Zoom Into Your Dream Job — Tips from an Expert Interview Coach
It’s one hour before your scheduled Zoom interview.
I’m sure you’ve made your To Do List and checked it twice, but humor me. I’m an interview coach, so your success is crucial to my reputation. This is your “dream job” after all, so it’s certainly worthwhile to double check that you’ve completed the following tasks:
- You’ve researched the business thoroughly and know more about their origins than their CEO.
- You’ve read complaints and compliments from former employees.
- You’ve tapped into the power of a LinkedIn Premium subscription in order to gain more intel on the job, discover details about other applicants, and send an InMail or two to the business’ HR team in order to bypass the long line of 327 other applicants.
- You’ve customized your resume so that it seems casually and coincidentally custom made for this particular job.
- You’ve practiced reciting your “biggest faults,” expertly slanting them as strengths while achieving that “I’m human but striving for perfection at every turn” response. HR loves this perfect blend of humility and swag which, of course, takes guided rehearsal to fully master.
- You’ve aced some STAR responses with an expert interview coach and know how to make every complex, awkward, devastating workplace scenario sound like child’s play with you wearing the manager hat. You’ve gathered a plethora of statistics to demonstrate just how masterfully you’ve manipulated all possible chaos into brighter tomorrows and higher profits for your corporate peers and supervisors. You have at least three, but more likely five specific examples that show your leadership potential, your lightspeed thinking, and your team player power. Oh and, you’ve also included plenty of examples where you essentially assembled, coached, and carried the entire team. There’s a virtual trophy for you somewhere in cyberspace.
- You’re not at all concerned with the “stress interviews” this company is notorious for using. Their intimidating, aggressive, unexpected questions will be a joy to answer. Your interview coach used many of them in the mock interview they prepared for you ahead of time after they researched the culture and hiring techniques of this potential employer. It’s also no secret to you that roughly 85% of recruiters say communication style is the most important determination for cultural fit, so you’re ready to let your personality glow.
- You’ve set up your laptop facing a window for as much natural light as you can get. If there aren’t windows in your workspace or you’re interviewing in the evening, never fear. There are several affordable ring lights available on Amazon (I’d suggest the Kaiess 10.2” Selfie Ring Light or the UBeesize Selfie Ring Light) with cool and warm settings and multiple intensity options. Do yourself a favor and avoid interviewing in shadowy-vampire darkness. Please.
- In addition, you’ve stacked up some old textbooks in order to level up your screen and show as much of yourself as possible. Remember that your computer should be at eye-level. None of that half-head/half-ceiling fan nonsense for this interview. Your posture is on point and your smile is ready-to-flash.
- You’ve made certain there’s nothing tacky or distracting showing in the background except for some healthy ferns that may or may not be silk, a solid colored wall, or a well organized and aesthetically pleasing bookshelf. There’s a peaceful, tasteful, professional tone that appears effortless when you’re admitted to the Zoom meeting. When they let you in, it’s instant zen and elegance. Your body language indicates your confidence level, so activate that no-sweat, proud posture, shoulders-back position.
- You’ve chosen to avoid the “sunny day on the tropical beach” or “cool meeting on Planet Mars” fake backgrounds that square off your hair and make you appear to be in a strange wind tunnel whenever you move.
- You’ve dressed simply and elegantly in a solid, flattering color like deep blue or cool burgundy, and minimized your jewelry so that it’s tasteful and not too blingy. Your Zoom interview attire should leave that “I have superior taste in everything” impression.
- You have your resume handy as well as a notebook to use during the interview because (1.) It makes you appear invested and organized and (2.) It gives you something productive to do while the three people interviewing you take turns asking you questions in what you imagine will be reminiscent of The Spanish Inquisition. You’re guaranteed to fit in perfectly as everyone will be writing and listening in order to maximize the cohesive bond between you and your soon-to-be dream team.
- Finally, you’ve hydrated and will now abstain from liquids because—well—it’s scheduled as a ninety-minute Zoom interview and you can’t exactly turn off your camera and excuse yourself in the chat. You’re well-rested, completed some deep-breathing for relaxation, and mastered making just enough small talk without it stretching into an abyss of mindless chatter. The tips for smooth conversation from your expert interview coach will all come streaming back to you when you need them most.
- At any moment, it’s ring lights, Zoom cameras, and action. Someone will let you into the meeting from the virtual waiting room and speak your favorite non-structured inquiry into the air: “Tell me about yourself.” It could “strike fear into the hearts” of lesser interviewees, but not you. You understand that it’s just a way to gain insight about your priorities, your goals, your work ethic, and much more. Your elevator pitch is expertly crafted and polished. It’s rehearsed to sound not-rehearsed, so you won’t have to worry. Just sit up straight and deliver it to the screen because it’s go-time.
- You exude confidence during the entire interview and are prepared to “read your audience” in order to ask the most appropriate and constructive questions that will demonstrate your Masters in Library Science-level research and keen interest in attaining that elusive job offer. I’m sure you’re aware how easy it is to fall into the all-too-common/predictable question trap. Just in case you’re unfamiliar, a few excellent questions include: How do you measure performance? What characteristics do you believe are needed to succeed in this role? or What does the role look like day-to-day?
Fast forward 90 minutes to when it’s not a surprise that your interview went swimmingly.
Now it’s time to celebrate your success. (Yes, it’s a powermove to celebrate before the official offer, but that’s what winners do.)
Oh and, before you head for cocktails and the sushi bar, call your interview coach to say that you did your absolute best.
They’ll quietly open an Excel chart, look for the column marked Success Stories, and happily type in your name.
-Dana Kinsey, Red Pen Wench’s Expert Interview Coach
Lacking confidence in your interviews? Let Dana help! Click here to schedule an interview coaching session.
Not sure what to wear to your interview? Read our blog post on Zoom interview attire.