Interviewing from home isn’t an opportunity to dilute the all-important norms that impress and inspire potential employers to make you an offer, so read on to find out how you can make a big impression on a small screen.
Dress the part
You might be more accustomed to loungewear than suits right now but if you’re looking to secure your next big role from the comfort of your own home, you need to remember that first impressions still count. Not convinced? Take a look online at smart outfitters and read what their customers are saying. The Charles Tyrwhitt reviews make it clear that the demand for classic Oxford shirts, definitively smart-casual attire and office-appropriate garms has not lessened. So do you really want to risk being the one candidate that didn’t make an effort?
Bonus tip: Don’t risk wearing something smart on top but staying casual below. If for any unexpected reason you need to stand up during your interview, you’ll make an unforgettable impression and not for the right reasons.
Don’t blur the background
Even though most video conferencing apps now offer you the choice to blur your background, we recommend that you don’t. It speaks more highly of you if you’ve taken the time to tidy and clean your workspace, while also allowing a glimpse into who you are and what you surround yourself with. The blur function was brought in to almost hide the fact that we are all working from home, but guess what? We are and it’s no secret!
Bonus tip: You never know what will spark a more personal conversation, so don’t hide away your collection of Funko Pop models or the Harry Potter wall art. You’ve been invited to interview because you’re qualified, your art collection won’t invalidate that.
Ask the household to respect the call
If you’re interviewing from home there’s a good chance you’ll be working from home for at least some of your prospective new role. Employers are becoming increasingly supportive and understanding about family life being visible or audible in the background, but try to negate this for your interview. It will also help you to focus, answer questions succinctly and be more present if you’re not trying to shush noisy family members.
Bonus tip: It might be a good idea to send everybody else out for their daily walk while you have your interview. That way you can talk about the household dynamic but not give an in-depth look at the inner workings before you even start.
Have a drink to hand
Interview nerves are going to hit however confident you are and the last thing you want to do is cough or get a dry throat as you’re going into detail about what a perfect orator you are. Avoid all novelty mugs, hot liquids and easily spillable glasses and stick to something robust, filled with water. That way you can freshen up while your interviewer speaks and be ready to fall into the next exchange.
Bonus tip: Sparkling water might look fancier but it’s also gassier and computer microphones pick up everything. We’ll say no more.
Check your tech
Lastly, don’t get caught out by connection issues. Check that your broadband service is running as it should. Make sure your camera, microphone and speakers are all working and have a strategy in place if your screen freezes. If you can look cool under pressure and adapt to the situation on the fly, it will only work in your favour.
Bonus tip: Have a tablet or mobile standing by to reconnect via a different screen. If you can move fast and call back without umming and ahhing, it might be the difference between you and a less prepared candidate.
Remote interviews are becoming a new normal but they are just as rife with potential pitfalls as in-person ones. As always, be prepared, professional and as polished as you can be when working from home, because that’s what a potential employer is looking for.