Posted by: Meghan Orner
Especially in today's world as technology rapidly advances, employers are conducting digital interviews instead of meeting with applicants in person. Although this can be more convenient with no travel required, a two-dimensional interview makes it much harder for the applicants to connect with the interviewer since they are not in the same room. But as digital interviews become increasingly popular among employers, it's essential that you learn how to make this type of interview work for you!
In order to successfully prepare for a digital interview, the first thing to consider is the quality of your camera. It is important to ensure that your camera provides the professional image required before, not during, an interview. To do so, simply practice using the camera with a friend to make sure everything will run smoothly during the real thing. The setup of the camera is also important. Eye contact is key during a digital interview, so be sure that the camera is at eye level so you can look directly at the camera, not just at the screen.
The background is another important element to the digital interview because you do not want anything to distract interviewers from the main focal point: you. Backgrounds should be bland and neutral, and the easiest way to have a professional background is to purchase a large poster board. The other option is to reserve an Interview Room by contacting the Career Center at 301-447-5202 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Most digital interview software like Skype require a username, so be sure to have a professional username and picture so you can make a great first impression with employers – even before they see you in the interview.
Although you are talking to the interviewer on a screen, it is important that you talk to them, not at them. By talking to them as you would if you were having this interview face-to-face, it will be easier for the interviewer to connect with you. You should always maintain good eye contact with the interviewer. By avoiding eye contact you appear to lack self-confidence, and it actually distracts the interviewer from focusing on what you are saying. Don't forget that you are on the air throughout the entire interview and that everything you do will be perceived either positively or negatively by the interviewer.
A final thing to remember is to always wait five minutes before shutting down your equipment. Although this type of interview can be stressful and you're glad that it is over, don't rush away from the camera. Wait until the interviewer's computer is shut down, take the time to reflect on how the interview went, and congratulate yourself on completing a digital interview!