SPEAKER’S CORNER: Are you ready for your video chat interview? Improve with these 5 simple tips.

By Pat Ferdinandi

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Not that interviewing in person or by phone isn’t challenging enough! Now, recruiters and human resource departments are using video chat! Skype and Google Plus Hangouts are a free resource for them to judge if they like you.

Don’t let video chat get you nervous. Video chat is a great way to illustrate your value and character and to earn enough trust to move to the next stage in the interview process. All you need to know is a few tips from the speaking and video trade to be the star I know you are.

Here are five of them:

Dress for success: Depending upon your lighting situation, you want to make sure you do not come across washed out or make the interviewer on the other end dizzy. Avoid white, red, and stripes. Make sure your top is ironed. Wrinkles create very obvious shadows.

Use a microphone: Audio is so important and often overlooked. Laptops, phones, or other device you will be using for the video chat will also pick up background noise or create a “large room” emptiness sound. Using a lavaliere microphone will enhance your voice, minimize the background noise and create a pleasant listening environment for the interviewer. You can purchase a cheap lavaliere microphone to hook into your device of choice.

Your audio will also improve when you have a well-lubricated voice. Avoid any caffeinated products before and during the interview as these constrict your vocal cords. You are better off having a cup of warm water with lemon.

Check your environment: What the interviewer will see is you and everything in the background. Take a spin around to make sure you do not have unhealthy snack bags or unpaid bills in the background. You will want to make sure you give a good impression of where you conduct business. Which reminds me…avoid holding your video chat interview in Starbucks!

Avoid showing your nerves: Everyone is nervous on an interview. Adding the complexity of a video chat interview increases your nervousness. As the old saying goes…don’t let them see you sweat. The most common giveaways that you are nervous are:

  1. Jingling the coins in your pocket. Remove all change before the interview.
  2. Running your hands though your hair. Pin your hair up or spray it with strong hairspray.
  3. Tapping of foot or pen. This includes the horrible “clicking” of the pen. Being aware will keep this no-no in front of your mind.
  4. The swivel chair. For the video chat interview, do yourself a favor: use a steady, non-moving, chair. Constant movement caused by the typical (often squeaky) office chair makes you look very nervous.

Practice: Google Plus has a video chat in two forms: a private video chat called a “hangout;” the other is public and called a “hangout on air.” The beauty of the hangout on air is that Google streams it directly to YouTube where you can review your practice within minutes after you finish.

  • Practice using different outfits and chairs.
  • See how you sound with the microphone placed in different places.
  • Make sure you are looking at the camera (for eye contact) and not the display. If you look at the display, you will seem as if you are looking down all the time (a sign of arrogance) instead of having direct eye-contact with the interviewer.

If nothing else, a few practice runs will help you feel more comfortable on your next video chat.

Fear not the video chat: embrace them! Encourage interviewers to do more of them. It’s a great way for you to connect with the interviewer. He or she will see how confident you look and sound and realize you are better than your competition.

Pat Ferdinandi is a YouTube Marketing Strategist who helps you increase your “search juice” and earn trust with business online videos. Download her killer video tips checklist to help you take your videos up a notch above your competition! Contact Pat if you would like to be coached before your next video chat. The improvement will be noticed and may land you your dream job!

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