With so many of us working from home, online interviews have become the quickest and most efficient way to find new talent. Applicants don’t only have to come prepared; they should know how to create the perfect setting in their home environment. This includes ensuring they are in a secluded space with little to no other distractions.
Ideally, they should also make sure their equipment is working properly, and the mood is just right. We’ll look at some things to be mindful of when setting up an interview space in your home.
1. Organize Your Space
Whether it’s your home office space or your kitchen, the room you choose to have your online interview in should be as organized and as clutter-free as possible. This means, don’t put things in front of you that could cause distractions.
Make sure your desk is clean, your equipment is within reach, and your camera is positioned without any obstructions in front of it. An organized space might also calm your nerves so that you can perform at your best.
2. Log on Early
If you have the opportunity to log on to your interview a few minutes early, do so. This time will allow you to test that your camera and speakers are working before the interview begins. You can also use the time to practice what to say and to make sure you are in top mental shape. Online interviews don’t have to be daunting, and there are plenty of ways to create a stress-free remote interview.
3. Ensure Your Audio Works
Many people make a lot of common mistakes in a job interview. For example, there’s nothing worse than background noise and speakers that don’t work. If you happen to find yourself in a noisy environment, use headphones so that you can hear what the interviewer is saying no matter where you are. If you have gaming microphones, they can improve the sound quality of your call too.
4. Look at the Camera
Not only should you have an open, clean space between you and your camera, but you should also always make sure that you are looking your interviewer in the eye. While it is not real eye contact, looking at the camera and not at your screen will make it seem like you are speaking face to face. With so many ways to ace your online job interview, impressing the interviewer with your openness starts with eye contact.
5. Don’t Use Virtual Backgrounds
While it may be tempting to use a virtual background where you appear surrounded by pristine rivers and mountains, it is not a wise move. Your interviewer may think that you are trying to hide something, and it may make you look less professional. Not to mention that it may be very distracting for your interviewer, especially if they are meeting with you for the first time and want to focus on getting to know you better.
6. Choose Your Background Carefully
There are ways to stay focused during an online interview, but one of the most important things is to make sure that what you’re surrounded by doesn’t appear distracting to the interviewer. For example, if your background is cluttered with kitchen utensils or your bed is in the background, it might indicate to the interviewer that you don’t have a designated space to work at home.
Try not to sit in front of an empty wall, either. This will make your environment seem bare and uninviting. Use your background to your advantage: bring out your best qualities. Whether that means, having some books, plants, sparse decorative items, or neat office equipment that showcases your organized working space.
7. Have Decent Lighting
Natural light coming from the window is perfect for online interviews because it shows things in their normal color. If you already have plenty of natural light coming through, don’t turn the lights on. Overhead lights add a yellow tint to your environment and can wash everything out, including your face.
If it’s nighttime, and you don’t have any natural light coming in, try and avoid turning the lights on above or behind you because this will cause a glare. Instead, use a lamp close to you that highlights your face and gives the room a warm glow. Of course, test how you look before the interview starts to make sure that there are no shadows appearing.
8. Choose Neutral Color Clothes
Neutral colors are less distracting than bright colors like red, orange, or yellow. Choose colors that complement your tone, but don’t allow clothes to steal the focus from what you’re saying. Rather, choose an outfit that fits your personality but also your background.
9. Get to Know the Interviewing Software
The worst thing that can happen is that you click to start the video and realize that you still need to figure out how to use the software. Take some time before your interview to make sure that you downloaded the software and that it’s ready to use.
Not only should you familiarize yourself with the software, but you should also be prepared for technical difficulties such as internet connection problems and sound issues. Know who to call if the software stops working, or how to reboot your system if something goes wrong.
Prepare Yourself for Success in Online Job Interviews
Interviews are stressful enough as it is, but there’s no reason why you can’t set yourself up for success. This means ensuring that your home environment is perfect for holding online interviews. You need to feel comfortable in your space so that you can give it your best shot.
There are so many things that contribute to a good impression, and it is not always what you say, or how you present yourself. It is also about being prepared, feeling at ease, and making sure that your interviewer gets a positive glimpse of your surroundings.