There are 3 things you absolutely must not do at your virtual job interview. Thanks to COVID-19, virtual job interviews have increased exponentially in popularity. And don’t expect that to change when the crisis passes. Experts tell me that employers love virtual job interviews. The process saves them time and money. Plus, they feel like they get a better idea of who the job candidate really is.
I asked an expert in the recruitment field where job seekers can go wrong and came back with three definite DON’Ts. One was pretty darn surprising.
Keep It Too Casual
My expert told me that businesses love video interviews because candidates are much more relaxed. When you think about it, getting all dressed up, driving to a strange place, looking for parking, finding the office, and sitting around staring at a bunch of people who want your job is pretty stressful. You are bound to be far more relaxed at home. Just don’t get too relaxed.
Do not, I repeat, do not, show up in your pajamas. Dress for success. Treat the process exactly the same way you would an in-person interview. To quote Jeff Foxworthy, “You know they wouldn’t tell you that if somebody hadn’t done it.”
I’ve heard stories from business and educational professionals about people participating in interviews and meetings from the comfort of their bed. Even one take a young man who ate breakfast and took a shower during a group video orientation. Fix your hair, fix your face, and put on work clothes. You may be able to skip the dress shoes or wear shorts with your jacket and tie, but don’t show up looking like a mess and expect someone to hire you.
Whether your interview is for a corporate spot at a tech company or a cashier at Walmart, look your best.
Show Them Your Team Spirit
Take a good look around before you position that camera for the interview. If there’s anything that could be considered controversial or offensive, move it or move the cameras. Scantily clad posters, art with nudes, political items. You never know what’s going to turn off a potential employer. Even your sports memorabilia could irritate someone. So, you might not want to conduct the interview in your Ohio State or Pittsburg Steelers-themed room.
You’ll also want to watch the background noise and keep your loved ones out of the picture during the interview. You probably wouldn’t bring your pet or your kids or your spouse along to an in-person job interview. Try to keep them out of the way during the virtual process as well.
Point The Camera At Your Chest
If you want to look your best during a video interview, you must set up a decent headshot. Your face needs to be at the center of the screen. Potential employers want to read your face, not your chest, chin, or forehead.
Practice framing a webcam shot before the interview. I often put my laptop on top of a stack of books but you could use any stable object. If the interview is conducted via phone or tablet, consider getting some type of stand to stabilize the device and allow you to have free hands during the interview. Your arm is going to get darn tired if you’re holding a phone.
And remember to stay still. Don’t walk around with your camera in hand. You’ll make the interviewers dizzy.
Bonus Life Hack: Use a tall glass and just set your phone with a pop socket grip on the lip of the glass. Now, you are at the perfect level, the phone is steady, and you have both hands free to take notes.
Follow these virtual job interview tips and that hiring email will be in your inbox in no time flat.
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