Since we are all likely to be working from home, you need a Space Plan. A well-lit spot with a pleasing appropriate background to start.  Your collection of Star Wars action figures should not be on the shelves behind you, nor should there be photos of your fondest Spring Break memories. Lighting is important too.  Aim for flattering, direct light. Do not sit with your back to a window, television or other light source.  You may need to elevate your computer to get the camera angle to show you to your best advantage.

Your space should be free of distractions.  Make sure notifications from your phone and computer are turned off, pets and children are not in the room and won’t enter the room.  Just because you are in your family room doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress appropriately. Dress as you would for an in person interview – at least from the waist up!

I strongly recommend rehearsing with a friend in advance so that you can test sound, lighting, camera placement, technology provider, etc.  You also want to make sure that you understand how to use the service you’ve chosen. Three minutes before an online interview is no time to realize that you don’t have the latest version of Skype or Zoom uploaded.

An online meeting is NOT a phone call. You can’t be surrounded with notes and research.  You can have neatly prepared and organized questions and you should take notes.  There’s often a brief lag (just a second or 2) but enough that you can step on each other, laugh it off and then just wait a second before speaking and it won’t happen again.

Online interviews could be the new normal not just because of the coronavirus crisis but if it works well, companies will realize that the cost savings is meaningful, and they will more broadly adopt the practice.  This is an important skill to develop.

About Hartman Group Consulting

Hartman Group Consulting delivers strategic, high-touch client service and significantly deeper reach to potential candidates than larger firms. Founded by Carol Hartman, the Hartman Group Consulting team is guided by a process developed during Carol’s more than 25 years of retained search experience.