If it has been awhile since you have interviewed for a job you might be surprised at the hiring process that is used now. To save everyone time, keep traffic down and to test your tech savviness, hiring has gone online. Your chance to shine in person has been replaced by a chance to shine (and possibly be recorded) in the vast virtual world.
What can you do to show up and shine forth your best side? Just four things are needed Prepare, be on time, nail the technology and practice.
- Preparation – Prepare for an online interview just like you would an in person interview.
- Make sure you know where you are meeting and how you are going to get there even though it is in the virtual world. Keep any meeting id’s or passwords handy and make sure your computer or phone are charged so you won’t run out of power at an inopportune time.
- Dress the part. Research the company’s dress code and dress up one level. Yes. I recommend dressing top and bottom and putting on shoes. Then you will feel like you are doing business and not chatting with your mom (although there is some benefit to feeling as relaxed and comfortable as if you are chatting with your mom). Wear a flattering color near your face that gets the message you want to share across. (blue is typically seen as a trustworthy reliable color while purple is seen as more creative and or more juvenile) Showing up ready to shine shows respect for yourself and the interviewer
- Have your notes and any questions you want to ask placed nearby for easy access. Have a paper and pen for note taking.
- Figure out where you will have the interview. This will have to be a place that is quiet, free from distractions and with good internet.
- Prepare your background. What is behind you should look organized and clean. An online interview lets the interviewer literally see into your home if you let them. A blank wall or one with some neutral photographs of nature or landscapes is the best. A pile of boxes and disorganized papers or dirty dishes is not. Some technologies will allow you to set up your own neutral background like a wallpaper behind you. This can be a good choice if it is hard to find neutrality in your home.
- Be on time – Give yourself 10 or 15 minutes to get set up and be ready to go online a few minutes ahead of the scheduled time. Close out all distracting windows on your computer or phone and turn off audio or visual notifications that might distract you. Don’t eat or drink during the interview and move any food or drink away from your interview space.
- Nail the technology – Explore the platform the interviewer will be using and download any needed software ahead of time. Test it out. Make sure your phone or computer camera, microphone and speaker can be accessed by the platform.
- In addition to the usual preparing for possible interview questions, practice interviewing on a video. It can be disconcerting to look at yourself while you are interviewing and using the camera and microphone to record yourself and play around ahead of time can be helpful to get comfortable. Find someone to practice with to see how you sound and look. Have them look closely at how you present yourself as well as evaluate your background and surroundings. Know where the camera is and practice looking at it to make eye contact with your interviewer. Play around with the best placement of your computer or phone for a flattering angle. Sit up straight. Practice smiling and being enthusiastic. Practice appearing relaxed and confident as well.
This extra time you take preparing for your first online interview will help you feel like a pro at online even if it’s your first time. Good luck. I wish you the best with your job search.
I now offer online interview personal image sessions to help you nail the interview and show your best stuff.