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How To Ace That Virtual Job Interview

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Dress for the job you want, not the one you had

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The pandemic has definitely changed our everyday lives and toppled over what we thought was usual. Who knew that the day would come when working from home (WFH) would be considered the new normal? 

While most of us are going about our work-lives adapting to this new normal, there are many who are seeking new opportunities!

If you’re applying for a new job and need to have a virtual interview with the bosses up top, then you can’t afford to dress like you normally do or sit on your bed lounging. You may not be going to the office for that interview, but you HAVE to make an impression to get that job. Aishwarya Mane, Assistant Manager Recruitment, Randstad India has a thing or two to say about virtual interviews: “Knowing how to pour coffee at home for yourself is unlikely to be a useful skill, but knowing that you pour it in a nice mug in front of the guests without spilling conveys a collective skill of recognising trifling standards and performing simple tasks with great devotion to element.”

Mastering your virtual interview is your gateway to the company. Here is Man’s Life’s guide on how to ace it.

A FEW THINGS FIRST

▶ Be Prepared: Just because the interview isn’t happening in person, doesn’t mean that you do not do your part of researching about the company you are interviewing for. It is easy to believe that one can look up answers since it’s virtual but that is a major sore point. Prepare yourself to have a natural conversation about the company or the position you are applying for without stopping to read through an answer that you just Googled.

▶ Test your Tech: If it’s a Zoom or Google Meet interview, there is a definite chance that they would want to see your face. You cannot go about looking pixelated and doing a mike check after you’ve logged in!. So that you do not get rejected before you even start the interview, check all the technology you need a day before. Make sure your camera and microphone are working, you have high-speed Internet and have all the necessary software downloaded. Fifteen minutes before the interview, sign in and make sure you are all prepared to impress the hell out of the HR! 

Avoid Distractions: Find yourself a quiet spot devoid of noise and other distractions in the background. Avoid sitting on a sofa/bed! Tidy up your designated WFH space and use a desk. It can get hard to find a quiet spot if you have a house full of people. So, inform your roommates or family members well in advance to avoid interruptions and distractions! 

Body Language Is Key: You are not there in person to give your interviewer a firm handshake. Then how do you let them know that you are a confident and an enthusiastic person through a screen? By sitting up straight, smiling and maintaining eye contact by keeping the camera at your eye level so you don’t look up and down! Remain poised through a question you weren’t expecting and answer with confidence and without muttering. Use your body language as a key to creating a rapport with those on the other side of the screen. Win them over with your confidence!

DRESS FOR SUCCESS

All of the above can’t save the day,  if you decide not to dress as you would for a walk-in-interview. Mane says, “I remember during my stint as an HR with a company, I was interviewing a candidate virtually for a tech role.  All he cared about was to crack the interview and get back to his work again. To make matters worse, he wore an Arsenal jersey with shorts with his hair tied into a messy bun! It seemed as if he was being interviewed by a journalist, just before a football match.” It’s great to be comfortable, but not at the expense of being careless.

MAN’S LIFE STYLE TIPS

How you dress for an interview tells the interviewer a lot about yourself. So, here are some pointers from us to you.

1. Know the Company Dress Code: Research the company dress code before you sit in for your interview. Having an idea about what you should wear gives you ample time to pick out the outfit and convey that you know exactly what you’re signing up for, starting from how you’re expected to dress for work!

2. Dress From Head To Toe: You can easily slip into lounging mode when you WFH, but sitting for an interview isn’t the same thing. Mane recollects, “Another case of laziness we encountered and also sheer embarrassment was when this guy we were interviewing decided to sit in his underwear for his interview assuming that the bottom half wouldn’t be seen! He forgot that he was sitting in front of a full-size mirror. The reflection left nothing for our imagination. Oh, the horror!” We firmly believe that one should dress not only from the waist up but the bottom half too! Yes, you even have to forgo wearing slippers/sandals and wear dressy/formal shoes! Keep it formal, crisp and simple: This will only add to your confidence and motivate you to perform even better. Power dressing is a game changer! 

3. Wear Colours That Suit You: Pick neutral hues that complement your skin tone the best! It’s best to avoid bright and jarring colours. If you wear glasses, adjust the brightness so that it doesn’t glare on the screen. Prior to the interview, wear your clothes and check how you look with the light around you. Make sure not to merge with the backdrop!

4. Grooming: The barbershop may not be open, but your unruly mop of hair is not going to cut it. Make sure to dust off that trimmer/razor and shave that stubble or beard. Use a hair gel or pomade to style and set your hair in place. 

In addition, don’t be afraid to ask questions to the interviewer. Or to follow up with the company. You’re all set. Good luck!

 

[Image Credit: Shutterstock]

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