My previous experiences with video chat were limited to Skype sessions with my mum, in which we have competitions to see who can do the best impression of my toy sheep, and the scantily clad ladies 'near you', who pop up in internet ads, brandishing a frightening-looking sex toy. So, when I was offered a Skype interview for an advertising job, I was faced with a very different experience.
One problem that came into my mind was whether I should wear trousers or not. I admit it, sometimes I am actually put off the idea of leaving the house when I have to put the blasted things on. Wouldn't the world be a much better place if we could all merrily skip to Tesco in our pants without being arrested? Then again, I'm not sure I would want to see the teenage dirtbag (bum pointed skyward) trying to wrestle the last bag of Cheetos from the back of the bottom shelf in his no doubt holey briefs. Judging by my male friend's screech of disgust when I bought a pair of Tom & Jerry pants the other day, my choice of underwear would be equally scarring for the general public. Seriously, he made the shrieking, melting man in Indiana Jones look cool, calm and collected, and he didn't even see me wear them!
So, it was with a heavy heart that I picked out a pair of smart trousers to wear for the interview. After all, I couldn't risk standing up to shut my laptop and accidentally exposing my pants of apparent doom.
Now all I had to do was find a quiet place to speak to my potential employers from. This involved telling my flatmates that no one was allowed to burst through my door between 3 and 4pm, and that I would appreciate if they refrained from playing 'Bat Out of Hell' on the speakers that cause my bedroom floor to pulsate during this time period, too (thanks for your cooperation, guys!).
The interview process itself was a little different to the more traditional face-to-face arrangement. I actually had to do two interviews with the company, and in the first one the audio worked, but the video stream from their office didn't come through. Not that I minded, it was a nice change to have another disembodied voice, other than the ones in my head, questioning my career choices. In fact, one of the first questions in both interviews was along the lines of, "Don't you just want to be a journalist, not an advertiser?" As a graduate-to-be, I readily admit that am still considering my career options, but I would not apply for a job I don't think I would enjoy or be good at. Hopefully I managed to communicate that to them!
Anyway, I have another Skype interview with a different company tomorrow that I must go and prepare for. However, when I take a step back from my research, I realise that students today are confronting a very different interview process than their parents once did. No longer will the interviewer be able to see the beads of nervous perspiration form on your forehead (all hail pixelated images and bad internet connections). As a tech-savvy generation, it also something we should take to very easily. Nevertheless, we are more used to connecting with friends and families through technology such as video calling, so will it actually be a stumbling block? Will the too-casual student expose their underwear, and naiveté, to their interviewer? As Bob Dylan said, "The times, they are a-changin'" (and some think my taste in pants should, too).