize the streaming video of YOU and only have the video of the person you’re meeting staring at you.

4.  Not Showing Serious Interest–  Nothing says, “I don’t care,” like NOT taking notes.  I’d raise up my pad on which I’m writing, shove it into the camera and say, “Pardon me, but I will take some notes during the meeting, if you’re ok with that.”  The interviewer will be delighted.

5.  Not Closing the Deal–   Remember, employers get most excited about people who seem the most interested.  If you want the next date you have to ask for it- Ask for the Face to Face Interview!  Ask for the meeting in a way that works for your personality.

I’d love to hear funny video interview experiences.  What other recommendations do you have for us?  Have you survived one?