How To Stand Out In A Virtual Interview
Once you have your quiet corner with reliable internet picked out and a laptop charged and ready, youâre almost ready to wow your interviewer. But consider these things for the big dance:
- Look into the webcam! I know that might feel unnatural, but it will give the interviewer the sense that youâre making eye contact and paying attention to what theyâre saying.
- Donât move! Okay, so thatâs not entirely reasonable, but try not to fidget, swivel your chair, type on the keyboard, or leave the frame of the video chat. Itâs distracting and feels off-putting.
- Set any note-taking expectations. Taking notes during an interview is encouraged, but if you plan to type notes on the same device from which youâll be taking the call, let your interviewers know so theyâll know you arenât being rude or distracted.
- If something happens with the connection, be honest! Everyone understands that a video call can have some glitches, so itâs always okay to ask someone to repeat something because the screen froze temporarily.
- Have fun. Smiling, laughing, and showing youâre enjoying the video chat are absolutely encouraged.
Signal When Your Answers Are Complete
In the same vein, its helpful for the other person if you signal the end of your answer, especially if its a long one. You can do this through a visual cue like nodding or you can make sure you conclude your answer strongly or ask the interviewer a question. A long silence while your interviewer guesses whether or not youre done can be awkward over video, Eonnet says, whereas in person, its usually clearer that the other person is finished speaking.
Practice Your Video Interview Skills Ahead Of Time
If youre not used to video chat, you might find carrying on a conversation to be a bit awkward at firstespecially if you can see yourself as well. Setting up a mock video interview with a friend or career coach can help you zero in on anything you need to watch out for, Turner says. Maybe you have a tendency to look away from the camera or maybe your natural hand gestures are too low to be seen. Turner also recommends recording your practice. When you play it back youll notice if youre making eye contact, fiddling with papers, your posture is bad, she says. Then you can make adjustments accordingly.
Muse career coach Eloise Eonnet, who specializes in public speaking, presentation, and communication skills, stresses answering questions in practice the same way you would in a real interview, especially when it comes to talking about key pieces of your background. Dont say the names and numbers you need to say out loud for the first time in the interview, Eonnet saysyou dont want to get nervous and stumble over them or say something incorrect.
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Always Wear Professional Attire
Try to dress the same as you would for a face-to-face meeting with a prospective employer. Not only does this make you look more attractive in the eyes of your employer, it also makes you feel more confident, which in turn enhances your ability to perform well and answer video interview questions more effectively.
Its also important to ensure you coordinate your top and lower half. While your interviewer will typically only see your top half, you never know when an unexpected circumstance may arise that requires you to stand up or appear in full frame. Dont get caught out wearing shorts or worse, as this is will absolutely make a poor impression on your interviewer.
Start Off With A Digital Handshake
When you interview in person, theres a period where the interview has started, but it hasnt started. You and your interviewer are physically meeting, shaking hands, walking into the room, and sitting down. Even if youre not making small talk, theres still some time to settle in. For a video interview, this isnt always the case, so you need to focus on making an initial connection even more than usual, Eonnet says.
Try a digital handshake, she says. After you say hello, look right into the camera to forge a connection, do a small head nod as if to say yes!, and add a smile, which translates warmth and openness.
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Tips To Help You Dress For Success In Your Zoom Interview
While Covid-19 has brought with it the new normal of working from home, it has also brought with it the era of the sweatpants.
Yet, while its a rare day that sees you out of your joggers or pyjamas, one place where comfy clothes dont belong is during your virtual job interviewat least, where comfy clothes dont belong on your top half.
While you can continue to enjoy the comfort of working from home on your bottom half, your top half has to work twice as hard to make a good first impression over your Zoom interview. Thats why we put together these tips, so that you can put your best face forward while looking professional, appropriate and flattering for your virtual job interview.
Test Your Tech In Advance
Theres nothing worse than having technical difficulties during an important call. Thats why it is important to get familiar with Zoom, google meet, Microsoft teams whatever you are using before your interview.
To begin, download the app to your phone or desktop ahead of time. If youve never used any of these techs before, familiarize yourself with it.
When setting up your account, upload a professional-looking headshot and add your full name to your profile. Both will appear when you join the call for your interview and you want to lead with a good impression
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Mastering The Virtual Interview
Virtual interviews are becoming increasingly popular as workplaces continue to evolve to meet the needs of their employees. Professionals who are or will be navigating the job market are bound to encounter this new type of video meeting and should take the necessary steps to prepare themselves. Follow these eight tips to mastering the virtual interview, and youll be one step closer to joining the team.
