Interview Etiquette for the Physical and Virtual World
With interview season in full swing, many college students are getting ready to meet with businesses and companies that could potentially provide their next internship or job. While this process is often scary and a little nerve wracking, it doesn’t have to be. Whether you are new to interviewing in the virtual world or looking to brush up on your interview skills, here are some simple tips that are sure to help you nail your interview.
Do your research before the interview
Set aside some time prior to the interview to learn more about the company and the specific position you are interviewing for. You should feel familiar with where the company started, what they have accomplished, and where they are going. Additionally, if you know who will be conducting your interview, don’t hesitate to connect with them on LinkedIn in order to become familiar with their role in the company. Researching both the company and interviewer prior to your interview will allow you to ask specific questions later on in the interview that will show initiative and enthusiasm on your part.
Be mindful of your manners and body language
Your body language plays an important role in the first impression you give your
potential employer. You should avoid fidgeting with your hair or clothes and maintain comfortable eye contact throughout the meeting to appear confident and undistracted. Having good posture can also convey maturity and professionalism. Additionally, you should use a firm handshake and stand when someone enters the room. When answering questions, remember to speak slowly and clearly, while also being concise in your answers. Using the appropriate body language during your interview shows your potential employer that you are mature, confident and professional, which can ultimately elevate your standing from a good candidate to a great candidate for the job.
While you might not be able to physically shake your interviewer’s hand in a virtual
interview, there are still some body language tips to consider in order to create the best first impression with your potential employer. In order to give the impression of eye contact, adjust your camera so that you can look directly ahead into it as if you were looking at your interviewer face to face. Additionally, you should avoid speaking while your interviewer speaks, as there could be a delay in the broadcast of your response, ultimately disrupting the train of thought of your interviewer. It is also important to ensure your wifi connection is strong and that your background is quiet and distraction-free.
Follow up with your interviewer
While the most difficult, and slightly nerve wracking, part of your interview is concluded after your meeting, it is important to remember that your interview process doesn’t stop there. Take time to email your interviewer to thank them for their time, express your excitement for the position, and remind them (briefly!) of why you think the position is right for you. You can also highlight aspects of your conversation that were specific to your interview in order to strengthen that distinction between you and the other candidates. This email should be sent within 24 hours of the interview.
In some cases, you may not hear a response from the company. If it has been more than two weeks since your interview, send a follow up email to the company’s recruiter reiterating your interest in the position and some indication that you are looking for an update. In general, this email should be kept to one paragraph, and you should be sure to thank your interviewer for their time and consideration.
While interviewing can be a stressful experience, a little extra preparation can make the process much easier. Knowing how to conduct yourself in a professional and appropriate manner will give you the confidence to excel in your interview. By applying these tips, you’ll be sure to stand out as an applicant against other candidates. You’ve got this!
By Christine Babish