Don’t Let What’s Behind You Distract the Interviewer
Virtual interviews for finance jobs can be nerve-racking experiences. Yet these days, video interviews are increasingly popular. In fact, it is the most popular way of interviewing for many companies.
It is natural to be apprehensive when you are unfamiliar with the process. You may feel that you have to talk all the time and that you need to make a good impression. With a few basics, though, you should be able to eliminate all your fears:
- Prepare for the interview by reading through the job description and looking up some information about the company
- Understand what kind of person they want for this position
- Prepare answers to probable questions and keep them short and simple
- Look professional
If you do all this, you should perform well – and feel confident and relaxed. But there is one other thing you must make sure doesn’t get in the way: your background.
4 Tips to Prepare Your Background for a Virtual Meeting
Your background can be as important to prepare as yourself for a virtual meeting. The wrong background can make you appear as a floating head, distract the interviewer, and even eliminate you as a hire.
Here are four ways that your background could destroy your chances of a job offer, and how to avoid them.
1. Personal Items That Give Away More Than You Want
We all have personal items on our walls, bookshelves, and in display cabinets. These items mean something to us, but they may give away more than you bargained for. Examples include photos from a bachelor party, books that the employer may not agree with, and souvenirs from your last vacation.
To avoid any such embarrassment, think like you are attending an in-person interview.
Don’t bring your children’s toys or art into the interview room. Leave your personal items behind, by making sure they aren’t behind you. Make sure that your interview room demonstrates that you are a professional, ready for work.
2. Clutter That Shows You Are Disorganized
As technology progresses and virtual interviews become more common, clutter is becoming a problem.
It’s a proven fact that the first impression of you as a candidate in an interview is established in the first six seconds. So, it’s important to make a good impression right from the start. Clutter can be one of the biggest turnoffs when it comes to virtual interviews.
Clutter shows you are disorganized. Even if you know precisely where everything is, a cluttered background will lead the interviewer to believe that your organization at work is similarly haphazard. That’s not what an employer wants from a new hire.
Here are a few tips to declutter quickly:
- Remove personal items
- Remove papers, pens, or other items from your desktop, shelves, and your cabinet surfaces
- Clear off your work area before you start recording your video interview session
- If you want to use your desk for a virtual interview, place your laptop so that it is centered and the camera faces you directly
It’s important to keep your virtual interview organized and clean. You want the interviewer to be impressed by how professional you are, not distracted by how cluttered your virtual office looks.
3. Images That Just Aren’t Appropriate
Next, take a look at your wall art. Whether paintings, photos, or calendars, pay particular attention to them. You may love the wall mural of you and your wife walking out of the ocean on your honeymoon, but is it an image that you would hang in an office?
The solution is simple. Remove all images from your background that might be deemed unprofessional or unsuitable. Be extra conservative, and you’ll walk on the safe side.
4. Backlighting That Gives You a Halo!
In a virtual interview, lighting is one of the most important elements. You want to make sure that you have a well-lit and well-framed video of yourself. One of the best ways to do this is to use natural lighting. Natural light is softer and more flattering than artificial light.
The absolute worst way is to be lit from behind. You may end up with a halo effect, but your face will be in darkness. Not a good look. The interviewer wants to see you.
When you are interviewing virtually, it’s important to find a place where the light is flattering. Lit from in front, not behind. Check your look on your webcam before starting you interview, and make certain your backlight is not overpowering.
Have You Got the Background to Advance Your Career in Finance Jobs?
Finance is an industry where the demand for high-skilled workers is growing. If you’re looking to advance your career in finance, it’s important that you are qualified for the position.
If you’ve got a strong background in finance, we want to hear from you – and we’ll help make sure that you are fully and properly prepared for your interview with great employers.