Getting ready for an interview can be a stressful aspect of a job search. And now, with so many companies having moved to remote work, and with so many people looking for jobs in new locations, adjusting to video interviews can throw another wrench in this process. When you and your interviewers are just faces on a screen (and possibly thousands of miles away from each other), it’s important to make sure you’re ready for this particular medium. So, in addition to our general job interview tips, we’ve also put together some specific remote job interview tips to help you make a good first (virtual) impression!
Choose the right location
Even though the interviewer will only see a small portion of your location behind you, you’ll still want to be sure you’ve chosen a spot that’s free of distractions — both for you and for the person on the other end of the call. Find a spot that’s as quiet as possible, with as few other people as possible walking in and out, and have a calm, organized background behind you. This way, you can do your best to avoid interruptions and to be sure that neither of you will get distracted by what’s around you.
Test your equipment and troubleshoot any potential issues
You definitely don’t want to enter a virtual meeting and realize that your speakers aren’t working, or that your microphone is cutting in and out. Right before the interview, test out your camera, microphone, speakers, and internet connection to fix any possible glitches and ensure everything is running smoothly.
Dress as though you’re going to an in-person interview
Yes, your interviewer most likely won’t see very far below your shoulders (though that’s not always a guarantee). Even still, it’s a good idea to dress appropriately for the role to which you’re applying. Not only will it help make a good impression — it will also help you get into a career-focused, interview-ready mindset despite being in your living room!
Turn off notifications
As with an in-person interview, you’ll want to keep your phone on silent so that it doesn’t go off in the middle of the conversation. With a remote interview, though, there are a few other things to consider. Do you get texts and phone calls sent to your computer? Do you have any pop-up notifications enabled? If so, turn them off during the call so that there are no interrupting sounds, and you don’t have to worry about being distracted by messages appearing on the screen.
Look at the interviewer, not at yourself
It can be tempting to regularly look at yourself on the screen, to make sure everything’s in place and that you look alright. Nevertheless, you should be sure to keep your eyes on your interviewer. After all, you wouldn’t want to be constantly looking off to the side instead of maintaining eye contact in an in-person interview. If you struggle with staying focused on the right screen, try hiding your video from your view so that you can only see the other people on the call.
Be aware of your body language (from the waist up)
When it comes to video calls, it can be difficult to convey certain personality traits that would come across clearer if meeting in person. So, make sure to smile and use more positive facial expressions, and feel free to use hand gestures within the screen to emphasize your points. Display as much of your personality, energy, and enthusiasm for the role as you can inside that small rectangle!