Employers are increasingly using Skype and other electronic media to interview and interact with candidates from across the country and around the globe. Virtual interviews are often seen as a more effective way to establish rapport and assess a candidate’s fit with an organization than phone or email interviews.

Our team has conducted hundreds of virtual interviews and have compiled a list of tips to help candidates maximize the effectiveness:

Manage your electronic brand

Make sure the images and messages you have set on your Skype or electronic address are professional in nature. While friends or family members may appreciate a picture of you lounging on your last vacation, this may not be the ideal first impression to make with a recruiter or potential employer.

Test your technology

A trial run with your technology in advance of your interview can prevent wasted time and bad first impressions.

Check your background and camera angle

Position your camera so that your full face is visible and align the camera so that your gaze will allow you to make eye contact with your interviewer. Check your lighting and make sure there are no personal items in the background of the frame that will be inconsistent with the professional image you want to project.

Dress the part

While you may do your Skype interview from your living room, remember that it is a professional meeting. Dress as if you were meeting in person.

Have a back-up plan

Virtual interviews can be effective and convenient, but there is always the risk of a technology glitch. In advance of the interview or at the beginning of the interview, suggest a back-up number to use if the technology fails.

First impressions are important so take the time to ensure you make a great one.