dress for your next interview

How to Dress for Your Next Interview

dress for your next interview

The market is hot, and if you’re included in the over 30% of American workers that are seriously considering leaving their jobs, you may have an upcoming interview. But what should you wear to your interview? Well, that depends! Different employers, industries, and departments have specific expectations on what you should wear. Here is a brief guideline on how to dress for success in your next interview.

Manufacturing/Labor setting

If your job interview is in a manufacturing or labor setting, you obviously don’t want to show up in a suit and tie. Instead, wear a button-down shirt and some nice jeans. If you will be on the manufacturing floor or walking around the job site, be sure to wear your steel toe boots! You will more than likely receive a brief tour and want to ensure you are prepared to walk the premises safely.

Professional setting

If you’re interviewing in a professional environment, you will want to dress the part. Wear a suit and a tie or a skirt and a nice blouse. Wear neutral colors and be sure to limit the accessories/jewelry you wear. You want the focus to be on you as the candidate, not what you are wearing. Try not to wear anything that may distract your interviewers. And be sure that your fancy dress attire is nicely pressed and ironed!

Casual setting

If your interview is in more of an informal setting, then you have the opportunity to dress a step down from professional attire and wear a business casual outfit. In this setting, you will want to wear some nice pants and a button-down shirt, maybe a blazer at the most. You don’t want to come to your interview way overdressed. Again, you want the attention focused on you, not what you are wearing. And be sure to wear some nice shoes! Even in a casual setting, you want to wear shoes that leave a great impression. Don’t walk into the front door of your prospective employer with those old grungy sneakers you wear to mow the lawn.

Video interview setting

Last but not least, there is even a dress code for a video interview. Here, you will want to dress appropriately for the employer’s dress code. If it’s a casual setting, dress business casual in your interview. If it’s a professional setting, wear your suit jacket or a nice blouse. You don’t need to put your entire outfit on; however, your interviewers will be able to see you from your torso up, so dress accordingly. Just because you’re at home for this interview doesn’t mean you get the luxury of wearing your pajamas. Bonus tip: be sure you have a clean, plain background for your interview. You don’t want to have a bunch of clutter around you to distract your interviewers (or even yourself) from the conversation.

If you are not sure what the dress code is for the employer, just ask. The hiring manager or human resources professional will be happy to share this information. And if you are still not sure what to wear, it’s always wise to dress a step up than to come in underdressed for your interview.

Video Interview

V is for Video Interview: How to Prepare for a Video Interview

Video Interview

Have you ever had to do a video interview? I have been forced to do a handful of them, and I’ll be honest, they can be intimidating. It can be awkward talking with someone of a video chat like Skype or FaceTime. It’s even more awkward if you’re just recording your audio responses to interview questions.

However, with how technology is advancing, it’s becoming more and more common to conduct video interviews. They are more efficient for non-local candidates, and they allow you to have the interview at more convenient times and locations. Here are eight tips to nail that scary video interview.

Ensure you have a strong WiFi connection

This is one of the most important tips for a successful video interview. If your WiFi connection is weak or spotty, your interview won’t go well. The connection may be laggy, or worse, the video call may drop altogether.

Nothing is more distracting than poor video quality! To improve your WiFi signal, hardwire your computer directly into your router if possible. Also, ensure nobody else on the network is streaming Netflix during the interview. The less traffic on your network, the better the signal will be for your interview!

Charge it up

This may seem obvious, but when the stress kicks in before an interview, it can be easy to forget the little things. Ensure your computer is charged up! You don’t want your device dying on you in the middle of the interview.

Double-check your audio/video

Video calling software can be tricky. Sometimes the audio is playing right, or the video won’t play on one end or the other. My advice would be to test it out the night before the interview. Call a friend to do a quick test call to make sure the video and audio are working like it should be.

Choose an appropriate background

You want the focus to be on you, not the background. Thus, pick a clean background that won’t cause a distraction. Avoid windows that are bringing in too much light. Remove any posters from your college dorm room and ensure there isn’t anything behind you that could hurt your chances of getting a callback.

Having proper lighting

Lighting is a key to a great video interview. You want the room to be well-lit, so the interviewers can see your face, but you don’t want the room to be too bright that the video looks washed out. If your room isn’t well-lit, temporarily move another lamp into the room to improve the lighting. Trust me, it will be worth the hassle.

Dress for success

Just because your interview at home, doesn’t mean that you get the luxury of interviewing in your pajamas. You want to dress as if you are interviewing in person. You always want to look your best in an interview, so a video interview is no different.

Proper camera angle and eye contact

Just like any other interview, good eye contact and posture are crucial. You want to be looking at the camera as you speak, not down at your notes. Sitting up straight illustrates confidence and professionalism, so avoid slouching in your chair.

You also want to make sure the camera angle is good. Make sure the camera is capturing your entire head, all the way down to your chest. This will show off your interview outfit and so you don’t look like a floating head.

