Video has quickly become the favored platform for all communication. According to Fast Company, TED Talk videos have been watched over one billion times to date, and over four billion Snapchat videos are consumed every single day. But video isn’t just transforming our personal downtime and social media; it’s also transforming the business world. Forbes recently published its first-ever list of highest-paid YouTubers—a sign that the video category is here to stay and will likely only become a larger part of our lives. The job interview process is also being tremendously affected by video. Skype interviews have quickly replaced the phone and, a lot of the time, in-person interviews, given that more and more employees are remote. Scroll below to learn how to ace your next Skype interview.
Courtesy of The Honest Company
We love how this video of The Honest Company co-founders Jessica Alba and Christopher Gavigan is conversational rather than professorial. Alba and Gavigan are clearly prepared for their on-camera interview, but they deliver The Honest Company’s message in a relatable, human way. Rather than blast the home product industry from an outsider’s perspective, Alba relates the origin of The Honest Company to her struggle with finding chemical-free products during and after her own pregnancies. The way both Alba and Gavigan smile and convey their genuine passion for their company endears them to the viewer. We believe in their product and their business plan because of the way they have enveloped us in the company’s story.
Paint your interviewer a picture with words. While this is likely not an interview question, the way Karlie Kloss answers the question “Do you like lasagna?” is the perfect example of using visual language that enables your audience to really see what you’re talking about. When discussing your career history and hopes for the future, use descriptive language like Kloss does and supplement with restrained hand gestures to embellish certain points.
Courtesy of NBC
During her press tour for American Hustle, Amy Adams gave this enchanting interview, and we think it’s a perfect example of how to stay composed and relaxed at the same time. Adams’s soothing voice lends a steady rhythm to her interview. Her even tone camouflages the rare instances when she fumbles over words, and her articulate, descriptive language is made human and relatable with brief moments of laughter and words like “doofus.” While we don’t advise using such lingo during an interview, we do think it’s important to convey a bit of your personality as well as your capabilities. We also love how Adams mirrors the meaning of her words in their delivery. For example, she slows her speech and her hand gestures when she says the words “deliberate” and “slow,” causing them to have a bigger impact.
Courtesy of Vogue
We know that an at-home Vogue interview isn’t exactly your signature Skype interview format, but we couldn’t think of anyone whose person and home look more “the part” than Reese Witherspoon. Everything from her well-tailored outfit and rose-colored lips to her immaculate home convey the Southern charm and Californian warmth that this Academy Award–winning actress-turned-producer and lifestyle guru is known for. Take a page out of Witherspoon’s book and make sure you’ve spent time grooming yourself and the room in which you’ll be Skyping before you enable video. It’s always best to spend some time researching your prospective company’s culture and dress code so that you can look like you already fit in before the interview begins.
Courtesy of Glossier
Look right into the camera, be honest, and most of all, be articulate. In this Forbes 30 Under 30 interview, Emily Weiss seems sophisticated, knowledgeable, and confident. Of course, those qualities don’t often appear out of nowhere. It takes practice to hone an articulated pitch about yourself and your interest in a company. In a job interview, you have to be able to handle the unknown with grace and poise. If you’ve spent a lot of time practicing the answers to typical and not-so-typical job interview questions, you’ll be more prepared to answer any query that comes your way in an articulate matter. Best of all, when you practice talking about yourself (but not memorizing a list), you sound prepared, not rehearsed.
In this interview with Marie Forleo, Arianna Huffington captivates our attention with her enthusiastic hand gestures but remains still enough not to distract us. We think we can learn something from Huffington’s mindful movements. In most on-screen business situations, you will be in a close “three-button” shot, meaning your shoulders, neck, and head will be all that is visible. Know where the camera is, practice before going live so you always know that you are in the frame, and don’t be afraid to make moderate movements.
Courtesy of Glamour
Birchbox co-founder Hayley Barna does a great job of conveying emotion without being overly gestural with her facial expressions. She talks about her career path and the evolution of Birchbox in a way that makes you believe she is reliving those experiences while conveying them to her interviewer. In order to add spontaneous emotional expression like Barna does, think about a pivotal moment when you achieved a goal or struggled through a challenge. Reliving those experiences will cause your delivery to be perceived as more authentic.
Dress up your Skype interview space with some of our favorite desk accessories below.
Beyond Object Funno Pencil Sharpener/Paperweight ($95)
Maison Martin Margiela Beach Walk Candle ($60)
Nate Berkus Limited Edition Swingline 747 Stapler ($16)
Are you a video pro? How do you prep for a Skype interview? Share your on-screen tips with us in the comments.