The Good Ole Days
You get a phone call or a letter from the company that you have been dying to hear from, you get your chance- you get an interview-for a job, to get into graduate school or to land an account or project. Soooo exciting. And to make it even better they have asked for a “phone” interview set up and they want to use Google Hangout or Skype.
If you have never Skyped or used Google Hangout…
This post will not be a tutorial on how to use Skype or Google Hangout, each application has great “Help” areas where you can learn how to do it. But one piece of advice is: NEVER make the most important call your first attempt at using a platform – practice on someone that knows how to use them and can walk you through it. You need to make sure you have all the settings on your computer correct, maybe have headphones and/or microphone handy. Does your computer have a webcam, do you need one?
Google Profile Picture
If you do not have a webcam, make sure your Google + Profile picture is what you want it to be for the occasion. Hangout pulls that image and if you are without a webcam, it flashes in the middle of the screen so make sure that photo isn’t one of you doing something that was funny when you posted it but not so funny now when you are going for the interview.
If you are using a webcam make sure what people are seeing behind your head or next to you is what you want also. This is an interview after all and that first impression is very important. Having the background of a dirty dorm room or something less than flattering is a bad idea. Test it. If it isn’t something you like, then either go somewhere that there is a good background or stage one.
If this call involves a job where you may be working with kids, perhaps the “sippy cup” with water in it is perfect. You can use this staging to market yourself too, is the company an outdoors company? Do you have a picture on the wall behind you of your favorite salmon river? (I do) It is easy to find some common ground with the interviewer or the company especially when you take a couple minutes to give them something pertinent to look at.
Just like you probably wouldn’t bring your children to a client’s office for a business appointment, leave them in the waiting room or bring them in the room with you, make sure they aren’t climbing all over you, this means your dogs too (especially in my case.) Turn down the music and focus on the conversation and the interviewer. TURN YOUR CELL PHONE OFF and don’t be checking your email. It’s rude.
Pretty Easy, Right?
I have been on more conference calls, webinars, etc. where I have seen all of these scenarios. You would think people would know better. When that person isn’t right in the room with you negotiating salary and benefits, they are still there and they can see a lot.
I found this post while I was researching. It is very good and has some helpful information, even though it is from 2012, it is still accurate and well written. (Disclaimer: I don’t know Michael in the business sense or personally.) He brings up some interesting points including ones about security on Google Hangout, it is well worth the read.
Thank you for reading.