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In an Apply-From-Home Job Market, It Pays to Be Camera Ready

Career Services provides best practices for interviewing online

Posted in: Faculty Voices, Homepage News, University

Double screen on monitor of career counselors
Adam Mayer, director of Career Development (left) and Career Advisor Jeffrey Poulos host a new video series with tips for online interviews.

When job searching from home during the pandemic, one thing is clear: It pays to be camera ready. Video interviews are skyrocketing as companies practice social distancing and become more accepting of remote work and flexible schedules.

To ensure students and alumni are ready for their close-ups, Montclair State’s Career Services has created a series of light-hearted videos to help tackle the serious business of landing a job.

Adam Mayer, director of Career Development, and Career Advisor Jeffrey Poulos created the videos to help students and alumni ace virtual interviews. The series is among the resources the University provides to help graduates and current students enhance their professional skills, network with employers and industry experts and develop a strategy to search for a job or internship.

Even amidst the public health crisis, some industries are hiring. At a recent Virtual Career Fair hosted by Montclair State, nearly 50 employers participated through the “Hire a Red Hawk” chat module, Mayer says.

Career Services indicate a number of industries, including pharmacies, online retailers, teleworking communications and shipping companies, are looking to bolster staffing.

Preparing students for interviews – which has been moving virtually even before this crisis – is among the “Hire a Red Hawk” tools featured in the new video series.

“We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to practice virtual interviews,” Poulos says. “Students can do so through the ‘Hire a Red Hawk” mock interview module and request feedback from their respective career services team members.”

In the video series, Mayer and Poulos outline the best practices for remote interviews, including finding a quiet setting with good lighting and a simple background and testing the audio before starting the conversation.

“Regardless of the interview modality, making sure the interview is a conversation should be paramount,” Mayer says. “The give and take, reflection of content and questions from both parties are essential to establishing a professional rapport.”

An interview can still be “face-to-face,” even if it’s taking place virtually, by placing your camera at eye level, Poulos adds. Looking at the camera and not the screen ensures you are maintaining eye contact with the interviewer.

“Similar to a traditional interview, the key to video interviewing is to be confident and display your authentic-self,” Poulos says.

Adds Mayer, “Be sure to smile occasionally too. Our brains interpret smiles as rewards, and they’re contagious, so let’s see those ivories.”

Practice Makes Perfect

Face-to-Face Interviewing


Keep it Simple

Find Your Light

Take Notes

Story by staff writer Marilyn Joyce Lehren.