Dear Lola*Cat –
I have been asked to interview on Skype for the first time, please tell me you have some tips for making a good impression on video. Cameras make me nervous and I don’t want to look like a dork talking into the screen.
Thanks for your help.
Dear Linus –
First of all, Happy Halloween! Did you know that I am known for my clever and continental Halloween costumes? Back when I was a slim kitty, I would pretend to be Italy and pose myself like the long boot shape with my head at the base. When my person passed by I would cough up a fur ball and voila! Sicily!
This year I am going to be Russia, because when I lie down I look exactly like the shape of the continent.
But back to your question and my tips to make your online interview a blockbuster smash hit, rather than a B list horrific fright-fest.
Scene 1. Take 1. Action.
Choose a quiet room with no background noise. If you have roommates or family at home warn them to stay quiet. A good feline screech followed by a blood curdling scream is always fun in a horror movie but you don’t want their yelling and screaming become the soundtrack of your onscreen time.
Not everyone has the impeccable decorating sense that I do, so remember to edit, edit, edit. Once your computer is set up look in the background and take away any distracting pictures or knick knacks, (one should never have knick knacks to start with). You want the interviewer to focus on you and not be horrified at the hoarding mess behind you.
Be on time.
Have your computer connected to the web site you are meeting on 10 minutes before your scheduled time. Give yourself plenty of time to scare away the monsters in the machine and sort out any glitches your computer may have starting up. Test Skype out with a friend or use the system test feature to make sure everything is working purrfectly.
Remember the rule in any good exorcism; ‘go towards the light.’ In this case, remember to ‘face the light’.
Always have your light source in front of you, and behind the computer camera. If the light source is behind you chances are the only thing on the screen will be a spooky shadow person, so unless you are interviewing for a haunted house company, choose flattering lighting without a lot of shadows.
Dress as you normally would for any interview. Just because you are at home doesn’t give you permission to wear your bathrobe and bunny slippers.
Follow this advice and your online interview will be an epic masterpiece of cinema starring you as the hero and not the sad girl who twists her ankle and gets killed off in the opening credits.
Now excuse me. My scratching post is calling. I have an itch somewhere around Krasnoyarsk.
Do you have a job seeking or office etiquette question for Lola*Cat? Send her an email: DearLolaCat@alanjblair.com