Interviewing in the Zoom World

While many are working from home, others are job hunting from home and when in-person interviews aren’t an option it’s important to know how to be interviewed over a video call. On this episode of Career Center, host Kim White, Executive Director of the Career & Networking Center, is joined by Bree Wysocki, Internal Careers Recruiter with Salesforce via Zoom to discuss what interviewing for that new job over Zoom can be like, the dos and don’ts and some things you might not have thought about.

Before the Interview

Just like an in-person interview, there are things that stay the same before the interview process starts, like preparation and research.

“It’s alway just putting your best self forward,” said Bree Wysocki with Salesforce. “People get so nervous about the handshake, or if your cologne or perfume smells too strong but you don’t have to worry about any of that if you’re just on camera. You just need to be sure that you’re being yourself and your true self. If you’re someone who’s introverted this is a chance to put your best foot forward, looking into the camera, smiling and just being your true self.”

That also translates to how you dress, with Zoom calls there might be a temptation to only dress formally “from the top up” but it’s all about just being comfortable. “I know for me that helps with my confidence,” said Kim White “If I have the outfit on and I know that I’ve everything in order, it doesn’t feel like I’m hiding anything and I’m much more comfortable and confident in how I present myself.”

During the Interview

In an in-person interview you still have to be prepared with questions and conduct yourself professionally, but in a Zoom interview there other factors to keep in mind. There’s an opportunity to present the environment you’re in exactly the way you want, and make sure you’re sending the right message to the interviewer.

“The one thing that has been a very hot topic when interviewing during COVID-19 especially on Zoom is having a fun background,” said Wysocki, “It just brings more character and light and sometimes it’s a talking point. If it’s a diploma from a certain college, if it’s a picture of your family whatever means the most to you, I would have that in your background. You don’t want to overdo it, but the one thing is it draws attention and talking points.”

Happenings at Home

Though the interview is happening from home, that doesn’t mean that everything is under control. Sometimes factors out of your control can be a hurdle during the interview itself, like kids coming in to the room, construction outside, and any number of other variables.

“It’s life, it’s okay,” said Wysocki “Recruiters, professionals, everyone knows what happens it’s probably happened to them. We’re all human so don’t get so worked up or distracted when that happens, continue going on the conversation and bring your passionate foot froward.”

“Just make light of it, we’re all human.” said White.

Challenge Can Create Character

The challenges of not just working with technology but working with the world we are living in can show who you are to any potential employer. If you can be flexible with a Zoom call and flexible with developing situations and changing company policies you can be flexible with anything and that is a real asset.

“This is a really challenging time right now and that’s okay, challenge can create character for you. How do you adapt to those challenging times? When you say you’re here for that role in adapting to new policies and these challenging times it can really showcase your passion.” said Wysocki.

More About the Career & Networking Center

The Career & Networking Center began as The Community Career Center in 1996 to help individuals gain resources and tools to conduct a successful job search and find or return to work.  Since then, the not-for-profit organization, along with a group of human resource and other business professionals, has assisted area residents in setting goals and implementing strategies to accomplish those goals.  The center offers coaching appointments, which often include:  resume writing, interviewing skills, networking, job search strategies, career exploration, brand development and computer skills.  The center also has a free job bank where employers can post available positions and people seeking jobs can look there for a potential position.

For more career and networking tips, watch previous episodes of “Career Center” on-demand.

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