Chances are, if you’re applying for a job right now, you’re going to experience some level of a virtual interview. It could be a brief screening interview, or it could be the full thing, but either way, you should prepare yourself for going through your next hiring process in front of your phone or computer screen.
We’re going to say it: Virtual interviews are super awkward. Have you actually tried looking into the camera on your phone or computer? No, because you’re looking at yourself. We do it, too.
Test your set-up
You don’t want to end up in a situation where you go to click the video conference link, and you have to download something – then your computer freezes, and you’re 10 minutes late. Yikes. Make sure you have the right apps already downloaded on your device, then give it a test. You can try setting up a test link with a friend, or you can kindly ask for a quick test with your potential employer. This also helps you make sure you have the proper internet connectivity to handle a camera-enabled interview.
Check your appearances
Just like a real, face-to-face interview, you should make sure you dress the part and look presentable. This goes not only for your outfit, but also your background. Make sure you have a clean background that’s not too cluttered, and be conscious of what’s visible on your camera (like flags or weapons).
Narrow your focus
Back to that awkward camera. It is what it is, and just tell yourself the interview won’t last that long. To help keep your attention towards your interviewer, try putting a small sticker by your camera – like a smiley face or even just a cut out square from a bright sticky note. Additionally, limit distractions in the space you plan on doing your interview. No TV, no radio, and turn your cell phone off.
Prepare your space (and “coworkers”)
Lastly, prepare your space and your “coworkers” (aka, your kids, your partner, your pets). Put a sign on the front door to reduce knocking or bell ringing, take the dogs out for a walk the hour before to get them good and tired, lock the door – or better yet – schedule your interview during nap time to limit the number of possible interruptions you may have.
Once you’ve considered these tips, make sure to remember the other interview tips our FastForward Career Coaches have mentioned which help prepare you for the interview itself.