by laura craig, associate director of career development, temple university career center
Looking your best in a remote interview
As we are currently living our lives remotely, it’s useful to think ahead and realize that virtual interviews may become a much larger portion of the job/internship searching experience. Even prior to COVID-19 shutdowns, many employers were turning to either synchronous or asynchronous virtual interviewing to reduce costs, increase exposure to a wider variety of candidates, and more. Whether it’s for a job or internship, keeping these tips in mind can help you look your best in a remote interview:
- In the immediate short-term future, remember that you may be surprised by what you see during this social distancing period on the screens of your interviewer-kids, pets, meals, etc. Be flexible and accommodating as you can.
- Remember the basics: you still need to dress appropriately for the interview, and you still need to be prepared for the substance of the conversation. Adopting a business casual dress style for the parts of you that are visible and not visible is appropriate for this time of social distancing.
- When it comes to being prepared for the substance of the conversation, prepare to discuss:
- Why are you interested in this organization, and this role?
- Use a STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) story to highlight how your experience connects to a quality that they are looking for.
- How does this opportunity fit into your goals for the future? Often this type of answer does not have to be as detailed as you think.
- Consult our Career Guide for more advice on interviewing.
- Setup/configuration: You’ll want to ensure that you have chosen a location that is well lit, without distracting backgrounds or interruptions from others, and where your wi-fi or internet signal is strong. Feel free to experiment with the height of your device relative to your eye level, as well as adding or subtracting lighting to create a space where you can be seen and heard easily.
- Be sure to take advantage of resources available to you through Temple at https://its.temple.edu/tech-students
- Practice with us or with others! One of the most challenging aspects of a virtual interview is learning how to maintain eye contact with the camera. It’s hard for everyone! If you book a mock interview with a Career Coach through Handshake and conduct it via Zoom, we are able to record the mock interview and share it with you. Career Coaches are also available via Zoom and phone for Interview Prep appointments, for when you are not quite ready for a mock interview, but still have questions about interviewing.
Being patient and kind with yourself:
Everyone is experiencing some struggles and challenges at this moment. It’s OK not to feel unsure of yourself, or not knowing what to do in your professional development. The ways in which you gain experience in the short and medium-term future may look different than you have planned.
Now is a great time to celebrate the small victories – completing the work that you wanted to do on your resume, learning through practice how to feel more confident in an interview setting, and continuing to explore career options.
If you’re inclined to engage in more structured opportunities to learn how to be kind with yourself, check out the resources available from the Calm Meditation app at https://blog.calm.com/take-a-deep-breath. These resources are free to all, and include targeted meditations, relaxing music, guided journaling prompts and more. We hope this can be a resource to help you in this challenging time.