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JANUARY 20, 2010

By SUSAN KIM

 


 

High Tech Job Hunt

 

Your next job interview could happen in your own living room.

As companies cut corners, flying people in for job interviews may not be an option.

But new technology allows job candidates to meet with managers face to face-- without leaving home.

Liz Markman knew she wanted to move, but she needed a new job first. Going back and forth for job interviews was a pain. "Traveling every single weekend, going on interviews, making all these phone calls," she recalled.

Liz was excited when a high-tech PR firm asked her to do something different for her job interview: use a webcam. The hiring manager, Meghan Cavanaugh, told us she loves using that type of cyber connection.

"You're having social cues, you're making eye contact, you're laughing, you're interacting with the person in the same way that you would face to-face," she pointed out.

Zappos.com has been doing webcam interviews for about a year. Don't have one? Not to worry, said Christa Foley, recruiting manager at Zappos.

"For people that don't have a webcam, we actually will send them out a webcam with a return label so we're not requiring them to go out and buy anything to do it," she showed us.

Kristin Colbert, a merchandising assistant at Zappos, actually got her job after a webcam interview. "I was a little nervous with the technology aspect of using a webcam for the interview."

So how can you make the experience easier? We asked Jeff Garber, the founder and CEO of 360-Jobninterview.com, a firm that specializes in training people for webcam interviews. His advice is to practice with a friend, and figure out the best camera position, lighting and background beforehand.

"Make sure that the background is clear, uncluttered. Don't have a messy bookcase in the background or a kitchen that is full of pots and pans," he advised. Also, make sure you're not in a noisy area, and make sure you dress appropriately-- as if it were an in-person job interview.

Jeff Garber said there have been some horror stories. "There was one case where someone had to stand up in the interview to

reach for something off a bookshelf and believe it or not, all they had was boxers on."

Liz prepped for her web interview, and she got the job.

"You don't necessarily get the opportunity to shake the person's hand or get that experience of sitting right across from them. But in terms of experiences and getting a chance to interact with the person you're interviewing with, it did a pretty fantastic job," she said.

The bottom line: prepare as you would for a regular job interview.

 

 

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360°WF IN THE NEWS

 

December 14, 2009
Webcam Job Interviews Growing In Popularity

 

January 20, 2010
High Tech Job Hunt

 

June 28, 2010
How to ace an online interview for a job opening