These are undoubtedly strange and uncertain times; the recent Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has already caused immense change for everyone, Optimized Career Solutions included. Many industries are switching to online platforms in order to stay safe and practice social distancing. And, if you’re either looking for a career change, in between jobs, or in the worst-case scenario, find yourself laid off, you might find yourself scheduling remote, virtual interviews.
One thing that helps bring struggling communities together is everyone doing what they can with their unique resources to help others and that’s part of Optimized Career Solutions, too. More than anything, we are looking for ways we can contribute to the job market and offer our own tools for success. That’s why this month we will be focusing on remote work, starting with today’s blog about virtual interviews.
Here are 5 things you can do to nail a remote interview:
- Find the Right Place and Create Space
Live alone? Great! But if you have roommates or a family, the first thing you should do is make it clear to them that this upcoming interview is very important and that you’ll need space and privacy during that time. Ideally, you can find space in your apartment or house where there will be no interruptions.
This should go without saying, but when you do find your interview space, look behind you and see what your interviewer will see when he or she interviews you. Background clutter is unprofessional. If you have to remove items from the space, so be it; it will only be temporary! Your background should be as clean and neutral as possible. Do not invite your interviewer to make assumptions about you or your personal life. Business only.
- Test out the Technology and Then Test it Again!
Not only are technological disruptions annoying, but they’re probably one of the biggest worst-case-scenarios for a remote interview. Try to anticipate any potential issues and take care of them beforehand. This could mean closing out any and all unnecessary tabs on your browser, apps, turning off notifications, and making sure your laptop is fully charged. Make sure the software you’ll be using is up to date and that your internet connection won’t be slow or laggy.
Whatever the platform you have, you should have access to your webcam without Skype. Open up a video of yourself and decide which angle you like best. Set up enough light so that you’re not shrouded in darkness but you aren’t blinding to your audience. If you’re on a laptop, you may even want to prop it up on some books so that you’re not looking down the whole time!
- Dress like it’s an In-Person Interview
Sorry, everyone: just because your interviewer can’t see the bottom half of your body, doesn’t mean you can get away with wearing a nice top with pajama pants. Although, to be honest, we think that’s a pretty funny visual!
Still, it’s true what they say about “dressing the part.” Getting fully into your interview outfit will put you into an interview mindset which is exactly where you need to be in order to land this job. In fact, even when it’s just a phone interview, we tell clients to dress up for the interview anyway. Dressing professionally will help you feel professional, which will reflect in the way that you act and speak. Your interviewer will immediately recognize you as someone who takes this opportunity seriously.
- Prepare Exactly as You Would for a “Normal” Interview
Not that we think you wouldn’t! But it’s easier to get trapped in a casual mindset than you would expect. Just because you won’t be able to physically hand over your resume, have it printed and ready at your side. You can still use it as a reference.
Do your research ahead of time and prepare yourself for any and all questions you can imagine your interviewer will ask you. Be also prepared to ask your own questions! And, coming next month in our blog, we’ll have insider info on just what your interviewer is thinking, so stay posted!
- Lights, Camera, Action!
Actually, before you even get to “showtime,” take as much time as necessary to settle your nerves before your scheduled interview. Practice some breathing exercises and even run through your opening lines. Whether or not you’re usually calm and confident during interviews, being on camera can still be awkward and nerve-wracking. At the very least, it’s not easy to see yourself the whole time. Do your best to look at your interviewer, instead.
Be sure to make eye contact, as long as you remember that looking at the screen is not eye contact. Over video, you’ll have to look directly at your camera in order to appear to be looking directly at the interviewer. You should also try and be just as enthusiastic and affable as you would in person. Remember: smiling goes a long way! It will help make you feel a little more relaxed, too.
Bonus: Try practicing with a friend or family member prior to your interview! This will help ensure your technology, lighting, and angles are ready to go before showtime!
Whether you already have an upcoming virtual interview or you’re trying to land one, Optimized Career Solutions is here to help. While you’re at home and practicing social distancing, we invite you to see the opportunities that lie ahead. You have more time now to become an even better version of yourself and to work toward those goals that you thought were out of reach. Get in touch and see how we can help you optimize your job search tools for the weeks and months ahead!
We know that this is a tough time for a lot of folks who may be going through layoffs or who may be reevaluating their careers while they are at home. We are now offering additional packages that are more affordable for the month of April for anyone who has been laid off due to Covid-19. Set up your free 30-minute consultation at go.oncehub.com/careeroptimization to discuss how we can help you get back to work as soon as possible!