Making a strong first impression can be the key to a successful interview, but it can be tricky when the interview happens remotely. Speaking to a camera instead of a real person can be awkward and if you don’t make an effort to project confidence, your interviewer might not get an accurate sense of who you are as a person and what you bring to the table as a potential employee.
Confidence is all in the presentation. Follow these tips to help look confident in your next remote interview:
1. Prep the Space Ahead of Time
When conducting an interview, you have to think about the image you present. In a remote interview, that image extends to the space around you, so be smart when choosing the location for your interview. Set up your webcam and microphone ahead of time so you can make sure everything is clearly visible and audible. Double-check the background from your interviewer’s perspective to be sure it is free from clutter and potential distractions.
2. Choose Your Outfit Wisely
The outfit you choose can be a reflection of your personality but, unfortunately, some things simply don’t translate well on video. Choose something simple but professional that fits well and makes you feel good. Try on the outfit the day before to make sure it’s clean and set it out so you’re ready to go on the day of your interview. Avoid the temptation to only dress from the waist up – you’ll regret it if you have to get up during the interview.
3. Mind Your Posture and Body Language
Strong body language communicates confidence, so be mindful of the image you’re presenting. Position your chair so your head and body fills the majority of the video screen and sit upright with your chest and chin up, your shoulders back. Keep your arms relaxed at your sides, not crossed in front of you, and do your best not to fidget.
4. Make Eye Contact with the Camera
Making eye contact with your interviewer creates a connection and projects confidence on your part. In a remote interview, you won’t be able to look your interviewer directly in the eye, but you can create the illusion of eye contact by looking into the webcam. Place the camera directly above the center of your monitor and put a sticky note below it to remind you where to focus your attention.
5. Speak Slowly and Clearly
When communicating via webcam, you may need to speak more slowly than you would in person to make sure you’re coming through clearly. If you mumble, your interviewer may have to ask you to repeat yourself. Silence from the other end of the connection can be frazzling but don’t be afraid to ask for a moment to think if you need to before responding. If you struggle with performance anxiety, consider talking to your doctor about stress medications to help manage the physical symptoms.
6. Stay Focused and Don’t Ramble
It’s easy to get distracted when interviewing from home, but it’s important to stay focused and to project both energy and confidence. Smile or keep a neutral expression on your face, nodding when appropriate to show you’re paying attention. Keep your answers concise and try to avoid rambling.
It is perfectly natural to feel nervous during an interview, but if you let your anxiety take the reigns your interviewer may not get an accurate impression of you and your abilities. The stakes can be even higher in a remote interview, so follow these tips to take control. Make sure your confidence, personality, and qualifications shine through, so you become an applicant to remember.