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5 Tips for a Virtual Interview

5 Tips for a Virtual Interview

Charles Purdy | Monster+Hot Jobs senior editor

3. Straighten it up.

Consider your background, and make sure it’s professional. You don’t want to start the chat on your Web cam and then notice that your unmade bed is in the corner of the shot. Position your camera so that an interviewer might think you’re in an office (sit in front of a bookshelf, for instance), find a neutral-color background, or find some other background that represents you as a professional in your industry. And make sure you have a copy of your resume and your portfolio (and so on) at hand.

4. Keep the cat out of it.

I participate in video chats all the time, and I often work from a home office — where my cat has elected herself as my assistant (she likes to help me type). If she shows up in the frame when I’m chatting with a colleague, it’s not a big deal. But when I do more-professional meetings, I close the door to Kitty. Whether you’re on the phone or on a Web cam, move pets and kids out of the area, and make sure the environment is quiet (no TV blaring in the next room).

5. Get an angle on it.

If you’re using a laptop at a traditional desk, your built-in camera may be positioned below your face. As any movie star will tell you, this can be an unflattering angle. A face-on view is better; setting your laptop on a couple of books might help. And pay attention to lighting: if you sit with your back to a very bright window, your face will appear as a dark blob; a light to the side can give you an overly dramatic, shadowy look. Muted sun through a window positioned in front of your desk (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) or a uniform lighting source will help you shine in the interview. (Test your setup with a friend before the big day.)

Want to know what else is new in job interviews? Check out the new Monster.com Interviews mobile app, which puts all the interview tools you need (from preparation, through the big day, to following up) right in the palm of your hand.

This article was originally published on Monster.com.

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