Follow this checklist for a stress-free interview.
1Dress professionally, all the way down to shoes.
When you’re working from home, most people will dress casually, or might sport the “professional shirt paired with pajama pants” look that seems to be the official uniform of 2020. But a job interview is a whole different ballgame.
You’ll want to dress a little more nicely than you’d dress for the job itself. And even though it won’t be visible on camera, go ahead and dress your best from head to toe. It’ll give you a boost of confidence that can make all the difference!
2Find a nice or neutral background.
If you’ve got a home office or professional-looking bookshelves in your living room, by all means, use that space for the interview. But if your options are more limited, find a neutral location for the video interview. A blank wall is much better than interviewers staring at your sink full of dishes or the basket of laundry next to the bed! While you’re at it, make sure you’re not sitting right against the wall but about 3 feet away, as it looks better on camera.
3Plan ahead to ensure there are no interruptions.
So many people are working from home these days that many employers have become accustomed to the occasional brief interruption from a pet or child. But a job interview is different, and you want to put your best foot forward.
That might mean planning to have your roommate take the dog out for a walk during the interview, or having your spouse or a babysitter take the kids out of the house for a while. Even if it means your kids get to watch a double-feature movie, find a way to focus on the interview free of distractions.
4Before the interview, take time to fully prepare the environment.
Job interviews are already stressful enough. The last thing you need to deal with is technological issues during the call! In advance of the interview, take some time to prepare by going through each of the following steps:
- Ensure your internet connection is stable.
- Check that your computer’s audio is working.
- Test your computer’s webcam.
- Close any unnecessary web browser tabs and applications.
- Silence your phone.
- Print your resume and have it in front of you, along with a pad of paper and a pen.
Of course, you’ll also want to go through the usual process to prepare for any interview, such as familiarizing yourself with the company, reviewing the job description and your resume, and thinking of answers to questions you might be asked.
One advantage to a video-call interview is that the interviewers can’t see anything off camera, so if you’re worried you might forget something, write it down on a sticky note and hang it up out of sight of the camera. That way you can glance at it for a reminder if needed.
5During the interview, pause a moment before speaking.
A disadvantage of video call is that it’s harder to see each other and read social cues. If there’s even the slightest lag in audio, it can be tricky to know when the other speaker is done talking. To avoid seeming like you’re interrupting, pause a moment before you start speaking, to ensure that the interviewer is completely done talking.
You’ll also want to look at your camera and not at the interviewer’s image during the call. It sounds counter-intuitive, but this gives the appearance that you’re looking directly at him or her, which makes a better impression.
These strategies will help you to be fully prepared for your interview. Best of luck!
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