Video and Skype Interviews are Here to Stay

Bill Rybinski
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Video interviews are becoming more common in the engineering industry because they save employers money without taking away a recruiter's ability to conduct face-to-face interviews. Skype makes it possible for recruiters to set up video interviews quickly and without having to purchase expensive audiovisual equipment, so it is one of the most popular video-interviewing platforms. If you are asked to complete an interview via Skype, here are some interview tips you should follow.


Video interviews have a lot in common with in-person interviews, but there are a few important differences. Career advisors from the Cornell University College of Engineering recommend that you avoid quick movements during a video interview. Such movements can distort the quality of the video and distract interviewers from what you are saying. You should also wear dark clothing, as darker colors will show up better on the interviewer's screen. It is important to speak clearly during any type of interview, but it is especially important during video interviews. Subtle changes in audio quality can make it difficult for interviewers to understand people who speak rapidly or do not enunciate their words.


Because success in the engineering field depends on your ability to think critically and solve problems quickly, the recruiter may ask you to participate in a challenge-based interview. This type of interview gives the recruiter an opportunity to determine how well you perform engineering tasks. If you are asked to perform a challenge task, be aware of how lighting, background noise, and other elements will affect the recruiter's assessment of your performance. If your task involves engineering diagrams, be sure to sit or stand some distance away from your computer so the interviewer can see the diagrams. To identify potential problems, you can practice your presentation with a friend before your scheduled interview.


Coming across as a professional is important for any candidate, but it is especially important for engineers. As an engineer, you have contact with project managers, purchasing agents, and outside vendors, so you must be able to represent your employer in a professional manner. If you plan to engage in video interviews, clean your desk and tidy the rest of your office. If you have anything on your desk that you would not want a recruiter to see, put it away until after your interview. Don't let a messy desk or the appearance of disorganization cost you a great engineering job.


The increasingly common use of video interviews has changed the engineering industry. If you schedule a video interview, ensure that your work area is neat and organized. Be aware of audio and video issues associated with video interviews so that you can make any necessary adjustments. Dress as you would for any other interview, as your video may be your only chance to make a good impression on a recruiter.


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