Preparing for an interview can be intimidating, but online interviews can feel harder to conquer than in-person. It is okay to feel uncomfortable in front of a camera. Try not to be shy! You look great, and you are prepared to ace this!
Online platforms like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Microsoft Teams have helped employers change the interview process for the foreseeable future. With the help of these online tools, employers can look past resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles, and see what skills and traits you have to offer. So here is how you perfect this interview.
Check, Check, Is this thing on?
- Test out the video platform prior to your interview. Make sure you have an account created and are comfortable with the tool you’re using.
- Check your camera functions. Does it work with the online system you will be using? What does the space look like behind you on screen? A clutter-free background with great lighting will ensure you are in the spotlight. If space is an issue don’t panic. Platforms like zoom and Google Hangouts allow you to select a background. Be sure to make sure the background effect is clean and appropriate to the company you’ll be speaking to.
- Do an audio check. Make sure the microphone picks up your voice and that your speaker works properly. If you need to wear headphones make sure they work!
- Have a backup plan because things happen. Make sure you have an email address or phone number to contact the interviewer if your internet connection is on the fritz. Let them know about your situation and reschedule if needed or possible.
- Check your wifi! Is it stable and does it work with your tech platform? Is your tablet, phone, or computer charged or plugged in? These are definitely areas you can and should check to avoid problems on your big day.
Dress for Success!
- First impressions are important. Have you ever heard the saying a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, you are a LIVE image. Represent yourself in a way that speaks to your personal brand. We want you to feel your best so your outfit should align with the company that you're interviewing for.
- Research the company you’re interviewing for and learn the culture. If they require formal business attire you should dress professionally, but if you see the company repping a polo and jeans then that is acceptable. In the simplest of terms, dress appropriately.
- PRACTICE! Invest time in yourself and your future. Practice makes perfect, so try recording yourself and playing it back. This allows you to see where you can improve.
- Make eye contact with your interviewer and relax. Start with small talk like asking, How’s the weather or Where are you from? Take ownership of the interview and move it in a direction that is conversation-like. Read the body language of the person opposite of you and take cues from them.
- Confirm your interview date, time, and meeting link beforehand.
- Prepare a list of questions you want to ask. Have at least 5 questions prepared, but use your best judgment based on how many you get through.
- Send a thank-you note to your interviewer(s) within 24 hours of your meeting. Make sure if you are interviewing with multiple people that you send them each an individual email. Don’t just copy and paste the messaging, put thought behind your note and reiterate why you’re excited about the position.