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  • Writer's picturePeetie Cat, CFO

Fear Not The Online Interview

Dear Lola*Cat - I have been asked to interview on Zoom for the first time, please tell me you have some tips for making a good impression on video. Cameras make me nervous and I don't want to look like a dork talking into the screen.

Thanks for your help. ~Linus

Dear Linus - Furrrrstly thank you for your question. Being Alan J. Blair's Chief Feline Officer I am always dressed for success and camera ready but understand many of my human helpers may need assistance in this area. Especially now I seem to see a lot more sweat pants and hoodies around the house. Here are my top tip bits for you to consider.

Scene 1. Take 1.  Action. Choose a quiet room with no background noise.  If you have roommates or family at home warn them to stay quiet.  A good feline screech followed by a blood curdling scream is always fun in a horror movie but you don’t want their yelling and screaming become the soundtrack of your onscreen time.

The Set. Not everyone has the impeccable decorating sense that I do, so remember to edit, edit, edit.  Once your computer is set up look in the background and take away any distracting pictures or knick knacks, (one should never have knick knacks to start with).  You want the interviewer to focus on you and not be horrified at the hoarding mess behind you.

Be on time. Have your computer connected to the web site you are meeting on 10 minutes before your scheduled time.  Give yourself plenty of time to scare away the monsters in the machine and sort out any glitches your computer may have starting up. Test Skype out with a friend or use the system test feature to make sure everything is working purrfectly.

Lighting. Remember the rule in any good exorcism; ‘go towards the light.’ In this case, remember to ‘face the light’.

Always have your light source in front of you, and behind the computer camera.  If the light source is behind you chances are the only thing on the screen will be a spooky shadow person, so unless you are interviewing for a haunted house company, choose flattering lighting without a lot of shadows.

Wardrobe. Dress as you normally would for any interview.  Just because you are at home doesn’t give you permission to wear your bathrobe and bunny slippers.

Rehearse. Please refer to my earlier masterpieces ‘Friending vs Interviewing’ and ‘Breathe More Babble Less’ for further delightful insights on preparing for interviews.

Follow this advice and your online interview will be an epic masterpiece of cinema starring you as the hero and not the sad girl who twists her ankle and gets killed off in the opening credits.

Now excuse me. My scratching post is calling.  I have an itch somewhere around Krasnoyarsk.

Yours truly, Lola*Cat

Do you have a job seeking or office etiquette question for Lola*Cat? Send her an email:

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