Venue-specific job interview tips
Prepare for the specific venue where your job interview will be
There are a few common venues for interviews these days. The main ones are:
- Virtual (Skype video or Google Hangouts)
Almost everything I said above applies to all three venues, but there are a few unique things to consider for each one.
Andy (that’s your interviewer’s name in our examples) will be the one to call you most of the time, so “be early” means having your phone ringer turned on, and being ready to answer the call at least five minutes before the interview is scheduled to begin. If you’re calling the interviewer, avoid being early and just shoot for “on time”—you don’t want to interrupt Andy’s previous meeting if he’s in one.
You should also consider wearing headphones so that you can put your phone down to free up your hands to take notes or do discrete Googling. If you pause to take notes, tell Andy that’s what you’re doing so he doesn’t think you’ve fallen asleep. “I’m quickly jotting that down.”
If Andy calls you, you’ll have his phone number. Don’t use it unless he specifically tells you to give him a call. Just forget you have the number. It’s generally okay to send a follow-up email to someone who interviews you, but calling them is a little too personal.
Your appearance matters because it indicates how serious you are about the job. So put a little effort into looking nice, even if you know the company is very casual.
See if you can find out the dress code for the company and dress one notch above it. If you can’t find out on your own (from their website or someone you know who works there), ask the recruiter what the company dress code is. If they’re casual, you’ll dress business casual. If they’re business casual, you’ll dress business appropriate.
Virtual (Skype video or Google Hangouts)
Treat this like an in-person interview with respect to your appearance. Make sure to set yourself up at a desk or table rather than sitting on your couch with your laptop. (Yes, I’ve interviewed people who were just slumped on their couch with their laptop open. No, I didn’t offer them a job.)
When you take notes, make sure to give Andy a heads-up so he doesn’t think you’re just looking down at Facebook on your phone.