This article was originally published in February 2018. It has since been updated for accuracy and relevance.
About Ashley DiFranza
Wear Your Hair Properly
When it comes to wearing “what” for a video interview, it is pertinent to mention that wearing your hair properly is also a necessity. Candidates often forget to do their hair before going live. Make sure you firmly tie your hair back away from your face, to avoid using hands all the time as a distracting gesture.
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The 5 Do’s Of Dressing For A Virtual Interview
Personal Brand Style Coach l Entrepreneurial Retailer l Brand Storyteller l Speaker
The global pandemic not only changed the landscape of how people work, but also how they interview for jobs. Today, interviewing virtually is now a common practice. But, like everything else, people have had to figure out how to transform the way they do things without much guidance- including virtual interviewing.
Thankfully over the past few months there have been resources to help job seekers navigate some of the complexities of virtual interviews. Some of the things learned are- ensuring that your technology is working at an optimal level, conduct the interview in a quiet space and be free of distractions, research the company and job ahead of time, come prepared with questions and finally dont memorize your story, instead practice it so you can engage in a thoughtful conversation.
These are all things that should absolutely be addressed in virtual interviews. However, the intricacy of virtual vs. in real life interviewing goes deeper than that. When youre not in the same office or interview space there are behaviors and nuances that could get lost in virtual translation. The ability to capture these nuances allows the interviewer to get a better sense of the interviewees leadership style and personality, which in turn helps determine if the candidate is a good fit.
Here are the 5 dos of dressing for a virtual interview.
Tips For Acing Your Next Virtual Interview
As technology continues to evolve, the workplace has been quick to follow suit adopting new innovations that save time and increase efficiency. In fact, fifty percent of employers surveyed by the Society for Human Resource Management said they use virtual interviews as a way to narrow their applicant pool. Video conferencing software, such as Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts, has helped recruiters reach a more diverse, global group of candidates, and offers a cost-effective way to screen prospective hires.
Due to current events like the Coronavirus pandemic and the sudden need to bring many positions online, virtual interviews have also become a necessity when traditional interviews cannot take place face-to-face. Many professionals are now working from home or pursuing new positions remotely, and the hiring process has become increasingly virtual as a result.
Mastering the virtual interview is often one of the first steps toward a follow-up interview and subsequent employment. Heres how you can increase the likelihood that an employer asks you to come in for round two of an interview.
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Why Your College Interview Attire Matters
Before discussing how to dress for a college interview, lets discuss three reasons why your clothing matters.
Like your body language and facial expressions, the way you dress is a form of non-verbal communication. By dressing well, youll show the interviewer that you take the opportunity seriously, respect their time and really want a spot in the incoming class.
Since visual elements play a large role in first impressions, you can be sure the interviewer is taking note of your attire. This is especially true during a virtual college interview since the distance makes other elements of connection impossibleyou cant shake hands, for example.
Dressing well is not just for the interviewers benefit. A professional and clean look helps you put your best foot forward. The way we dress affects how we feel and act, according to social psychology research. Studies have found that formal attire can help the wearer feel more confident and think in a more long-term mindset.
Youre going up against other candidates in this competitive process, and an unkempt appearance will set you apart for all the wrong reasons. So take the time to select the perfect ensemble using the tips below.
Should You Wear A Suit
This is a dilemma many men face when it comes to the video job interview. Some may argue that wearing a suit is an absolute must, while others may feel that it’s an overkill. Truth is, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to video job interviews it all depends on the organization that you’re interviewing with and their work culture.
Your outfit and level of formality should match the industry that you’re planning to get into. If you’re interviewing with a firm where employees wear suits every day, then you should definitely wear one for your virtual interview. On the other hand, if you’re interviewing with startups or other organizations with a more relaxed work environment, you can just go with business casual.
The idea of a video interview might sound scary if it’s your first time, but you can certainly ace it with sufficient preparation beforehand. For more tips on succeeding in your video interview, check out the articles below:
Avoid Wearing Too Much Jewelry
While it may be tempting to accessorize your outfit with matching jewelry, it’s best to keep your accessories at a minimum for video interviews. You should especially stay away from shiny jewelry that would catch the light on camera, as this would be very distracting to the interviewer or hiring manager.
