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Virtual Job Interview Tips

  • Charles County,St Mary's County,Calvert County
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We told you about the big SOMD virtual hiring event coming up on September 23. Dozens of companies are offering video interviews to fill hundreds of job opportunities. 

To help you prep for success, I asked Yvette Turner, Business Engagement Specialist for the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland for some tips on the do's and don'ts of virtual interviews.

Dress For Success

Turner told me that businesses seem to really like these video interviews because candidates are more relaxed in their home environment and it's easier to get a good feel for their real personality.

But she warns interviewees not to be too relaxed. Don't show up in your pajamas. "Dress for success, just the same as an in person interview."

You'd think that goes without saying but an educational professional related a story to me about about a college student who ate breakfast and took a shower during his online orientation.

While you might be able to skip the dress shoes or even the dress pants, make sure the parts of you that will be visible during a video interview look work-ready. 

Check Your Surroundings

Turner cautions candidates to be mindful of their surrounding. Turn off any background noise. Point the camera at a blank wall instead of a pile of laundry.

You wouldn't take your kids, spouse, or pets with you to an in-person job interview, so don't include them in the virtual one. 

If there's anything in the background that could be construed as controversial or offensive, either move it or point the camera somewhere else. "Even a room with lots of sports memorabilia," Turner said. "You never know if your interviewer might be an avid fan of the other team."

Position The Camera

Another important tip from Turner, "Make sure you position the camera to secure a headshot."

The interviewers want to see your face, not your chest or your chin or your forehead. Practice beforehand setting up a shot that puts your face squarely in the center.

You may have to place your laptop on a stack of books or something else stable to raise the camera to an appropriate heights.  If you're using a tablet or a phone, you may want to invest in a stand or a tripod that offers you the chance to go handsfree.

 

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