7. Update Your Arrival Time
Per Meier, “With in-person interviews, I always recommend arriving ten minutes before the start time. However, with virtual interviews, you should be online and logged in so that you’re ready to request access to the room about three to five minutes ahead of your scheduled interview time.” If you ask to enter any earlier, you’re taking a chance that the person interviewing you is already there and is simply using the time to prepare for your chat, says Meier. “You don’t want to rush them to begin,” she explains.
8. Have a Plan for Interruptions
Sure, we’re all working remotely at the present time, which means distractions abound, but a job interview is the one time you don’t want to be interrupted. “Lock the door if you have to,” says Diane Baranello, a New York City-based career coach. “Don’t allow distractions like a family member, dog or child to enter the room while you’re being interviewed.” The same goes for street noise. “If there’s noise, like sirens, coming into your space, close the window. Every minute of the interview is precious time for making the best possible impression,” Baranello adds. No childcare? Tap a neighbor who’s been quarantining for help or, worst case, it’s a-OK to rely on a screen if you need it.
9. Don’t Forget: Eyes on the Camera
It’s the same as in-person interviews: Eye contact is key. But with a virtual interview, it can be tough to know where to look (and distracting if your face also appears). “Make sure when you are answering a question or speaking, you are not looking down at yourself on the screen but looking either at the person or directly into the camera lens,” says Meier. This is another reason you want the camera lens to be eye level. “Even if you have to stack your laptop on top of a few books, it makes it so you never appear to be looking down.” Stahl has another suggestion: “Consider taping something—say, a Post-It note with eyes—just above your camera lens as a reminder to always look at the camera.”