Ace Your Online Interview | theSkimm

Ace Your Online Interview

Published on: May 26, 2020fb-roundtwitter-roundemail-round
Ace Your Online Interview
The Story

Firm handshakes are out. Well-lit Zoom backgrounds are in. 

But do I still need to arrive early?

Yes. Everything you’ve been told about in-person interviewing still applies, but with some fun additions.

Listening.

Great. Here’s your 101 on virtual interviewing

  • Get dressed. Wear pants. Just do it. And try to dress in line with the company’s vibe. If it’s a bank, put on that button-down. If it’s a tech startup, you can go a little more relaxed.

  • Know your angles. Make sure your background is clean. Back-lighting is bad news. So is the NSYNC poster hanging above your childhood bed. 

  • Practice. Download any necessary software in advance and do a practice round with a friend or a relative. Pay attention to eye contact, posture, and framing. Hint: your whole face should be visible but not so close that you’re staring into their soul. Make sure your computer is close to eye level (prop it up with a stack of books if you need to). 

  • Sell yourself. Have your resume ready, plus a list of top experiences and skills that are relevant to the role. In person, it’s more awkward to refer to physical notes. But on the phone or on a video chat, you can. Just make sure to make contact every once in a while. 

  • Ask questions. An interview is a dialogue. Always make sure you come prepared with questions. If you don’t have them, it looks like you’re disengaged with the company and position. Some smart questions include “How would you measure success in this role?” and “How would you describe the work environment?” While COVID-19 is ongoing, it might also be worth asking things like what the company’s virtual onboarding process is like or how it’s managed to maintain company culture remotely. 

theSkimm

Like any interview, preparation is key. For virtual interviewing that means checking your connection, sound, and set-up before go-time. Have a backup plan (read: make sure your phone is charged in case you need to switch to a phone call). And don’t forget that thank you note.


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