Prep like a normal interview

Keep in mind that a video interview is no different than any other interview; all of the same rules and guidelines exist. You want to make sure you know the job description like the back of your hand.

Do your due diligence and have a good understanding of the organization you are applying to and the industry they operate. And as always, have a handful of questions ready to ask at the end of the interview and be sure to follow up afterward. Good luck!

Follow These Five Points to Ace Your Next Video Interview, Johnson Service Group, interview, video interview, interview help, jobs, tips, tricks, points, tasks

5 Steps to Ace Your Next Video Interview

Follow These Five Points to Ace Your Next Video Interview, Johnson Service Group, interview, video interview, interview help, jobs, tips, tricks, points, tasks

We have all been in some sort of the same situation before. You have arrived early to your interview and are sweating it out in the lobby or conference room, assuming every person who walks by is your interviewer. The anticipation is eating away at you and suddenly you cannot seem to remember a single thing about the company you are interviewing with. Then, out of nowhere comes your interviewer, smile and all. You shake their hand and begin to talk, and all nerves go away.

As someone who has a lot of experience in both video and in-house interviews, I can definitely tell you that in-house interviews leave me feeling much better than video ones. When you get interviewed in person, they get to see more of your personality. You can more easily be yourself, and have more control over the first impression you make.

But what if I told you that there is not always an option for an in-house interview? What if you’re on the other side of the country and can’t make it to the company for the crucial interview? Your other option (and quite possibly your only one) is to agree to a video interview over FaceTime or Skype.

Now at first you might be skeptical of this. You will start to wonder if video interviews are even taken seriously, as I have many times in the past. But as someone who has been offered multiple positions after completing only a video interview, I can tell you right now that they are every bit as successful as in-house interviews – you just have to know how to work them to your advantage. I mean, after all, you are in the comfort of your own home. Here are five tips and tricks to help you ace that next video interview:

1. Test your internet connection and familiarize yourself with the software

This tip seems pretty obvious, right? You’re thinking, ”Of course everything will be checked before the interview!” But do not forget to do complete this task. I have heard way too many stories about interviewees’ connections gone wrong and the whole interview being negatively affected by it. There are two parts to this task, so be sure you complete both. They may be a little tedious and boring, but the last thing you want in an interview is a bad connection.

First, set up calls with your friends on whatever device you will be using for the interview. If you are calling the interviewer, practice outgoing calls to your friends. If the interviewer is calling you, make sure you know how to accept incoming calls on the software you are using. It is crucial that you familiarize yourself with the video software, that way you know exactly what to expect when you begin your interview.

Second, test your internet connection. There is an easy way to do it on a laptop that will make sure your connection is as strong as possible. Pro tip: Try to set up your device as close to the router as possible (if you’re using a wireless device). This way, the signal is close and the chances of a weak signal are very small, thus ensuring a strong connection and an uninterrupted interview.

2. Practice, practice, practice!

This tip is not solely for video interviews. I use it for in-house ones as well, but in a different way. When preparing for a video interview it is crucial that you practice your elevator pitch. You must slam it home and know exactly what to say if the interviewer were to ask you to describe yourself, which happens more often in video interviews than during in-house ones (at least in my experience). Practice your answers to standard interview questions and record your responses. Listen to a recording of yourself so that you know how much you need to work on number four below.

3. Nail the first impression

The first thing an interviewer will see when they connect with you over video is your face and the top quarter of your torso. You want to make sure that what the interviewer sees impresses them. Dress exactly like you would dress if you were going to their office to interview, and I’ll guarantee they will be impressed. Make sure to always smile too, that shows the interviewer what kind of personality you have, and shows them that you are comfortable in this different setting.

The second thing the interviewer will see is the space around you. They will be looking at what is in the background, and what surrounds you. As someone who is looking for a spot in their company, you want to make sure that everything around you is organized and plain as possible. You don’t want something to distract the interviewer from your face, nor do you want something in the background that will make them think twice about hiring you.

4. Talk clearly and concisely

There is no getting around the fact that the audio parts of video calls always come in a little fuzzy. This makes it even more important to slow down during the interview and speak clearly. The last thing you want is for the interviewer to keep asking you to repeat yourself, or for them to misunderstand what you said because they couldn’t hear it. Take your time, speak up, and make sure to annunciate when you talk.

5. Thank your interviewer

This one seems pretty obvious too. You do it at an in-house interview, so it would automatically transfer over to a video interview. However, what changes is what you are thanking them for. Instead of only thanking them for their time like you would at an in-house interview, you are now thanking them for their time and for going out of their way to set up a special video interview for you. Be sure that it comes from the heart. Let the interviewer know that you are truly appreciative of their consideration of you, and they will leave the interview with a happy taste in their mouth as they log off.

That’s all there is to it. Follow these five tips and your next video interview will be a breeze.