We've all seen the news clips of people getting caught with no pants on: a legit – business on the top and party on the bottom. There is even a school in Miami that asked parents to follow a virtual etiquette (something we could all follow).
Our team has adopted our own virtual dress code – when it's just our team – show up how you want (with pants on, of course).
Client meetings are different. We get dressed like we were actually going to meet a client in person. We've even discussed what zoom backgrounds should be like for client meetings.
We've been interviewing for a project manager, and I'm genuinely bummed out. So, for all those job hunters out there, here are a few guidelines that you must have somehow forgotten about (or gasp…never learned).
1. Be punctual.
Do you know what makes me happy? When I get an email that tells me a candidate has joined my virtual meeting several minutes before its scheduled start time. SO HAPPY. If you know me, you know that punctuality is one of my biggest pet peeves. This is the real-life version of getting to your meeting early and waiting in the car to go inside. The old saying is 5 minutes early is on-time, on-time is late, and late is unacceptable. Brent Shore says it best and I couldn't agree more: read it here.
We had a candidate show up late for an interview, 38 minutes late. Why even bother?
2. I BEG you – dress for an interview and brush your hair.
I really feel like your mom here (since this is what my mom did) – but what are you wearing, your shirt is wrinkled, did you brush your hair today? If you need my mom to tell you what’s wrong with what you’re wearing, let me know, she’d love to help you out.
I know we're virtual, and I know Studio x. is a design firm, but if you can't be bothered to put on a nice shirt for a job interview and groom yourself, why would I ever think you'd show up for a virtual client meeting with pants on? Need tips, read this article.
3. Where are you sitting?
I don't expect anyone to have home offices with curated backgrounds, but here’s a suggestion, how about you put your laptop/tablet/phone on the table I assume you have – where you’ll sit when we hire you. Even though this is a work-from-home position, I’m going to go out on a limb and let you know meetings won’t be hosted from your bed. Or in this case, the bathroom.
Kids crying in the background or dogs suddenly losing their minds over your Amazon delivery? It happens to the best of us… we understand.
4. Ask a #%@ question.
Do you even care about the company you're hoping to join? Or are you just trying to land a job – any job for that matter? Asking about your future salary on the first interview is a no-no. Here are some great ideas. Please don't just read questions out loud off the list – make them personal – like you actually read about the company and care – a very low bar. Here are some ideas.
5. Make a commitment.
We once heard that a candidate would take the job while they looked for a better role. WHAT?! Can you even imagine? Here's a suggestion that all hiring managers really wish you'd follow. STOP HOPPING JOBS.
The amount of time it takes to integrate a new team member and get them up to speed on the client's preferences, projects, and deliverables is an investment of everyone's time. If I see that you switch jobs every 6 months to a year, I'm not going to take the risk that you'll do the same thing with us. It stresses out the clients, our team, and your next boss. If you have a good reason - by all means - include it in your cover letter. Hiring managers are going to see your job history as a red flag. So be prepared to talk about your reasons.
6. The interview is over, now what?
You followed the guidelines above, and you think you crushed it. Congratulations! Now you wait… while 7 more people who may be more qualified than you are interviewed. The hiring manager might have forgotten about how dynamic you were on the call. How will you stand out 8 days later? I implore you to please write a thank you note. Your parents probably taught you to say thank you… maybe they even made you write thank you cards, this is no different. Not sure what to write? If you’re too lazy to Google this and come up with your own ideas, we’ll save each other the headache and just pass now.
Send the thank you note – email is perfect in this virtual world.
Hey fellow employers, I'd love to hear your helpful tips! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll amend the article to include your interview pet peeves and advice for candidates to nail their interview so we can all get back to business.
And if you thought this whole article was in bad taste and it offended you. As Tony Bennett and Bill Evans sing in "Some Other Time," OH WELL...