With more and more employers conducting virtual interviews through Zoom and Skype, you should think about what that means for your search and interview prep, too.
In short, while the prep is the same, the format is...different. Here are some things to consider.
Make sure that you are somewhere quiet with a plain backdrop. Now is not the time to show off your Drake poster.
The second bedroom in my house is the only place I get a strong enough connection to use Zoom, so that's where I spend my work days. Complete your interview wherever your connection is strongest or use your phone as a hotspot. That said, this is a unique situation and having a reliable connection isn't totally within your control. If your connection is spotty be sure to let the employer know beforehand.
Also, consider scheduling a mock interview with a career services staff member or do a test run with a friend.
Use being at home to your advantage! Have you resume out in front of you and a glass of water. I like to star or highlight anything on my resume before the interview that I must mention. Things like the skills and experiences that connect to the job you are applying for. I also like to have a cheat sheet in front of me with some research I have done on the company.
You should still dress for the job
Dress as if you were going to an in-person interview. Business professional attire required. A friend of mine was once asked to stand up in the middle of a video interview and she had pajamas on! Cringe.
What's in a name?
Don't just dress professionally, but name your account the same way. I have seen some...interesting Zoom usernames in the last six weeks. Stick to your first and last name.
You want to look into the camera throughout the interview. Practicing ahead of time can ensure that you do this! Speaking of...
Use Interview Stream to practice for one-way video interviews where the computer will ask you questions and will record your answers. Interview Stream was created for job applicants to practice this type of interview, so take advantage of it! And finally, schedule a virtual mock interview with me, Mike Madera, or Katie Snapp, STEM Career Coach at the university Career Center through Handshake. Even if you don't have an interview lined up now get ahead of that and practice so you are ready when the opportunity arises.