Stefanie Studt

by Stefanie Studt | Business Strategy and Culture

We live in a digital world. Even before the impacts of COVID-19 and the current call for social distancing, many companies were already utilizing video conference interviews to meet with exceptional talent across the globe more quickly and effectively.

In light of recent events, it is likely that your next interview could be over video. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for an online interview.

1) Test your tech proactively

Interviewing is already nerve-wracking enough – don’t make it more stressful by waiting until the day-of to make sure that you are prepared. We recommend checking your equipment a few days before your interview.

Download any apps or plugins that you need (such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google Hangouts), and make sure that you have a professional username.

Check your internet speed, and make sure your computer’s camera and microphone are working properly. We always recommend wearing headphones during your interview which keeps your audio clear and helps the interviewers hear you better.

Make sure that your device is fully charged the morning of the interview. We recommend keeping your computer plugged in to avoid a battery outage.

At the end of the day, technology can still fail. If you run into any issues, let the interview scheduler know! It is better to show proactivity and bring up any issues before your interview. This way, they can help resolve or accommodate any issues you may be having without taking away from interview time. It is always a good idea to provide the interview team with a phone number to reach you just in case you run into any technical difficulties.

2) Dress the part

Although you’re at home and the interviewers can only see the top half of your body, it is important to dress to impress. First impressions are important, and since interaction is already limited, how you are dressed is the first indication of how serious you are about the job.

We recommend wearing solid-colored clothes and avoiding any stripes or flashy prints that could be distracting on camera. A good rule of thumb is to dress one notch above the company dress code. Here at Metric Theory, we have a relaxed dress code, so suit and tie is not necessary. We do however recommend a blouse or solid-colored shirt. And yes, nobody is going to see your legs (if they do then you are too far away from the camera!) so feel free to stay in those sweatpants.

3) Avoid any distractions

We get it, especially in a time like now, there can be a lot going on in the home. You may have roommates or animals that share your living space. It is important to try to find a distraction-free setting during your interview that is quiet, private and well-lit. If you can’t find a space that works, be upfront with your interviewers!

It is also helpful to make sure that your computer is sitting on a flat surface, and it is ideal to sit opposite of an open window so that it does not cast a shadow. Be mindful of your background and make sure that whatever is behind you is out of sight or tidy.

4) Be early!

This is a big one. Nothing sets a worse first impression (regardless of how well you dress) than if you are late to an interview – especially from the comfort of your own home. We recommend logging in five minutes early to do one quick test of your microphone and camera, and then wait until the interviewers join!

5) Look into the camera

It is easy to want to look at your own image or the face of the interviewer when on a video chat. However, it is important to keep in mind that depending on the angle of your camera, it may appear as though you are looking down or away. In order to seem the most engaged, make sure your camera is at eye level, and be sure to look into the camera when you talk.

Interviews, whether in person, over the phone, or on video, can be challenging. Make sure to practice and prepare, and hopefully these tips can help you get one step closer to landing the job you want.