By Adrian Beunder
The world has changed and so has the traditional job interview. Now, instead of going in-person to an office for your interview, you are Zooming in from your home. And though this convenience definitely removes out the possibility of being late for an interview because of traffic, it also can lead to being a bit complacent as we prepare and present ourselves to land our “dream job.” These five tips will help you get back on your “A” game and ready to kill your next job interview.
1. Social Media Clean Up
I know that you’re probably thinking, “Yeah, yeah, we already know to keep our social media clean.” But now, more than ever, companies or potential employers will be taking the extra step to get to know what you’re about since they won’t be meeting you in person. Social media platforms are avenues for advertising yourself and putting your best image forward. So that Instagram post of you absolutely crushing that keg stand at Kyle’s party needs to be deleted or on a private account to ensure that you’re advertising yourself professionally. LinkedIn is obviously your professional social platform so a “cleaning” of that can entail refining certain aspects of your page to suit your job search and (temporarily) appeal more to a certain company.
Pro Tip: Go Back to the recesses of your Twitter or avoid being Twitter fired!
2. Zoom in!
Having your dirty laundry on a chair that sits in the corner of your room is not a good look to potential employers. Showing that you maintain cleanliness and structure could be a huge boost for how you’re perceived by the interviewer. Choosing a neutral background in your house or choosing a professional Zoom background template can make a huge difference in the vibe you give off.
3. Be Prepared!
I’m going to guess you’re thinking, “Wow, what a poignant observation there Sherlock.” But you’d be surprised how many people I know have been in an interview or in their class and have either had Internet issues, battery issues or the wrong notes in front of them. This can all be avoided by telling your brother to hop off Warzone for a bit, having your computer plugged in and double-checking you have what you need to be prepared for the interview in front of you. This may seem overly ambitious to some, but preparing a short pitch on an idea for the company’s PR strategy can show your ambition and it shows that you can be a true asset that thinks outside the box!
Pro Tip: Use an Ethernet cable so even if Kyle won’t get off Warzone, you’ll have an uninterrupted connection.
4. Dress Accordingly
Gary looks professional from the waist up… don’t be like Gary. I know you’re thinking it’s probably not worth being concerned about what you are wearing on your bottom half, but you never know what might happen during an interview. Fufu, your chihuahua, has just run into your Zoom area and is making a ruckus so you have to stand up to grab her. Let’s hope that when you stand up, your potential employer doesn’t see your Captain America underwear. Essentially, dress like you’d be doing the interview in person.
5. Be Outgoing & Welcoming
This is arguably the most crucial part of ensuring success in a Zoom interview. Staring at a screen is boring and ripe for Zoom fatigue so countering that can be the catalyst to standing out amongst the other candidates for the job. Long Beach State is arguably the best college for public relations, but standing out even more can get you that dream job!
Pro Tip: Smile - People like positivity and if it physically radiates from you, you’re going to provoke positive perspectives from your interviewer and they’re going to want to work with someone like that.
6. Know Your Employer
Expand on your answers - Don’t limit yourself! Adding little anecdotes or offering examples from previous experiences that relate to the question they ask provides context, transparency and a deeper sense of understanding of how awesome you are for the interviewer. This can bleed into your pitch for potential PR strategies that we discussed earlier. The anecdote can be as simple as, “During my time at blah blah, we utilized this strategy that I feel would be great for you guys.” It can also be along the lines of, “The company has this vision and I feel that blah blah would be an effective way to enforce that in our PR strategy.”
Pro Tip: Know the company’s vision and mission. Like in any interview, talk about the company’s vision or philosophy and show how it aligns with you to emphasize that “perfect fit” perception for the interviewer.
Time To Kill That Interview!
Ultimately, you need to do your best to overcome the tough and awkward characteristics of a Zoom interview. Following these tips will make your Zoom interview feel as close to an in-person interview as possible and allow you to stand out amongst your competition. Good Zoom etiquette can make or break you getting your dream public relations job.
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