Let’s face it: no matter how great your qualifications are, what wins you the job – or loses it – is your personality. When you’re sitting across a desk from your interviewer, they can read your personality through your body language. You have the chance to set yourself apart by showing them who you are as a person. When you’re just a face on a screen? No such luck.
But don’t despair: there are still ways to showcase your most important qualification. Read on to discover seven of them.
1- Dress for success
The dress code for online interviews is just like the dress code for in-person interviews. Wear your best interview outfit. Yes, all of it. Yes, including the trousers or skirt. You’d be surprised how often the webcam gets knocked, or you have to stand up for some reason, and you’re left standing there in your charcoal-grey blazer, impeccable white shirt, and jammy bottoms. Looking like one of those flipbooks you had as a kid will score you 0 points.
2- Do not get disturbed
Find a space where you can avoid excess noise or movement in the background (so not a coffee shop, for instance.) If you’re at home, ask everyone in your house to keep noise down as much as possible during the interview, and shut the door so kids and pets can’t get in.
Close any apps or websites that might distract you with notifications during the interview, and put your phone on silent, or turn it off altogether. This shows you respect the interviewer and their time.
3- Be prepared
Before the interview, think about what could go wrong with your tech setup. Make sure that you’re familiar with the platform being used (Zoom, Teams, Skype, etc.) Check that any logins you’ve been given work and that you’ve downloaded anything you need to download and tested it out.
Also check that your webcam, microphone, and internet connection are working. Oh, and make sure your computer is plugged in. The last thing you want is for your battery to conk out in mid-interview.
This is particularly important when you’re applying for a remote role. Having your tech under control will reassure the interviewer that you can handle the technical demands of remote work.
4- Interact with interviewers
You know you need to make eye contact during an interview, but that goes double when it’s a remote interview. Remember that doesn’t mean looking at your interviewer’s eyes on the screen – you need to look at the webcam. Do this especially when the interviewer is talking, to reassure them that you’re listening. Asking questions about the conversation and the role will show that you’re paying attention too.
Finally, remember to smile! Imagine that you’re meeting your future colleague, and you’ll make them feel that way too.
5- Show the real you
Be yourself as much as you can and be honest about your work experience. Plan in advance how to list the main points of your work history and tell engaging stories about them. Think about possible ways you could show off your skills on camera, if appropriate. For instance, how about showing websites you worked on via screen sharing? This is an unexpected upside of a video interview.
6- Show off your background… literally
You’ve probably heard that you should keep your background simple, professional, and free of any personal items that might not show you in the best light. But if you’re doing the interview at home, why not go one better? Consider creating an interest wall behind you that does show you in the best light. Add some elements of your personality, such as artwork, music, plants, etc.
7- Use the 30 minutes before the interview wisely
Right before the interview, spend 20 minutes going over the key points you want to get across. Then spend the last 5 to 10 minutes taking a few deep breaths, getting yourself calm and centered and putting aside any distractions so you can focus completely on the interview.