A Ceridian study revealed that sixty-four percent of American workers are looking for new career opportunities, and with the pandemic still lingering, many will be participating in virtual interviews. While easy and convenient, they can also be stressful for those who don’t know how to properly set up a station that allows them to look their best. If you’ve got an important one-to-one coming up, don’t fret. We have put together an easy-to-follow checklist to help you make a great impression.
Check your location.
How is the lighting? What is in the background? Check for any photos, book titles and/or lifestyle indications that could give the wrong impression.
Download and test your technology.
There’s nothing more stressful than logging onto Zoom and getting an update notice 3 minutes before your big interview. Test the log in 24 hours before your meeting and then again an hour before.
Position your webcam.
Place your camera at face height (use books to lift your laptop if you need to). Light the front of your face by facing a window or placing a lamp in front of you. Lighting the back will cast a shadow.
Alert others in the home of interview time.
Headphones are not a great look for an interview so position yourself in a quiet space and let others in the household know of your interview times. Turn your phone off.
Wear color as webcams can cause a grey filter.
Avoid black and white, if you can, in order to brighten your face.
Do a practice run-through.
If you’re comfortable having a friend or mentor role play, do that, but if not, simply record an interview session.
Place two pens on your desk.
Once the interview has started, you don’t want to get up and walk around searching for something to write with. You want an extra pen in case the ink Gods get testy.
Have bullet points off-camera.
A note pad with key points you want to bring up and questions you want to ask will ensure that you hit all of your main points and will show you have prepared.
Do your company research.
As with any interview, you want to ensure you have looked through the company website (read the About page, FAQ’s and going through all pages). Look up all of the social media platforms and read the posts and research the leadership board, Glassdoor reviews and the LinkedIn profiles of those who will be interviewing you and those on the team.
Look directly into the camera, not the screen.
This is good to check in a recorded session or simply practice live before the call. You want to give the impression of eye contact.
Sit about a foot away from the webcam.
You know that terrible feeling one gets when the camera is turned around and you open up a smartphone and see a Shrek-like version of yourself? Don’t give that visual to the interviewer.
Do your best not to talk over the interviewer.
This can be so hard on virtual calls (thank you time delays and broadband issues). It’s better to have a second of silence than to be vocally pouncing on someone throughout the call.
Have a glass of water nearby.
Dry mouth is real.
At the end of the call, thank the interviewer for their time and the opportunity and reiterate your interest in the position (if it is there). Ask if there are any concerns they have and if you can clarify anything before ending the call. You can also ask about next steps.
Make sure to log out and shut down before leaving your sitting position, speaking to others, turning on music or making any noises.
You know the worst-case scenarios. They have happened.
Send a thank-you note immediately.
An emailed thank you note is fine. Just don’t forget to send it within 24 hours.