As social distancing looks to be the “new normal” for the foreseeable future, job-seekers may be facing some anxiety when it comes to the next step of their employment process. In 2020, we’re no strangers to applying to jobs online, so that part of the process has been all but unaffected by the shift to digital. Even first-round interviews, for many large employers, are often conducted via phone or Skype/Zoom. This all was taking place long before the quarantine began, but is now extending into second/third round interviews, and all communication between employers and potential hires.
So, now that your upcoming interview is virtual…how do you crush it?
- Maintain professional dress. Yes, you can technically work from home in your jammies. However, when it comes to interviewing for a professional job, you need to look the part. Not only will dressing professionally leave a better impression on the interviewer, it will help you to be in the right headspace.
- Make sure your background isn’t distracting. While you may be proud of your collection of Funko pops or excited about your wall of travel photos, interviewers want to focus on you…not your background. Find a neutral background that will not cause unwanted distractions during your interview.
- A quiet place. Yes, it’s a great movie, but it’s also key to keeping your interview professional. Along with a distracting background, minimize any audible issues that may cause the interview to go off track.
- Digital etiquette. Do your best to be in a room with the strongest internet connection possible. Email your resume to the interviewer prior to your meeting time. Make sure your camera is at an appropriate height and that lighting in the room is adequate to see your reactions and facial expressions. When speaking to the interviewer(s), look into the camera’s lens, as that will come across to them as making eye contact. Speak at a moderate volume and in a clear voice. If there are any technical issues, be sure to maintain professionalism and communication to the best of your ability.
- Rules still apply. Though your interview may now be at home rather than in the company’s office space, all of the normal interview protocols still apply. Be sure to do your research on the company and the position prior to interviewing. Have a copy of your resume handy to refer to. Write down questions you want to ask the interviewers at the end. Speak at a moderate pace, refraining from using excessive fillers such as “like” or “um”. Answer the questions in a calm and controlled manner, just as you would if the interviewer(s) are sitting in front of you.
Take a breath, plug in your laptop, and do your best! You’ve got this!