Companies everywhere are realizing the value of doing things virtually to save time, money, and energy, and the interview process is no different. If you’ve got a Skype or Zoom interview coming up, chances are they’re seriously considering you for the job – congratulations!

They want to meet you, and you need to know how to project your personality through that screen. Here’s how to get past awkward video meetings and put your best foot forward:

One: Make eye contact through the lens. One of the challenges of a video call is that you’re tempted to look at yourself or your interviewer. But that takes your gaze off to the side – so instead, look at the tiny lens as you talk, and then they’ll have the experience like you’re looking right at them. Keep your eye on that lens.

Two: Dress appropriately and look the part. I think it’s tempting to dress very casually for a video call, but it’s best to be just as aware of your appearance as you would be for an in-person meeting. Put on a great outfit, but also consider your hair, skin, and lighting – find a spot with great light and test your camera beforehand so you have a sense of how you’ll look. The goal, as with any interview, is to look your best and be yourself.

Three: Find the right background. What’s behind you on that video call will tell a story – and if your closet door is open in your home office, it might send the wrong message. Find a background that looks clean and professional, but also one that communicates something about your personality if possible. If you don’t want to give away your tiny apartment and show your personal belongings, a blank wall is fine. But either way, give some thought and ask yourself “what is the story that I’m sharing?” with my background.

These are my tips to feel GREAT about representing yourself on camera for that video interview – and if you do your pre-interview homework and preparation, the level of presentation on your video call will just amplify that!

Instead of feeling the awkwardness of technology, like it’s a barrier between you and the other person, you’ll feel empowered coming out of that conversation, and like you really connected with them – as if you were in the same room.

I hope you get the gig! And may the lighting be ever in your favor.

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