Opt For Neutral Colors
Whether you dress for a formal or business casual environment, always opt for neutral colors when possible. Colors like black, gray, navy blue, white and khaki create a professional appearance without being distracting. To show visual appeal or demonstrate your creativity, try incorporating bold colors in moderation. For example, try planning a neutral outfit with a patterned shirt, a bold pair of shoes or a brightly colored accessory.
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Choose A Professional Handbag Or Briefcase
Choose your purse carefully and select one that is sleek and professional. Select a handbag in a darker color like black or brown, and if you pick leather, choose one that matches your shoes or other leather accessories. If you are planning to bring copies of your resume, portfolio or other documents to the interview, make sure they fit neatly inside. To protect documents, consider bringing a briefcase instead of a handbag.
Ditch The Striped Or Patterned Shirts
Your favourite striped work shirt might look amazing in person. However, on the camera it might create a strobing or flickering effect, which can be incredibly distracting for your interviewer. This is particularly the case if your laptop camera is of lower quality, or youre wearing a necktie with smaller diagonal stripes.
The main culprit here is narrow stripes, so opt for a shirt with a less distracting pattern or wear a plain shirt instead.
Try Your Outfit On Before The Big Day
As with any big event, youll need to try your outfit on before the big day. However, when it comes to video interviews, you should test your outfit on a call to see how it looks. A blouse or shirt may seem fine in the mirror, but when youre sat in front of a camera, the light may be unflattering and could even highlight the fact that your shirt is see-through.
How Should I Set Up The Cameras Background
Traditional job interviews are a contest of wills between a candidates desire to conceal their true qualities and an employers efforts to suss them out, through not-so-subtle questions such as What are your weaknesses?
Ordinarily, you can expect a little help from the law in this regard, since companies shouldnt be asking questions that hint at a discriminatory motivesuch as your religion or whether you have a disability. Some states also place restrictions on asking about criminal arrests and convictions before making a job offer.
Virtual job interviews upset the balance by revealing the contents of your home. This is fundamentally unfair in the interview concealment tug of war. Its not like your boss, let alone a potential boss, would show up at your doorstep and demand to see your apartmentthough Henry Ford used to send inspectors to do just that, in exchange for a pay raise if you passed the inspection.
You, dear prospective job applicant, are getting no such inspection bonus and therefore need not offer your interviewer a portal into your personal life.
That is why I use the Drake method for Zoom meetings. I set up my laptop to point at a bare corner of wall, as in Drakes Hotline Bling video. That way, I reveal nothing about my questionable interior decorating and life choices.
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What Colors To Skip For Your Video Interview
Though no color is technically off-limits in an interview, these colors have more negative connotations associated with them. Choose wisely, or skip them entirely!
- Brown: makes people think youre reliable and dependable but also old-fashioned
- Orange: unfortunately, orange has been voted the worst color to wear in a job interview
- Red: associated with power, energy, excitement, and courage, but also hostility and defiance
- Yellow, Green, and Purple: youre fun
While its OK to include some color in your interview outfit, think small. For example, consider adding a splash of color to your outfit and still make a statement without overdoing it.
Alternatively, you can think soft and choose light or pastel tones. For example, if yellow is your color, and it makes you feel confident and strong, by all means, wear it. However, choose a shade of yellow that is more like soft sunrise and less neon banana
Prepare Like You Would For An In
Just because your interview is happening over Skype , doesnt mean its not a real interview. Other than preparations to travel to the interview, you still need to prepare the same way you would if you were going into the office. That means researching the company and role, preparing to answer common interview questions, and coming up with questions to ask your interviewer in return. Your interviewer is still looking for someone they can see themselves working with and who is passionate and knowledgeable about the role theyre applying tobe ready to show them why thats you.
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What To Wear To A Casual Interview
If youre interviewing for a job in a creative field, like writing or graphic design, chances are youll encounter a much more casual interview experience, clothing expectations and all. Determining what to wear to an informal interview gives you much more fashion leeway, but, as we all know, that can actually make choosing the right outfit an even more challenging feat.
For a look thats playful yet put-together, opt for a statement blouse in a memorable print and a midi skirt with modern flare . A matching set in a classic print is also a great option especially if you want to think about piecing an entire look together.