Can You Do The Digital Handshake?


can you do the digital handshake?
With the growing number of video interviews, there’s not a good reason to assume you won’t be asked to be part of one. Business video chats are not in the same category as a Skype or Google hangout because there is a level of professional behavior expected from all parties. Many business meetings are being held in a video conference, too, so these skills are going to be essential in most careers.
One of The New Secrets to Rocking Your Skype Interview that Scott Dockweiler gives us on The Muse is the “digital handshake.” This substitute for a physical shaking of hands is a way to show you are friendly, professional, and ready to get started. This is how you do the first impression successfully, laying the foundation for good communication during the rest of the meeting. Without that good first impression, the rest of the meeting is an attempt to overcome bad vibes.

Components of The Digital Handshake

  • Look at the camera
  • Lean slightly forward, shoulders & eyes focusing ahead
  • Nod your head in a slow, confident, deliberate gesture without breaking eye contact

Now I can hear some of you saying…”I’m looking at a camera! What’s the eye contact there?” You need to remember, in a video meeting that the camera is where you look when you are speaking. When the other party speaks, look at the screen, but when you speak, look at the camera. Some people use a photograph with a hole in it for the lens to put over the camera as a reminder.

Why A Digital Handshake Is Important

The whole video business meeting dynamic is inventing itself, and we are still seeing things change. But even a few years ago, global trends indicated that business and video conferencing were only going to increase. Since the use of video eliminates some of the geographic limitations, we are going to have to be prepared for some cross-cultural challenges along with the ordinary challenge of impressing a remote viewer with your professional abilities.
That simple nod and the body language accompanying it says you are ready to listen and contribute to the meeting — so it can start. 

How To Get Ready For An Online Interview


how to get ready for an online interview
There is a growing trend in job interviews: Using a video conference format that allows an employer to interview candidates from many areas without the time or expense of travel. While you do save on travel time and expense, it still will take some time, and possibly some investment, to be prepared for an online interview.
Prepare your equipment.

  • Is your microphone adequate or would a quality headset be better? The sound is going to be very important, both to hear your interviewer and for you to clearly be heard.
  • How is your camera placed? Generally, cameras above the monitor allow you to see your interviewer’s face while you are looking toward them, but a camera off to the side or below you will give the impression you aren’t paying attention, or worse, give them a look up your nostrils.
  • What is showing behind you? A chaotic pile of junk will not be a good backdrop, and light from a window, lamp, or adjacent room can cause glare.
  • Is your internet connection capable of the demands of a video conference? That’s a lot of bandwidth and data use, you don’t want to freeze, drop the call, or pixelate in the middle of impressing them.
  • It’s a good idea to set up everything and do a couple of test runs with a distant friend if you can. That friend can help you work out the bugs before the real call.

Prepare yourself.

  • All the interviewing tips you read will apply to an online job interview. The only difference is in the technology being used.
  • Dress appropriately. It will make a difference in how you act even tholugh they can’t see your fluffy slippers.
  • Do your research and be ready to ask and answer questions.
  • Be ready about ten or fifteen minutes before it starts, and don’t forget any time zone differences!

Your ability to be as cutting edge as your potential employer is a good sign that you will be able to fit into the corporate team. Even if you don’t get this job, you will be ready for the next online interview request, and that is probably going to happen soon for an active job seeker!