Regulatory Group – Washington DC area – Energy/Env/TechMarch 16, 2020
Energy/Environmental Litigation Attorney, Partner or Associate, PittsburghMay 6, 2020
There is good news: the hiring process is still happening! More frequently than ever before, employers in the legal arena are interviewing via video and making hiring decisions for key positions. Video can be tricky, but really workable! Some advice:
- Skype, Zoom, FaceTime – Make sure the employer’s service of choice is set up and operates properly on your computer. Some of the services, including Zoom, allow you to choose “call my phone” as a way to connect to a video conference service, and this method is often the best connection to avoid Wifi glitches. Keep in mind, if you use the Zoom private messaging system during a call, your conversation will be visible in the host’s transcript.
- Location, location, location – Choose a quiet, well-lit professional setting where you can freely converse. Make sure the interviewer can see you clearly and the background setting is tidy and appropriate for an interview. A dog running around or a child jumping on the bed in the background is a “no,” as is an outside venue with skateboarders whizzing by. Choose an office-like location with a neutral background.
- Dress Properly – Choose professional attire — avoid wearing white, bright colors, and flashy jewelry. Dress and put yourself together for an interview, at least from the waist up!
- Lights! – Make sure the light is diffused and in front of, or all around, you; natural light is best. If the light source is behind you, you will appear shaded and look like you’re in the witness protection program! Walk around your home or office with your cell-phone selfie camera to evaluate where the lighting is best – you’ll be surprised at the differences. Once you find the location with the best lighting, set up your camera/laptop for the interview.
- Camera! – Optimize your posture, neither too stiff nor casual, look directly into the camera and maintain eye contact — if it’s possible to re-size and move the interviewer image, place it near the camera on your device so it’s easier to look directly at the interviewer’s face. Although either will work, a laptop camera often provides a sturdier platform than a phone camera. If you must use your phone and have a Pop Socket, use it to hang the phone from a jar or mug to provide extra stability. Position your laptop or phone camera on an elevated surface so you are looking slightly up rather than down. Try using a box or stack of books, about 12 inches high. The worst camera angle is always from below — the view up your nose is rarely your best angle. Since your camera is a wide-angle lens, sit about an arms-length away, just close enough to reach the keyboard but not so close that your face looks overly large and distorted.
- Action! – Make sure to smile and let your personality come through — don’t fidget, touch your face, or move around too much. Do not refer to notes when answering a question and resist the temptation to type notes on your computer — you’re in an interview not a class lecture. Imagine you are in an in-person meeting — make an effort to connect and have a great conversation!
- Rehearsal – Practice with a friend – log in and give it a test run. Make sure everything is working properly (microphone? video platform access? angle?) and that the view the interviewer will see of you is flattering and the background professional.
- Surprise! – Someone runs into your office during the call, the dogs start to bark, or other fun interruptions occur. Don’t worry too much, as we are all adjusting to the challenges of working at home, but do take steps to try and prevent the unexpected. If children will be at home during the interview, plan to have an adult occupy them in a location well out of sight and sound range – you really do not want a toddler bursting into the room and refusing to leave. If you are unable to sequester your dogs in a location where they can’t be heard, buy a high-pitched noise device for less than $20. When the doorbell rings and barking starts, a quick press of the button will distract your dogs and silence the chaos. As a priority, learn to use the mute button!
If you have a video interview scheduled, and have more questions or need advice, give us a call!
McAnney Esposito 412 767 8889 firstname.lastname@example.org www.mcanneyesposito.com