The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


April 19, 2013

Career Coach: Advice on Making a Great Virtual First Impression


Nonverbal Communication

Anchors who are quality communicators employ nonverbal communication tactics. They lean in and lean back. They use their hands, eyes and eyebrows. They smile. Anchors are often encouraged to watch video of themselves with the sound turned off. It's a great way to assess their nonverbal communication skills. If the interviewer could see you but not hear you, would your enthusiasm, passion and personality shine through? Use your nonverbal abilities.

Production Value

High-quality lighting, sets and audio are vital parts of every newscast. Make sure you have that covered, too. Adding a lamp in the right place or opening the blinds may give you the exact lighting you need. Avoid lights behind you. Eliminate distractions from your background. Most microphones pick up noise from around your office or home. So sit near the microphone or consider a headset. In addition, you might want to turn off your phone and ask someone to take the dog for a walk if you are interviewing from home.

Look Great

Position the camera so the interviewer sees a head and shoulders shot. Don't cut off your head. Give yourself enough room on the bottom of the shot for your hands to be seen when you use them. Avoid looking up or down at the camera. Raise or lower the laptop so it is directly across from your eyes.

No Interruptions, Please

The slight audio delay in virtual interviews can be unsettling. Beyond that, it's almost begging you to interrupt the interviewer. Give her time to completely ask her question before you answer. That will ensure a smooth conversation.

Jack It Up

Many anchors will tell you that cameras and microphones steal a little something from their delivery. The same holds true in a virtual interview. The technology chips away at your enthusiasm. It's very small but it's noticeable. So, remember to be up during your interview. If your enthusiasm level is usually a seven out of 10, make it an eight for your virtual interview so your personality and interest in the position come through.

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