As the coronavirus crisis carries on, many in-person events have become virtual. This includes interviewing for a job. While you may be apprehensive about applying for work in the current climate, mastering your remote interviewing skills now can help you excel. Here are five ways to help you dazzle potential employers.
Dress for the job you want
Researching the company culture — through sites like Glassdoor Opens in new window and The Muse Opens in new window or, better, through someone you know, even indirectly, who works there — can guide you on how to present yourself. This is doubly true for a remote interview, as you won’t be seeing your potential workplace and how people interact in it. Even so, you can play it safe by looking polished and professional. Essentially, dress just as would for an in-person interview. This apples to everything you wear — not just what will be visible on camera.
Set the scene
Even if you look sharp, a sloppy background could dash your hopes of landing the job. Make sure you join the video call in a neat and tidy setting, with plenty of natural light. If that’s not an option, keep a light behind your computer — not behind you — so you don’t wind up looking like a silhouette. If you can, try to sit for the interview in front of a blank wall in a quiet room. These days distractions — from kids, pets and tech — can be hard to avoid entirely. But most employers understand those challenges and likely won’t ding you if you keep them to a minimum.
Technical trouble can derail a remote interview, so make sure all your equipment and software work properly. Video chat with a friend or relative beforehand — preferably using the same platform you’ll be on during the interview — to ensure you won’t run into to issues once the interview starts. For example, apps like Zoom let you test your microphone sound level before you get on the call.
Look them in the “eye”
Maintaining eye contact is important for any interview — but not if you’re tempted to look at your interviewer (or even yourself) on screen. Instead, look directly into the camera lens. Looking anywhere else can make you seem distracted or even aloof. Also, avoid sitting too close to or far from the camera. Ideally, your whole upper body should be visible to the interviewer. Check out how you appear on screen and where to look when you test your equipment, and adjust things accordingly.
Keep a positive attitude!
It may be challenging to get “in the zone” for a remote interview, but it’s important to come across as enthusiastic, knowledgeable and confident (not arrogant). Even though you’ll be at home, act as if you were at the office. Show excitement for the opportunity and the experience you’ll bring to the employer. Make a lasting impression, and you might be on your way to Round Two — or even an offer.