The pandemic has changed the way people work. Employees have no choice but to either have a staggered schedule when going to the office or just work from home. Remote work technology rose to popularity as companies looked for ways to make their operations as efficient as before, even if most of their employees had a work from home setup.
Unfortunately, these unprecedented events also left a lot of people unemployed. Sure, there are unemployment benefits, but they can only last you a few months. Not to mention that a lot of people still haven’t received their benefits.
If you’re one of those left without a job during the pandemic, you’ll have to adapt to digital methods during your career search. This means sending applications solely through job platforms like Glassdoor and Indeed and attending interviews through video calling applications, like Skype, Google Hangouts and Zoom, among other platforms.
Just because you’re doing it online, however, doesn’t mean that you should feel all homey and casual during an interview. In many ways, it’s still pretty much the same as its traditional, face-to-face counterpart.
Here’s how to constantly ace your online job interviews.
Create Your Own Interview Studio
While interviewers definitely understand and expect that your home will be the backdrop for your interview, you should still ensure that your surroundings look tidy and clean.
Create a make-shift home studio using the following tips:
- Locate the perfect background – You don’t want your background to be the cluttered closet and a blanked sloppily hanging over a bed. This mess can create a bad first impression for your interviewer. The chaos that is your room or living room may also distract your interviewers.If you want to look professional, you need to find a clean, neutral-colored background. A completely blank white wall is great. If you can’t find a suitable backdrop, you can always change it with the video calling application you’re using.
- Get the right lighting – You should do the best you can to get your scene well-lit so the interviewer can see your face in full. Get lots of light in, but not too much that it creates glare. One way to do this is to use natural lighting through your window. Make sure it’s shining in front of you, too. If you’re backlit, you may end up looking like a silhouette to your interviewer.
- Sit on a proper chair – Having an interview on your couch just looks unprofessional. Sit on a regular office chair or even a dining chair. Make sure it doesn’t take up the whole frame and it doesn’t creak at the smallest movements. These can easily distract your interviewer.
Make the Most of the Distance
What’s great about online interviews is that the other person on the line can only see a limited section of your surroundings. This means you can take down information, like your roofing license details or a summary of your work style, on post-it notes, and stick them onto a wall behind your camera. This way, you don’t have to do awkward pauses every time you forget a detail. Just make sure to glance at these notes sparingly, so you don’t end up looking distracted.
Both you and your interviewer should be able to focus fully on your interview. This is nearly impossible when your roommates or family members are being loud or making their way behind you. Although your dog or cat may be adorable, your interviewer probably won’t have the patience to deal with barking in the background. Do your best to get your interview done in a completely private space. If you have pets, make sure they’re fully-preoccupied outside your room, too.
Make Sure Your Gear is Working Correctly
You don’t want your interviewer to hear loud static every time you talk. It’s also embarrassing to receive a video call and your webcam suddenly doesn’t work. Make sure to test your equipment beforehand. Once you confirm that they’re working, try to see if they have any issues like microphone static or blurry webcam focus. If possible, try to set up a dummy call using another device or with a friend to confirm that every piece of your equipment is working as it should. Better safe than sorry.
Because of the current state of the world, you have no choice but to have online interviews for your job search. Just like traditional ones, there should still be a sense of professionalism when you’remeeting through the web. With a proper background, distraction-free environment, proper video calling equipment, and a cheat sheet, you’re all set to ace your next interview.