Did you know that within the first 30 seconds of a virtual interview, the hiring manager will likely decide whether or not to hire you? Now, more than ever, companies are relying on Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts and other video streaming platforms to host their interviews. First impressions are key, especially virtually, because your mannerisms, personal appearance, and background setting of the interview will be taken into consideration by the hiring manager. That’s why this type of interview should be taken seriously and treated like an in-person, face-to-face experience. 

In this article, we’ll show you how to look good in a Skype interview, or any virtual interview, and the important steps you should take to impress your future employer. 


1. Dress as if the interview was in-person. 

Wear a neutral blazer, such as navy blue, cream, ivory, or black over a nice shirt. A blazer adds an elevated and tailored look while letting the interviewer know that you’re a professional and you’re taking this opportunity seriously. Style tip: Keep your makeup daytime appropriate, skip the dark eye makeup, and colorful lipstick. Add a pop of personality in your accessories, like a necklace or earring. Most importantly, be yourself!  


2. Make sure your username and profile picture reflect you in a professional way. 

Use your LinkedIn profile as a guide for how to showcase yourself in a professional way when it comes to choosing a profile picture. Additionally, your profile name should be your first name and last name, only. Leave nicknames for when you’re hired. Your profile picture should have natural or soft lighting and your face should be the main focus of the frame. Additionally, your photograph should be recently shot and updated every year or so. 


3. Find a quiet place for the interview and make sure you won’t be interrupted. 

Interviews at the office normally take place in a quiet room, where no interruptions are likely to happen. For virtual interviews, this is just as important. Try to find a space that allows you to be uninterrupted for the duration of the interview. The last thing you need is for someone to be talking, cooking, or making a loud noise while you’re trying to answer questions. 


4. Set up a professional background. 

Do not pick a filter background for your interview. Try to find a place in your home or apartment that doesn’t have much going on in the background. You don’t want anything distracting the interviewer from you when you’re talking. If your bed is in the frame, be sure it’s made, and all your clothes are put away. The saying goes, a clean home, a clean mind. This not only looks professional but in hindsight, can have a direct effect on your overall mindset and performance during the interview. Furthermore, you will want to pick a place that has good lighting.


5. Have a light facing you and not coming behind you, even if it’s from the window. Soft, natural lighting is the way to go. 

You really want to present yourself as realistically as you can, so the employer can really see your facial expressions and mannerism. Body language is crucial during the interview process, so lighting is important because it allows you to present yourself authentically. 


6. Maintain a pleasant facial expression during the interview and don’t forget to smile. 

One of the best courses you can ever take is public speaking. The first rule of public speaking is to smile and keep calm. If you get nervous, which most people do, practice breathing before you start the interview. Make sure you have given yourself 10-15 minutes prior to the interview time, to get mentally ready.

Walk through the research that you’ve done on the company and be sure to have your questions ready when it’s time. Being ready for an interview will exude confidence and you’ll feel ready for any questions they throw your way. When you feel confident, you’re likely to smile, because you know that you’ve got this! Smiling can really help ease the tension of a first-time interaction. Feel free to watch this video from Andy Andrews on how to smile while you talk.


7. Set up your camera so that your face is nicely framed. 

Giving yourself 10-15 minutes before the interview will allow you to test your camera, microphone, and frame of the video. Whether you’re using Skype, Zoom, or Google hangouts, checking your camera angle is something you can and should do for any virtual interview. Make sure your face is within 50-60% of the frame. 


8. Pay attention to your body language. 

As mentioned above, the hiring manager will be able to read your body language on camera. Be yourself and be professional. You can also practice before the interview, so you feel comfortable in front of the camera. Do your research on the company and the role you’re applying for at the company. This will help you feel prepared, which will make you feel confident and will help with your overall mindset and body language. 


9. Handle any technical glitches with grace. 

Things happen. Let it go. The way you react to adversity will give insight to the hiring manager for how you might handle difficulties on the job. If you’re curious, you can always research common glitches and then if something happens, you’ll know what to do! 


With these points in mind, you will be ready for your virtual interview! Presenting yourself, authentically, in good lighting and quiet space, will really contribute to the overall success of the interview. You might be nervous, but remember to smile and be yourself. You’ve got this! 

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