As we leave the first half of the spring semester behind and enter the final few months of the school year, many of us will start to interview for potential summer internships or future jobs. When taking these important steps to acquire a professional position, you will want to make sure you present yourself in a mature and appropriate format. While most of these conferences might take place over Zoom instead of in in-person settings this year, here are some essential tips to keep in mind when preparing for any upcoming interviews.
First and foremost, make sure you have a nice background. Because you won’t be able to go to the company’s actual building, you’ll most likely have to take the call in your house. So, it’s perfectly okay for you to be in your bedroom or living space. However, there are some things you should try to stay conscious of. This includes revealing to your potential employer dirty laundry sprawled all over the furniture or an unmade bed. Instead, clean your area of choice and sit in front of a plain wall or the prettiest part of your house. Also, remind your family members or roommates of your interview and tell them that they should stay clear of your space and camera.
Making a good impression can stem from your attire. Even in a Zoom meeting, stay aware of your outfit and dress nicely. I know of some people who have just worn an appropriate top and skipped the matching bottoms, so you may even do this too. But, remember you can not get up in front of the camera if you attempt this lazy trick. I have actually heard of some people getting up to close a door or moving sometime during the meeting, and they accidentally revealed their underwear to their future boss—definitely a deal-breaker. So, I would just say to wear standard bottoms to avoid flashing anyone important.
The mute button should undoubtedly be a constant checkpoint during your call. There is always a possibility that they may hear what you say or do. Continually, it is necessary to turn off surrounding background noises as well when your microphone is on. This includes no loud televisions, near conversations, animals barking or phones ringing.
Besides a few additional rules regarding online interviews, the same procedure should stay in place when completing in-person meetings.
With that being said, plan to eat before the call and avoid having any meal while on camera. Even further, refrain from chewing gum as well. Any sort of eating will come across as disrespectful and trashy in a business setting.
Furthermore, turn your cellphones to ‘do not disturb’ or, better yet, completely shut it down. Just like a regular workday or classroom scenery, your phone should not be in sight. If you have talking points on your notes app, I would suggest transferring them to a sheet of paper instead to ensure you don’t give off the wrong image.
When speaking during any career environment, you should also stay conscious of using slang. I know it has become a habit for most of us to use shortcuts for specific words; however, you must remain aware of what you say. Use mature language, enunciate your words’ and talk slowly so they can understand you through any poor connection.
As long as you don’t do anything completely outrageous during your meeting, I think you should be able to ace it with ease. Remember to stay confident, relaxed and focused. Good luck, Stags!