With the end of the semester right around the corner, many of us will be spending our summers at an internship or a job. Interviews are an important part of the application process, and although Zoom interviews propose a new challenge for us all, there are still ways to show your commitment and passion through the screen. Use these hacks to make a lasting impression on your interviewer!
- Dress Professionally
As with most online interactions, it is normal to dress up to a lesser extent than you would in an in-person interview. With that being said, there are many reasons why you should still dress the way you would in-person over Zoom. First, it shows professionalism. You want to “wow” your interviewer and make sure they know that you are serious about the job. One of the best ways to get this message across is to put effort into what you are wearing, even if only the top half of your body will be showing. Some people like to wear professional pants and heels to feel confident and ready for an interview, even if it is over Zoom—to mimic an in-person experience. Others, however, find more comfort in staying in their pajama pants while still having their top-half glammed up. Either choice is fine depending on what you personally prefer, but make sure that the parts of yourself that will be showing through the screen are well put together. My favorite outfit essential for any interview is a blazer! You can never go wrong with a classic black blazer to match the rest of your professional attire.
- Secure Good Lighting
Unfortunately, there is a lot more you have to control over Zoom interviews that you would never think twice about in an in-person interview. For example, you wouldn’t think to establish good lighting in an in-person interview because most likely, you’d be at your interviewer’s choice of space. With Zoom, however, you need to make sure that you have good lighting. Not only will this show professionalism, but the interviewer will also be able to see you more clearly. Good lighting can also get rid of any shadows, glares, or any other distraction that may cost you. Sitting in a place with a lot of sunlight is a great idea, but if it is a gloomy day, I recommend getting a ring light and setting it right behind your computer. This way your face is beaming throughout the interview!
- Have an Organized Background
Next, I highly recommend having a clear or organized background. A plain wall behind you will minimize any distractions for the interviewer and make you look more professional. If there are any distracting images or words behind you, it might take your interviewer’s attention away from what you are actually saying. Also, if your room can be seen in the background, make sure you tidy up before the interview. The last thing you want is for them to think that you are messy or disorganized.
- Minimize Sound Distractions
Although sound is not always in your control, there are some ways that you can mitigate distractions. First, plan ahead! Once you know the time of your interview, plan out where you will be sitting and what the environment may look like during that time. If you know that your favorite table is near construction sites, avoid those places during an interview. If you live with others, make sure to give them a heads up that you have an interview so they know to be extra quiet. Lastly, use headphones if needed.