A strong job application can show potential employers you have the skills and experience necessary for the position. If all goes well, you’ll be given an interview and that’s when your strategy changes. You’ve already shown you have the qualifications – now it’s time to prove not only that you’re a good candidate, but that you’re the best candidate for the position.
How you present yourself in an interview speaks volumes – it may even speak louder than your resume. It’s imperative to make a good first impression and confidence can make all the difference. This can be tricky in a remote interview, but the following tips will help you put your best foot forward.
- Make Eye Contact
An in-person interview starts with a handshake. You won’t have that opportunity during a remote interview, so it’s important to establish and maintain a connection with your interviewer by making eye contact. Look directly into the camera when you speak, not at your computer screen. It might help to put your laptop on a stand or on a stack of books to keep your camera at, or slightly above, eye level.
- Maintain Good Posture
Strong body language projects confidence so be sure to sit up straight with your arms unfolded. Keep your chest and chin up, your shoulders back, and your hands in your lap. It’s okay to use your hands a little when you talk but try not to fidget while your interviewer is speaking. If being interviewed has given you extreme performance anxiety in the past, you could speak to a doctor about beta-blockers such as propranolol for performance anxiety.
- Try Not to Ramble
Clear communication is an important skill in the business world. Keeping your responses focused during an interview communicates both sincerity and confidence. Try to answer each question with a single thought at a time – start with a clear, concise response then go into detail when appropriate.
- Talk Slowly and Clearly
Speaking to a computer screen is much different from an in-person conversation. You’ll need to remind yourself to speak slowly and clearly so your interviewer can understand you. Having to repeat yourself could shake your confidence and a weak connection might make it more difficult to communicate. Don’t hesitate to ask the interviewer if they can hear you well.
- Smile and Think Positively
As nervous as you may be on the inside, a smile projects an outward image of confidence. If smiling feels forced, keep a neutral expression on your face instead and smile when it feels natural. Try to think positively throughout the interview to keep your energy up.
- Be an Active Participant
An interview is your time to shine – to show that you’re the best person for the job. What will make you really stand out, however, is asking your own questions during the interview. Make it clear you’re weighing your options as well without coming across arrogant. Asking questions shows that you’re invested in the interview process.
The best defense against interview anxiety is preparation. Do your research ahead of time and keep a cheat sheet of important notes nearby during the interview. Double-check your resume and think about your answers to common interview questions. If you feel prepared, you may be less nervous and you’ll be able to put more energy into implementing the tips above, so you appear confident and qualified.