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Interviewing in the Working from Home Era: Making it Personal while Keeping it Professional

Video interviews bring their own set of challenges and opportunities. In addition to the normal interview preparation that you’d put in, there are some extra considerations to keep in mind. We have four tips to make sure you come through loud and clear in a video interview.

Double check your details. The shift to online interviews multiplies the potential points of confusion. What platform is the interview on? Ensure you have the software installed and up to date to keep pace with the frequent improvements and patches released. Restart your computer to make sure it’s functioning at full speed. Enlist a friend or colleague to do a test call to make sure your camera and microphone are working with that specific program. Have the invitation and passcode readily available for the interview.

Dress the part. One of the challenges of a video interview is that it can feel less real. You can put on your mental game beginning with your wardrobe. Dress in your interview best—and not only from the waist up. They may never see your pajama pants, but wearing them will not give you a sense of poise. Being in professional garb all the way down to dress shoes helps you step into the experience.

Consider your background. One advantage of video interviews is that you can give a fuller picture of your personality. The space you choose to conduct your interview will give your interviewers insight into who you are. Normally an interview is done at the organization that is hiring. You play a hosting role in a video interview, inviting them into your home or office. A messy desk does not make a good impression of your competence. A blank, white wall does not show creativity or interest. You’re not expected to have a chic, top-of-the-line office behind you, but a little intentionality and thought can provide some personality without distraction. Perhaps you're an avid golfer and have a photo of your favorite course in your home office. That could spark a point of conversation with your interviewers.

Connect through questions. It’s always vital to come to an interview with thoughtful questions about the company and position. When participating in a video interview, give some extra thought to creative questions to ask your interviewers to build rapport. These questions open opportunities to get to know your interview and their current context. A question like, “what is your favorite way to connect with team members while working remotely?” shows that you value an engaged team. The question, “what is one of the strategies you’ve found effective for making working from home more effective and enjoyable?” reflects that you value productivity and understand the unique stresses individuals are under at present.