Written by Shea Ki
So you have an online upcoming up? Congratulations! You are doing the right thing looking up relevant, useful resources. Our paths are crossing here at Upgrade My Interview for a reason.
As a hiring manager for almost a decade and a holistic career coach for several years, I've seen countless interview mistakes. These errors seem to multiply when someone has an online interview.
The good news is that I can share right now with you common mistakes most people are making before and during their online interviews.
I hope these four lessons I've learned and the resources I included with them save you time. It is my goal to ease your stress about interviewing.
I want to see you shine in the hot seat every time.
1. Prepare + Practice only when you feel good
It's been exciting seeing how Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and other online platforms are being used so much in the recruiting process. But not many of us received clear lessons in school on how to present ourselves best, especially when a screen and other devices are involved.
Online interviews save us commuting in traffic and have other advantages, but come with different challenges as well. Often, our natural likability and positivity are not as easily felt through the technology. It becomes extra important to prepare at the right time and practice in the right way.
I remind my clients often that the energy they put into getting ready for an online interview is equal to the energy that they will present in the hot seat.
So what happens when you practice for an interview while feeling overwhelmed and heavily stressed? When it is the real deal, that same harmful energy could amplify. This will bury your chances of giving an engaging, memorable impression.
How do you prevent mucking up your chance to shine in the hot seat?
Start by looking out for this list of online interview challenges, but do not beat yourself up about them. Since you are remembering to prep and practice when you are feeling good, solutions will more easily come to you:
2. Make eye contact into the camera often
If I had a dollar for every time I see someone not looking into the camera much during an online interview, I'd be able to donate so much more to my favorite charities!
Learning to look into the camera while talking to someone else doesn't usually feel natural at first. Many of us tend to look at the other person in the window on the screen or look at the window of ourselves. Doing this too often blocks or distracts from the connection between you and the person you are talking with.
The best suggestion I have is to do an online mock interview with a qualified, holistic career coach like myself. The second best thing is to at least get a co-worker or colleague to pretend to interview you online.
It's tempting to get your friends or family to help you out with this, but avoid this trap--unless they have a ton of hiring experience themselves.
If they have actually been trained to give constructive, objective feedback about how you communicate your message of professional value, then go for it! And be sure to thank them genuinely for their priceless support.
Taking this step of mock interviewing with an objective professional gets you valuable guidance about how you are coming across online. Plus, it might just save the moment on your big day! This investment of time also ensures that all of your technology is ready, updated, and you are comfortable using it.
And pretty please with a cherry on top and lots of whip cream--
DO NOT NOT USE YOUR SMART PHONE for an online interview if possible. Selfie sticks or holding a phone with your hand in selfie mode tends to make your image shake or bounce around.
This makes it hard to take you seriously and be seen as a professional.
Instead, prepare or borrow a laptop with a great built-in camera. Put it on an adjustable computer stand (any of these will do) so that the camera is at the same level with your eyes. This will make sure the people interviewing you do not get an unexpected view up your nose (it happens more than we might realize!). Using a stand is also much more stable equipment than a pile of books and makes keeping your eye level in line with the camera so much easier.
3. Choose a deep breathing exercise that works for you to calm your nerves--and actually do it.
We might know of natural ways to calm our nerves, but it doesn't mean we take the time to do it.
Committing to a stress reduction method like deep breathing and USING IT CONSISTENTLY is a game changer.
Nailing down your stress reduction routine is a big part of what sets apart engaging, energized interview candidates from those that leave a lackluster impression.
Which list would you prefer your name to go on?
This video breezes through a few moments during some of my online coaching sessions. I share it with you (even the parts where my breathing may sound like Darth Vader!) because it emphasizes the quick tips in this post.
I also put the video together to give you a brief sample of my holistic coaching style.
4. Before you share your professional value, plug into your highest energy.
This is the Upgrade My Interview method golden first rule-
You cannot expect to give your best impression if you have not taken the sacred time to first connect to your highest energy.
Most of the professionally successful clients I coach already believe and feel a spiritual connection to a higher source. They know that tapping into what some may consider too "woo-woo" results in more win-wins. They've realized that energy work, including Reiki, acupressure, and guided imagery, helps them achieve their career goals with more ease while feeling deeply connected to a higher good.
But even though they know that the universe has their back, they might have hit a block. Busy, high pressure work days and other demands may be tugging on them stronger. This type of challenge is a common and tough road to navigate for anyone.
Not making time for holistic practices slows down professional growth and impedes happiness at work for many.
Because I see the career benefits of energy work every day, I help my clients make time to enjoy this powerful connection with their higher source and explore what works for them.
It's different what works best for almost each person I work with during a private, online coaching session. Some already have a ritual for allowing in more divine guidance and inner light that they adore. But they want a holistic career coach like me to help keep them accountable to plugging into it consistently.
Others request my support and assistance on exploring spiritual practices that feel best to them.
The results? A transformation of reduced stress and feeling more at ease and confident before big professional moments, especially interviews.
Oh, and my favorite part? Seeing my clients enjoy the exhilarating experience of noticing more opportunities coming their way. As their attention to their self-care and connection to their higher purpose strengthens, solutions begin to reveal themselves about their career challenges.
When asked, I also walk clients through some of the ways I charge myself up to my highest energy. My examples often remind them of energy work practices they have explored before, received benefit from, but perhaps have not been doing on a regular basis.
These powerful boosts can come from anything that lifts our spirit--from nature walks, meditation and yoga poses, to aromatherapy, Reiki, EFT (tapping), and a ton of options in between.
I keep noticing again and again how much faster career momentum and satisfaction builds for my clients when they spend daily time plugging into their highest energy.
When you consistently practice a combination of what connects you to your inner light, the positive effect on your mindset, body language, and energy during your interviews is priceless.
Do you feel eager to try what may be a new blend for you of energy boosting practices? Then this video I created while I felt tapped into my divine source will serve you well before any interview.
Before I share my professional value in any way, I align myself with my highest energy and set an intention. The exact combo of energy work I do changes from time to time, but I always include something to boost my mindset, body language, and energy (the Upgrade My Interview method in action, of course!).
Lately, 3 deep breaths + 5 minutes of Reiki or my mindset mantras + a powerful yoga pose like Warrior I = what works best for me.
Depending on the situation, I might add in some of my favorite crystals for extra fun and positive energy, too!
For me, performing a ritual to plug into my highest energy turns up my confidence and clarity in noticeable ways. I sit taller, answer questions with more ease, and feel my best self throughout any high stakes moment for work.
Some professionals that I coach are familiar with easing into that feeling of alignment with their highest energy. For others it is a new resource to tap into for less stress in the hot seat and more career momentum.
Is energy work a new approach to you?
Or do you have already have a holistic practice that you make time for before big moments in your career?
Your voice matters here and we all learn from each other. Share in the comments below!
Most of all, believe in you.
About The Author
Did you enjoy this post? My name is Shea Ki and I invite you to join my mission to end the interview struggle for talented women. My coaching sessions help you shine in the hot seat and attract work that lights you up.
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