Skype or Video Job Interview Tips from a Body Language Expert

When I coach my clients on how to prepare for Skype or video job interviews or a Skype media interview from their homes I give them this check sheet. 

·         Prepare your room. Turn on the camera and see what shows up on the screen. If there is a trashcan or a messy bookshelf clean it up.  Simplify your background.

·         Try different backgrounds.  If you have a laptop with a camera you can try different locations for the lighting and setting to make you look your best.

·         A lighting trick is to use only ONE lighting source if front of you that is set up behind the camera that offers diffused light that means a good shade.

·         Check your seating, and your camera angle. You don’t want look too far up or down it will age you and or make your face look distorted rather than symmetrical.

·         Make up is very important for women on Skype or recording. It’s not a very forgiving medium. Even men may want to use a little translucent powder brushed lightly over the face so they don't look sweaty on camera.
·         Make sure if you wear glasses that they don't have a glare bouncing off of them. Lens Crafters has no glare lenses for an extra 40 dollars.

·         Check your wardrobe. Check your wardrobe sitting down, pull your clothes down in front and in back so nothing rides up and make you look funny.

For women jewel tones like royal blue look good next to the face. Sleeveless dresses or with no more than three quarter sleeve look better than bulky jackets. For men make sure your shirt is crisp and the collar lays down flat.

·         Get your hair out of your face. If it normally falls into your face put it behind you ears or get it cut. When you’re nervous it is far too easy to touch your hair and push it back to calm yourself and it is very distracting.

·         We give ourselves little touches on our face, neck, hands and such when we are nervous. They calm us by alerting the brain to send calming chemicals. These are normal stress cues, we do them all the time but they increase during on camera interviews. Gesturing normally can reduce comfort cues. Don’t try to be still. If you have to have some place to rest your hands, you can also try practicing with your hands resting off camera on the keyboard if you are using a desktop screen camera or open on your lap off camera.

·         If you normally gesture don’t try to stop yourself for the interview. Gestures actually help us create and go down neural pathways in the brain. Gestures free up space in the brain and at times effectively “pull out file draws to memories” and can animate the voice giving it more variation, interest and emotion.

·         Tape yourself doing a dry run of your interview to check the sound, lighting and how you look.

·         Practice with someone greeting you and asking you questions while you look at the camera and answer to practice making eye contact with the camera. Preferably someone who isn't hyper critical.

·         The day of the interview do another dry run fifteen minutes before to check your connection, and sound.

·         Take a short relaxing walk before your. Walking syncs your right and left hemisphere so you can think logically and speak with emotion and dynamism.

·         You want your body to feel and look energetic. So move and stretch in a relaxing, smooth way before your interview. The brain creates chemicals to match how your body is moving or posed.

·         Breathe deeply once you sit down. Slow, deep belly breaths center you and supply lots of good oxygenated blood to the brain. Try putting a hand on your belly and breathing in slowly on three, holding for three counts and breathing out slowly on a count of three. Imagine the breath coming in and out through your hand into and out of your tummy.

·         Make sure you are entirely off camera and everything is turned off before you make a sigh, make a face or make a comment. You would be surprised at how many times that last look of someone saying, darn or some cuss word when they think they are “done.”

These tips for preparing for Skype job and media interviews are from my book SNAP Making the Most of First Impressions Body Language and Charisma and my media interview books.


Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.