This story is proudly presented by the Axios Charlotte Job Board, where top employers find top talent.
As companies and employees adjust to working from home, recruiting has also gone virtual.
Even the city’s biggest employer is considering trimming their office footprint, a sign that remote work will become a permanent solution for many companies. If you’re trying to find your next career right now, odds are you’re doing it remotely.
Interviews are stressful enough without adding video conferencing glitches and pet interruptions into the mix. We asked 15 HR professionals in the Charlotte-area for their best virtual interview advice.
Pro tip: Almost everyone recommended dressing for success and keeping it professional.
“Dress for success! Be sure that you have tested your video call software with a friend or family member before your scheduled interview. Take the call in a quiet space with limited distractions in the background. Showing that you have prepared yourself and the space around you lets the employer know that you are taking the interview seriously, which will make them take you more seriously.”
-Chelsea Presnell, Talent Acquisition Partner at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates
“Make sure that you still dress professionally and take the interview seriously. While you may be sitting in the comfort of your home, hiring managers like to see that you took time to prepare for the interview. Research the company, the role, and have a prepared list of questions to ask the recruiter/hiring manager.”
-Ashley Schmidgall, Manager of Talent Acquisition at Spot Inc.
“Show up dressed to impress. Just because you are on Zoom doesn’t mean you should show up in your PJs. Check to be sure you have the link and know where to log on the day before. Don’t wait until last minute to email and ask for the link if you have misplaced it. Put yourself in front of a good background. Don’t have people in your household walking and making noise behind you.”
-Jen Olin, Program Manager at The Ivey
“Have a fully charged phone and laptop. I would then test your Wi-Fi connection a few hours before your scheduled interview, this way you can check to see if your audio and camera will work. Make sure you are in a quiet area with no distractions for your interview. While interviewing, make sure to maintain eye contact and dress to impress!”
-Erin Elks, Recruiter at YMCA Charlotte
“Be yourself! Forced and scripted answers seem insincere. Yes, I want to know your skillset, but I also want to see your personality! ”
-Morgan Brandemuehl, Marketing Manager at House of Nomad
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“It’s 2021, by now we all should know how to use all the video conference tools, Google Meets, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Webex, GoToMeeting, Skype For Business. If a business schedules a calendar invite with a platform you are unfamiliar with, please familiarize yourself with it, rather than ask them to cater to your application needs. Lack of technological curiosity is a turnoff.”
-Chad Brophy, President of Tattoo Projects
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“Remember we are all humans just trying to do great work for our customers. The interview setting might not be perfect and that’s okay! We want to know who you are and how you’ll do great work with us. Focus on communication and connection, making sure to use examples that showcase your skills when answering questions.”
-Kenna Meyeroff, Director of Employee Experience at Better.com
“Given that we are not only interviewing but working remotely, communication is absolutely key. Ensuring that your microphone is working properly and that you are able to provide articulate and clear responses. Finally following up with your recruiter and interviewers with thank you notes may not seem important, but it shows you’re appreciative, interested and caring.”
-Demi Clark, Director/Office Leadership, Charlotte Region at Better.com
“Be flexible about your availability -but stick to times that are going to work best for you. If you know there is a particular time of day that is most quiet in your home or when you can be the most focused honor that schedule as much as possible. The recruiter cares about your success just as much as you do and will help you.”
– Alex D’Amico, Senior Director, Talent Strategy at Better.com
View all Better.com open jobs
“Let it happen – If you have roommates, children, pets, or other distractions that may make an appearance during your interview, let us know! (Many of us are in the same situation.) You’ll want to treat a video interview just like you would treat a normal interview. Dress appropriately, be aware of what’s in your background, and let the team know if you need a quick break for any reason — just as you would as if you were in the office.”
-Ted Prendergast, Recruiting Manager and Betsy Eccles, Corporate Recruiter at Red Ventures.
View all Red Ventures jobs
“Test your tech early, and try to make a human connection before you dive into interview questions if possible. Technology, unfortunately, can dehumanize the experience of interviewing which can make people less memorable. If you can, research your interviewer beforehand. It may help spark some ideas for creating authentic conversation and create an opportunity to build rapport.”
-Betsy Hauser, CEO & Founder of Tech Talent South
“I’m sure I won’t be the first (or last) person to say this, but please wear professional attire and find a spot in your home that doesn’t look like you’re sitting in bed or on a lounge chair. I make a note in every single post-interview feedback form noting if the candidate was dressed professionally. If you’re going to work for a start-up or a company with a relaxed requirement on attire you’ll have plenty of opportunities to dress-down later!”
-Sydney Stern Miller, Head of Marketing at Tech Talent South
“Make sure you have a quiet place, free of potential distractions or interruptions. If you’re someone like me who isn’t a natural “on camera”, I would recommend doing a practice run with a friend or family member to make sure you are speaking clearly, not moving around or fidgeting so much that it is distracting, and get yourself more comfortable in the virtual setting.”
-Lindsay Forbes, Senior Manager of Corporate Recruitment at Flexcare Medical Staffing
“Be sure to come as prepared virtually as you would in person. This means ensuring your attire is appropriate for the job, and providing a resume to the interviewer prior to the interview via email. Hiring managers are often busy and running to back-to-back meetings. By emailing the morning of the interview (or late afternoon the prior day of you have an early interview scheduled) you’ll stand out as a candidate who takes initiative, is organized and helpful.”
-Daniel Jacobs, Founder and Managing Director at TruLoan Mortgage