As the year progresses, it is becoming increasingly clear that work from home and social distancing will be our new reality for a while. The days where we would get dressed up to go to a job interview and scope out a new company certainly feel far away. Video interviews are the new norm and likely will be for at least the foreseeable future. Which begs the question, what can you do to stand out on a video interview? Here are our top tips.
Before the Interview
Find a quiet and uncluttered corner of your home to take the call in. A thoughtful, put together real background is a bit more professional than a greenscreen background and can make a huge impression on your interviewers.
Communicate with your household before the call. Maybe this means making sure no one is overwhelming your internet connection, ensuring minimal background noise during the call, or simply making sure you aren’t interrupted. No one holds it against you if kids, partners, or housemates walk into a call or make noise in the background, but communicating with them beforehand can help you feel more in control and less distracted.
Make sure your spot has good lighting. This makes a huge difference on a video call. You want the interviewers to actually be able to see you. If you can- get a friend or a family member to log onto a video call with you so that you can arrange the background and lighting so you’ll know exactly what it’ll look like when you log on. Pro tip: if you don’t have extra lighting, Ring Lights are pretty cheap online and great for creating flattering lighting in any space.
Research the company and the interviewers. Do your homework and show up to the interview prepared with thoughtful questions.
For the Interview
Dress the part. We know it’s work from home and you’ll be working in your comfy clothes if you get the job, but aim for business casual for the interview. Aim to look professional and dress up in clothes that make you feel confident. The extra effort will make a difference.
Ask thoughtful questions that your interviewers will remember. Maybe ask how COVID-19 has impacted the future of their industry, what their transition to remote work has been like, or about recent events or press that the company has gotten.
Look at the camera, not your screen. It can be easy to look at the interviewers on the screen to see their reactions, but looking into your camera will give them the illusion of eye contact. When you’re looking directly at them on the screen, they won’t get that same impression. This goes for when they’re talking as well. Be an active listener! Smile, nod, and make sure they can see that you’re engaged.
After the Interview
- We can’t say it enough- you need to follow up with the interviewers after an interview. It makes a big difference. At the end of the day, just send them a nice thank you note. Thank them for taking the time to speak with you about the job and the company and say that you’re looking forward to hearing back. In our experience, this is a huge game changer in ensuring you hear back from them.
Mostly, interviews take persistence. You won’t always get the job. This is a remarkably hard time to be looking for a job. But keep showing up, bring your whole self to any interviews you get, and eventually, the right opportunity will find you.