3 Career Coach-Approved Tips to Nail Your Virtual Interview

These expert tips will help you crush your next distanced interview.

The Covid-19 pandemic has completely reshaped the ways companies operate which, in turn, affects their hiring process. Even when restrictions ease, many companies are expecting remote work to stay. So how can you impress a potential new boss during an interview from home? Career coach Sarah Vermunt shares how you can still impress your bosses without ever shaking their hand!

Applying for jobs right now, in a time of such uneasiness, has created two reactions. The first being that people are more cautious – and many are extremely grateful to still be working. Even if their job isn’t ideal, the fear of moving onto another job and being first on the chopping block in the event of lay-offs is making people hesitant. On the other hand, people have also become introspective and intentional; people are noticing what feels bad about their work even more than usual. This forced stillness is waking us up to what’s out of alignment. People are using this time to get clear and plan before making their move instead of panicking and applying wildly to just anything.

What should we keep in mind when being interviewed via video chat?

Tip #1 – The sticky note trick
You can easily be distracted by your own image. Put a sticky note over the portion of the screen where you see yourself so you’ll be less tempted to look there!

Tip #2 – Eye contact
Making eye contact is hard so you have to fake it. Look at the camera on your laptop or phone instead of the screen. That way when looking directly into your camera it will give the illusion of eye contact for the interviewer!

Tip #3 – Minimize tech issues
Make sure you have a full battery or you’re plugged in, in case it goes longer than expected. Second, make sure your sound notifications are off! The last thing you want is the sound of a Facebook messenger ding that can make the interviewer think you’re distracted and unprofessional. Another thing you can do is test your video call connection with a friend beforehand to minimize any hiccups during the interview.

Common video-call mistakes

  1. Pants!
    Wear comfortable but professional bottoms. Imagine your camera falls over and you have to get up unexpectedly? Avoid the awkwardness and just put pants on beforehand!
  2. Your room and background make an impression.
    Make sure it looks professional. Having a clean background that isn’t your bedroom will make you look so much more professional. Don’t use a weird virtual background, it’s distracting and looks like you’re hiding something.
  3. Crap lighting looks awful and is easy to fix.
    Sit facing a window when possible, or repurpose a lamp by placing it behind your laptop or phone camera to illuminate your face.

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