What a year it has been! In a world where being remote is becoming more normalized, I know many people were looking for new jobs this year with all the restructuring that has taken place. This is the one area that I get reached out to a ton by friends for tips and tricks in this new age virtual interview world.
So from the perspective of a manager who has been a hiring manager many times in my career, here are some tips and pointers for feeling good about your interview after its over.
If you have an interview that is in-person, you can read this post for tips!
BEFORE YOUR VIRTUAL INTERVIEW //
Obviously you want to get your head in the game heading into your interview calls, but here are a few things to consider when prepping prior to your login.
Be aware of noise in your home. Whether its roommates, a pet, kid, or your partner, you want to make sure that you are in a quiet space without distractions for you AND the interviewer. I recommend using headphones if you have them so that it cuts out some of the lingering static nose you get from using your computer’s speakers.
Position the camera. Find a place in your house where there is an acceptable background for you to set up in front of. Whether its a plain wall or office space, try to avoid places like sitting on your bed or your couch. Keep an eye on the lighting too. If there are windows behind you, you will most likely look like a glare on the screen. Another great option is to use a virtual background so that you don’t have to worry about it.
Know where your mute button is. Whether you are interviewing on Zoom, RingCentral or another video call platform, try to sign in early to test your buttons and sound prior to the interviewer joining. Use the mute between responses to help cut back on any background noise if you don’t have a really quiet space while the interviewer is speaking.
FOR YOUR INTERVIEW //
Dress professionally, as if you were meeting in person. I know that a video call can feel very informal, but don’t forget that this is an interview for a job. You want to make a good impression and dress accordingly for the role you are applying for. This sounds simple enough but I have had people show up looking like they rolled out of bed 5 minutes before.
Be on time. Make sure that you have already troubleshoot the tech you need to have this interview. Don’t try to do it for the first time if its not a platform that you use regularly. Join early. Test your options. Plus! some of the platforms alert the meeting owner that you have joined the meeting so they can see that you are ready to connect. Kudo points there!
Ask genuine questions. I cannot emphasize this enough. Though you are interviewing for a job as a candidate – don’t forget that you are also interviewing the company as to whether or not it would be a good fit for you too. Come prepared with some of the usual questions such as, ” What is the company culture like?” or “What is your favorite part of working at XYZ?” but be curious during the conversation and ask questions if anything the interviewer says peaks your interest.
AFTER THE INTERVIEW //
Thank You Note. Write a thank you note/email within 24 hours with something personal that you took away from the conversation to each of the people that interviewed you. If you don’t have their emails, you can reach out to the HR business partner you are working with to have that shared. Do not skip this step. Trust me, the teams check with one another to see if a note was received as a follow up post interview.
Follow Up. Post interview, if you have realize that you have more questions, do not be afraid to ask. Reach back out and clarify so that you feel like you are making the right decision if the team decides to move forward with your candidacy. Also feel free to reconnect with the HR partner to check on the status of your application from time to time.
Interviews can be stressful but if you take care of all the little things, all you have to worry about is showing your authentic self to the teams and letting the cards play out from there. Wishing you the best of luck with any interviews that you may have on the horizon.
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