How to Own a Virtual Interview

     Yesterday, Clubhouse presented by college fashionista hosted a webinar called “Can You See My Sweatpants? How to Own a Virtual Interview.”  For this event, three women shared their experiences and expertise on resumes, applying to jobs, doing job interviews, and how to put yourself out there!  The speakers for this event were Ashleigh Lalla, the influencer marketing associate at Her Campus Media, Ninah Caquias, a content creator and personal brand strategist, and Natalia Brache, head of public relations at NAL Media.  The advice and encouragement they provided made me feel a lot more confident about my future career and applying to various jobs, so I thought I would relay their information to you!  I hope you find their suggestions to be helpful and that they can aid you in feeling more comfortable and confident with yourself in a work environment.

     The key to networking is sending messages to various employers via LinkedIn!  Natalia reminded us to be personable and organic, don’t be too forceful or rigid.  Tell the job why you want to work for them and why you are passionate!  It is important to show an interest in their company, employers can see that passion and curiosity, even through a screen.  Another helpful tip is to reach out to alumni on LinkedIn!  Natalia said that “nine times out of ten, they’ll want to help you.”  Alums know what it’s like to be fresh out of college and looking for a job, so they will be more likely to guide you.  Remember, connections are key.  Nina suggested to branch out to other people that share the same interests and major as you!  Cultivating friendships with people with similar goals will help you come up with new ideas and you can provide each other with advice.  Another tip from Nina is that no matter how “big” you think someone is, still reach out to them!  Never hesitate to put yourself out there and be authentic.

     Now, you may be wondering how exactly to network and connect with people.  Here are some tips from the pros: First of all, try to be formal, but not insanely formal.  It depends on who you are reaching out to as well.  For example, if you want to reach out to the director of a position, you want to present yourself as more formal.  Another piece of advice is to write out all of your words, for example, write out “I will” instead of “I’ll”.  Also be sure to provide a proper ending to your message, like “Sincerely, (Your name)”.  The little things add up, and the employers can see that.  One of the most important aspects of LinkedIn is having a professional profile.  Put effort into your profile picture!  Dress nicely, make sure your hair is neat, and take the picture up against a neutral backdrop.  Part of being successful is looking the part!

     Lastly, what you have all been waiting for, here is some advice from Ashleigh, Natalia, and Nina regarding applying to jobs for the first time and advice for virtual interviews!  When applying for jobs, you want to tweak your resume each time to fit the companies’ values.  Natalia gave the advice of reading the job description thoroughly before applying, and incorporating keywords from the job description into your resume!  This way, employers can see that you value their company and have a serious interest in what they do.  You also want to make sure your resume stands out from the rest, put your own unique touch on it.  As for virtual interviews, it can be nerve-wracking.  To calm those nerves, make your space comfortable.  Make sure you are in a clean, fairly neutral background so there are no distractions.  Do research about the company and their values before the interview, and if possible, do some research on the person who is conducting the interview and what their position is.  Natalia gave the advice of “if you look good, you feel good!”  It is tempting to wear sweatpants and a fancy top, but if you go all out, you are likely to feel more confident and comfortable during the interview.  Thankfully, people have been accommodating throughout this hectic year!  It is okay if your dog barks once in the background, or someone makes a little noise by accident.  Sometimes we cannot control our environment, and the interviewers understand that.  Although make your best effort to be in a quiet space and tell the people you live with that you have an interview at a certain time, so they know to be quiet.  Lastly, remember to ask the interviewer questions to show your interest!  Practice the answers to potential questions, and stop and take a breath if your mind goes blank.  Remember to be personable and try to cultivate a connection with the interviewer.

     I hope you all found this advice to be helpful, I know I did!  Now go out there and kick that virtual interview’s booty!!!  Good luck. :)