Remember when interviews meant you woke up 3 hours early to get ready, study company background info and drive to a far location, arrive 30 minutes early, meet with an individual, answer questions for 30 minutes, and drive back home? It sounds like a lot…especially now that we just have to walk to our desks, turn our computers on, and click a link. Although the pandemic has caused a great deal of stress, it’s also made room for global improvements. We’ve become a more efficient species. Travel time isn’t a hurdle anymore and meeting in person is no longer imperative.
However, there is some confusion around virtual interview etiquette. Where should you do it in your home? What should you wear? What features should you be aware of when using Zoom? How do you successfully land a job virtually? We’re going to provide some tips to ensure that you crush your next virtual interview.
This may seem a bit obvious to some, but you’d be surprised how many people think it’s okay to conduct an interview from their bedroom. If you have a desk or any table at all, use it. If you have neither, there are plenty of organizations that allow you to rent workrooms for your preferred amount of time. Another option could be asking a friend to use a room in their home if you don’t have any space.
You want to remain professional and let’s face it, a bedroom is not that.
Yes, you should still dress up and here’s why: Although it’s convenient and comical to only get ready from the waist up, it doesn’t put you in a professional head space. Psychologically, you feel more prepared when you’re dressed to impress. That said, you are at home and you should be comfortable. Check out some of our fall outfit inspo here. (link to other article)
Camera Placement: By now, we’ve all seen the inside of at least one of our coworkers’ nostrils (but probably more). Don’t be that person. You can buy those cool laptop stands here (link) or just find a couple of shoe boxes in your closet to raise your camera level. It’ll look more like you’re sitting face to face and it will avoid any awkward angles.
Lighting: If you can, face a window. It will give you the best natural lighting. If that’s not an option, try your best to find the most well-lit room in your home. It doesn’t hurt to move a few lamps around. Don’t leave the hiring manager wondering what you look like because you couldn’t be bothered to brighten your space.
Background: We’re just going to give you a list of acceptable do’s and horrendous don’ts…
Sit far enough from a book shelf that you can’t read the books
Clean up the space you’re in
Upload a backdrop of your main room at its cleanest
Pick a wall with frames or decor
Sit in front of a blank wall (creepy)
Let your laundry stay on the floor
Pick a wall with mirrors on it
Select Paris or NYC as your backdrop
First things first, make sure all of your windows are shut. This is especially important if you live in a downtown area. The last thing your interviewer wants to hear are sirens or whatever chaos is going on outside. Make sure your microphone is turned all the way up. You want them to be able to hear everything you say clearly. When you’re not speaking, mute yourself.
If your WiFi craps out, don’t stress! This is the perfect opportunity to showcase your ability to problem solve. Before going into the interview, ask for a backup phone number to call in the event that there are any technical issues.
As for the rest, prepare the way you would for any other interview. Research company history, plan your answers to common questions, and enjoy the fact that it’s even a tiny bit less stressful because you get to do it from home.
Happy Job Hunting!