Lessons from the Jetsons: Skype Interviews

jetsons videophoneWho would have believed that the Jetsons’ prediction of video calls 50 years ago would have been spot on? Or almost.  Just like George would talk to his boss Mr. Spacely, we now have Skype Interviews and video meetings. Although video interviews are not quite as second nature as they were in the Jetsons’ home, you can follow these tips for video interviewing like a pro.

Help out the house like Henry Orbit.

The Jetson’s house is always illuminated thanks to their maintenance man, Henry.  To begin preparing for your interview, look at the lighting in your space.  You want to make sure you’re not a shadow to your interviewer.  How can you avoid shadows?  First, maximize the use of natural light by positioning yourself near a window. You can sit facing the window, or to the left or right of it to optimize that natural light.  Second, turn on lights in the room and move them so that the light fills in the darker spaces.  If you want to do lighting like a pro, use a softer light aimed toward your face, a backlight to add dimension to your space, and fill lights to balance the light on either side of your body.

Rosie the robot keeps a clean house.

While you probably don’t have a nice robot named Rosie to clean your house, it’s important that your interview space looks clean.  Remove any clutter that can be seen on camera as well as anything that could distract your interviewer from you, including possibly offensive decor, a television, or window on a busy street.  Keep the interview focused on you and your skills.

Jane Jetson looks good on camera.

While Mrs. Jetson may pick out the latest gadget to make herself look good on camera, you can look good with just a few simple tricks.  Be aware of the distance you sit from the camera.  You want to feel natural as well as be seated at a similar distance as you would in an in-person interview. Showing your head and shoulders is a good rule of thumb for camera placement.  It is also helpful to leave room in the shot to keep your hand gestures visible. However, don’t overdo the hand gestures.

Be smart like Elroy Jetson.

Intelligent, 6-year-old, Elroy would never forget to fully charge his computer.  Avoid a disastrous mistake—like stalling an interview to plug in your computer—by making sure your computer is fully charged and plugged in.  And, although Mr. Spacely did like to yell while on video calls, you shouldn’t need to. Make sure your Wi-Fi connection is strong to avoid communication snafus.  A helpful tip is to plug into an Ethernet cable instead of relying on Wi-Fi for your interview—these connections are usually stronger. 

Judy Jetson is up to date on the latest fashions.

Judy is a teenager who knows how to look and dress in any situation.  As with any interview, dress professionally and appropriately. In addition, there is one more aspect to consider for the camera: solid, neutral colors look better on screen.  Feel free to zest up your outfit with a pop of color but save the polka dots or striped print for an in-person interaction.  And Judy would never have an embarrassing handle like ILoveMyHovercraft62.  Upgrade your Skype user name to something more professional.  This will help you with a good “first” impression.  

Don’t overwhelm R.U.D.I.

George would never do anything to overwhelm his best friend and work computer.  Take a note from his book and close any other programs that might be open on your computer before the interview.  It could be more than a little detrimental to have a Facebook message stop you from listening to a question or take your gaze away from the interviewer.  Turn off all other devices.  You don’t want to be distracted by email notifications on your phone or tablet. 

We may be inching closer to the 2062 tech world of the Jetsons, but the basics of interviewing aren’t going anywhere.  Follow the traditional rules for success in your next interview while implementing these tips for a cosmic video interview.

More interview tips?

 

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