“It’s a trend we see across all industries because almost anything that is a service or a back-office function can be done virtually and for less money,” says Shilonda Downing, owner of Virtual Work Team LLC, a Homewood, Ill., human resources recruiter and staffing firm.
Virtual employers routinely use the phone and Skype to conduct interviews. But, says Downing, even brick-and-mortar firms are turning to video conferencing to save money.
“The same basic rules apply in terms of how the candidate should conduct themselves in a virtual interview,” says Downing. “Some candidates don’t take virtual interviews as seriously as they should. After all, the job they want is on the line. You may be at home, but you really need to make a professional impression.”
- Log on to the video chat a few minutes early, and make sure your headset or microphone is working.
- Make sure your Skype account has a professional username.
- Dress appropriately. Once you get the job, you may be able to dress how you like, but Downing says to treat a virtual interview like a face-to-face meeting.
- Present a professional environment. Candidates should make sure there’s nothing distracting or unprofessional in the background, and that peripheral noise is kept at a minimum.
- Don’t multitask during the interview. Recruiters can tell if your attention is elsewhere.