Even if you’re secretly in jammy bottoms the usual rules apply – check your backdrop, look at the camera, and try to keep the room people and pet free!
Job interviews are nerve-racking and awkward at the best of times, but this can be magnified by the prospect of having to do it at home while hoping your pets or children don’t make an appearance!
Due to the pandemic, interviewing online has quickly become the new norm. Have you got a Zoom interview approaching? Check out these 8 points below to help you be prepared to interview like a pro (even if you are wearing pyjamas from the waist down!)
Know the interview details
Triple check the details – is it on Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams? Arrive early, but not too early – we recommend around two to three minutes before is fine.
Understand and practice using the technology
Make sure you download the software in advance and familiarise yourself with how it works. We recommend downloading the software on to another device and practice using it on there too just in case your first option fails! Ensure that your microphone and video settings are set to ‘on’ so there is none of that awkwardness at the start where the interviewer can’t see or hear you!
Prepare the interview space
Find a quiet corner in your home and think about what the interviewer is going to see. We recommend having a clear, uncluttered space - nobody needs to see that pile of washing in the background! Maybe put a nice picture on the wall behind you or sit in front of a tidy bookcase. Little distractions mean the interviewer will be focused on you.
If the lighting in your home isn’t great, try and sit close to a window or move a couple of lamps close to your setup. Having a well-lit space shows to the interviewer that you have a professional working environment at home and shows how you will interact with other colleagues within the organisation.
Dress to impress
It’s important that you make an effort with how you dress. First impressions are everything and if you are sitting there in a hoodie, it doesn’t show to the interviewer that you are either professional or enthusiastic about the role. We recommend ‘smart casual’, nothing with wacky prints, just one or two colours works nicely. Too many prints or colours can be distracting, which means the interviewer may be too interested in what you are wearing than what you are saying!
Remove the thoughts of being at home
Remember this is still a formal situation. Something to think about: if you wouldn’t do it in an office-based interview, don’t do it on screen! Have a clear desk, remove snacks, cups of tea, turn the TV off in the background and just stay focused on speaking to the interviewer. I know it will feel more comfortable interviewing in your home setting but make sure you treat this as a formal meeting – as that is exactly what it is!
Place prompts nearby
One of the benefits of Zoom interviews is that you can place prompts either around your laptop or on a wall in front of you without the interviewer knowing! Whether it is something in particular that you want to mention, or just a little smiley face to remind you to smile – these handy notes are great!
Treat this like a normal interview
Don’t forget about the things you would normally do in an office-based interview. Research the company you are interviewing for and the person interviewing you (head over to LinkedIn to help with this). Don’t be afraid to ask questions – asking questions is a sign of confidence and that you are genuinely interested in the job role.
It is always important to follow up after any job interview. A nice way to do this is to connect with the interviewer on LinkedIn and send them a message to thank them for taking the time to interview you and that you look forward to hearing from them.