So, you’re looking for a job and a pandemic is happening at the same time. Searching for a job is already stressful and the added weight of a pandemic increases the emotional distress. I always say that looking for new employment is like taking on a second full-time job. As someone who has been on the job hunt since 2020 here are some tips for conducting socially distanced interviews.
Test Your Tech
Make a good first impression by making sure your camera, and audio is working before you join your call. Practice using the camera on your desktop or laptop to see if you need to make adjustments to settings or change the positioning of the screen. Verify that your wifi connection is strong to avoid losing connection during the interview. If you’re using a laptop be sure to keep it charged to circumvent possible low battery shutdowns.
Find out which program or application is being used to conduct the interview. Sometimes you’ll need to download an app and waiting to download five minutes before your scheduled meeting isn’t a good decision.
Technology issues happen, but if you do everything in your power to avoid them you will be better prepared for your interview. I suggest testing your technology a few days before your interview and again an hour before.
Joining a video call can be a more personal interaction especially when the background is your home. There is a different feeling when meeting someone in a conference room, and speaking from a home office. Strangers will get to see another side of you or see other parts of your personality based on what they can view behind you. Make sure everything that can be seen in the background is professional and appropriate.
Make sure the location you will be interviewing in is quiet and void of all distractions. Test the lighting to make sure you can be seen clearly, but steer clear of light that is too bright and washes you out on camera. Natural light is great, but cloud coverage can negatively impact the lighting. Turn the camera on your computer and test different lighting setups to see what works best. The goal of a remote job interview is to be SEEN and heard.
Dress to Impress
While you’re comfortable at home this does not mean you shouldn’t dress for the job you want. Fully dress in business casual or business professional attire. You never know if you need to get up suddenly or need to grab an example of work, people don’t need to see your pajamas.
Research the company – Both parties should have questions during the interview. Keep a list of questions based on the position, workflow, types of projects, and information that directly relates to the company. Show that you have looked into the company.
Don’t fear asking interview questions. – Seriously, don’t be afraid to ask “Why do you like working for _______?” or “What makes ________ different?” This is another way to learn more about the company as well as show that you are interested in joining the team.
Follow Up – Thank you letters and notes are still appreciated. This is another way to drive home that you are interested in the job as well as an opportunity to add information you may have missed during the interview.
Interviews can be exciting and sometimes stressful. However, once you have begun to practice and interview more you will ace your next job opportunity.