By Sunny Simon

     My client Ally phoned the other day. Judging from the level of excitement in her voice, I could tell something positive was on the horizon. After exchanging pleasantries, she announced a recruiter scheduled a live video interview with the HR Manager of a company on Ally’s target list. She had never done a video interview before, admitted to being camera shy, and asked my advice.

     I could empathize with Ally, live video would not be my preferred method of introducing myself to a potential employer. Like it or not, it is used frequently by companies to connect individuals face-to-face without the hassle, or expense, of trying to get everyone in the same location at the same time. It also gives hiring managers a bird’s eye view of the candidate.

     How do you ace an interview when you cannot reach out, shake a hand and breathe the same air? Begin by leaving nothing to chance by doing a dress rehearsal. Schedule a mock interview with a friend.

     Set up in a quiet space. Create the appropriate lighting and ambiance. Note the background. Perhaps a bookshelf or a plant, nothing too eye-catching that draws attention away from you, the star of this show. Close down other programs on your computer. Receiving Facebook pings during the interview would not be cool. Act like it’s an in-person interview, which means, dress the part and pay attention to hair and make-up.

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     As in any formal interview, do your homework. Find out exactly who you are meeting with, their title (look them up on LinkedIn to find out more) and their relationship to the position. Block out your calendar for the allotted time. Spend time reviewing the job description against your resume and make a list of questions you would ask if the tables were turned. Questions like, why are you the ideal match for this position?  If you are not asked that question, be sure to tell them why in your wrap-up.

     Do not start your answers with the word “so.” (That is my pet peeve.) It is so trite and unnecessary. Keep your notes neatly in front of you for a quick eye scan when needed.

     Remember to smile and be yourself. A little humor, where appropriate, is always welcome. Don’t be robotic, beside your intellect and experience your personality is on display. Show your enthusiasm for the position and the company. Ready? Take a deep breath. You can rock this. Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at www.raisethebarhigh.com

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