With social distancing efforts putting an unprecedented 42% of Americans working from home and another 33% unemployed, the days of in-person interviews are long gone – at least for the foreseeable future.
In its place have come Zoom meetings and Google chats, where candidates interview in a virtual setting, free from the pleasantries of handshakes and complimentary cups of water.
In this new age comes several new challenges, one of which is how to stand out in a virtual environment. Here are a few ways you can leave a lasting impression that helps you land a call
- CHECK YOUR CONNECTION
At least 30 minutes prior to your interview start time, make sure you have a viable – and reliable – Internet connection. Just like you would check traffic if you were driving to an
interview site, make sure your connection is set, at least to the best of your ability. That includes making sure your computer is charged and set up in an appropriate place in
your home or working environment.
- GET THERE EARLY
Just as with an in-person interview, you want to make sure you arrive early – but not too early. Showing up excessively early can be as detrimental as showing up late, especially
in a virtual environment. A good 5-10 minutes before start time to log in and get situated should be sufficient.
- DRESS TO IMPRESS
First impressions go a long way – in person and online. Make sure you dress in an outfit that’s a bit fancier than your normal work-from-home attire. Button-ups, for example, are
encouraged, as are jewel tones that work well with most skin tones, on and off screen. It’s also a good idea to dress from top to bottom – resisting the urge to only pay attention
to what’s in frame. Trust us – it’s worth it to be prepared!
- CHOOSE THE RIGHT LOCATION
If you have small children or barking dogs at home, the living room may not be the right place to hold a virtual interview. Before you set up shop, make sure you choose a quiet
location away from as many distractions as possible and lighting that complements your on-screen appearance (ie: avoid having a window behind you). You also may want to
choose a desk or table that encourages you to sit up more formally – not a bed or couch that’ll have you slouching.
- PREPARE FOR DISTRACTIONS
Try to schedule your meeting at a time of day that isn’t the busiest for your household, or make arrangements to lock yourself in a quiet place for the duration of your call. Attempt
to foresee possible distractions like the dog barking or car alarms going off, and take care of those beforehand. Put your pets in a back bedroom, shut the windows, and turn
your attention to your skills and your interviewer.
Now that you have a good idea of how to conduct your virtual interview, get started exploring open positions today.
-Haley Lewis, Senior Technical Recruiter