Prior to the pandemic, most professional interviews took place in-person. Preparation included knowing your route to the employer’s office, picking out professional attire that matched your intended company, and showing up prepared with your resume.
However, the traditional interview decorum has become more casual as many people have spent the past two years interviewing via video or phone call. The same level of interest and outward preparation that could be seen in-person is more difficult to gauge on the other side of a camera. Thus, hiring managers are making snap judgements about your motivation and interest in their company because they are unable to interact with you in-person.
We know that technical talent is in high demand and that companies are competing furiously to hire, but at the end of the day, every candidate needs to come interested and prepared to their interviews. Putting in the initial effort allows you to make a great first impression and keeps hiring managers focused on you rather than your cluttered workspace or noisy background.
Make your first impression count.
Prepare for your interview:
- Confirm whether it is a camera-on interview
- Prepare your space by removing any distracting items within camera view
- Research the company and the position
- Resend your resume or any other documents to your interviewing team just as if you were going to bring it to an on-site interview
- Silence or turn off any noisy appliance, phones, or TVs
- Select appropriate attire and follow basic grooming standards prior to the interview. If you wouldn’t show up to an office in a bathrobe, then it isn’t appropriate interview attire.
During your interview:
- Use blurred backgrounds in video conferences if you are not able to declutter your space
- Ensure that you are in a quiet area where you will not be interrupted
- Avoid multitasking, texting, or doing any other work during the interview
- Keep you undivided attention on your interviewers
- Express genuine interest and enthusiasm in the position
- Ask questions
- Avoid eating or drinking during the interview
- Follow-up with a thank you and any questions that are left unanswered
- Confirm next steps