The new (and convenient) norm is spending most of your time having Zoom meetings in your sweats, but when you have a job interview over Zoom, it's a different ball game. You want to nail this interview and come across as the competent and also likeable, but this is pretty difficult to achieve virtually. We spoke to expert and founder of Your Professional Presence Khaulah Abbas on all the tips and rules to follow to get that call back and here's what she had to say.
1. Be on time
Just as you would arrive early for an in-person interview, do the same for a virtual one. This gives you the necessary time to set up your laptop, make sure the microphone is working, and that you are seated in a place with good lighting. Being early also gives you the time to become present.
2. Dress for Success
Dress the same way you would for an in-person interview; it’s only the medium that has changed, nothing else. Dressing up completely (from head to toe) puts you in a professional mindset, giving you confidence and poise, to show your capabilities, however, be mindful of what you wear, sometimes busy or complex patterns and colours don’t work well with the camera and can be distracting and confusing.
The world’s favourite colour is blue so you can’t go wrong with that as it shows loyalty and trust.
3. Have the right posture
Your posture says a great deal about you and is one of the many things looked at when people evaluate your confidence and likeability. Your posture can tell if you are confident, uncomfortable or arrogant. You can try this for yourself: slouch and tell yourself “I can do this”. Now imagine you have a crown on your head, sit tall, both feet on the ground lean in slightly and say, “I can do this”. Which one feels more confident?
Good posture will also help you breathe better – a big plus in controlling nerves and anxiety and helps you have a better and more controlled confident speaking voice.
4. Eye Contact
A major aspect of meeting people, especially interviews, is eye contact. Good eye contact is a reflection of confidence and self-esteem. Make sure the camera is at eye level, this way it looks as if you are maintaining eye contact, thus establishing trust and rapport. (you may want to close the picture of yourself to avoid distraction to yourself).
5. Don't forget to smile
A great way to show interest and friendship is to have a genuine smile - this involves smiling with the eyes as well as the mouth. So, when you first meet your interviewer, give a genuine smile, and smile when appropriate during the interview.
6. Avoid Fidgeting
When we get nervous, stressed or anxious, we tend to use self- pacifying gestures such as twirling our hair, playing with jewellery or touching our face to help us cope. This will detract from your credibility and confidence because these are submissive gestures and will give the impression of unsure of yourself or unprepared. Some people shake their feet thinking that it's ok because they can’t be seen; however, this shows in the shoulders and making your nervousness apparent and distracting to the interviewer.