Do you remember the last time you sat in the same room as someone who had the ability to offer you (or not offer you) regular paychecks in exchange for artistic services?
These days-- existing somewhere near the end of the second act of a Hollywood-blockbuster disaster film as we are-- that's not nearly so often how convincing someone we're worth hiring actually works anymore.
In the Age of Plague, you're more likely to do most of said activity via video-conference app.
We've chatted about interviews before, and most of that information still applies here-- conducting yourself like some kind of functional human is just good form, online or off.
But, while we wait to see if we can ever safely breathe the same air again, here's the virus edition of "How to appear at least somewhat employable"
Your instinct is going to be to watch the interviewer's face on the screen whenever they're speaking, and likewise whenever you're doing the talking.
Fight that, and look at the camera
This might seem like a small thing, but it's really not-- not if you consider that when you do it the other way, you're never actually making eye contact.
Instead, you're always just sort of staring off the mark, just a little bit.
In person, it would read as if you're trying to have a meaningful conversation with someone's shoulder, which is to say it would read, well, weird.
"But, Damien, they're doing that, too."
Sure. Them and most everyone else.
So you'll automatically seem more engaged than a lot of other people who might be interviewing for the job if you just settle your eyes on that little dot a little more often.
Ideally, you can secure a short stretch of time alone in a professional(-ish) space to do the interview call, but if not, put in the necessary effort to fake it.
Maybe don't opt for a plain white wall as your backdrop-- you're not trying to give the impression you're calling in live from prison. Pick the room that looks the least like how you actually live and tidy it up a bit.
"But, Damien, I don't have the time for that."
You do, but fine. At least use the blur filter.
You might also live with roommates. Or a partner. Or kids. Or pets. There's no sense regretting life choices now-- whatever you need to do to ensure you have the room to yourself, do that.
Negotiations should also include relative quiet elsewhere in the abode, too.
If there's ever a time where you find yourself thinking, "Gee, I hope they didn't hear that rolling argument/that toilet flush/that Pornhub video intro music," you can be certain they did.
Here's a thing you couldn't do in the Before Time-- record your interview, if you have the ability to do so.
I mean, I guess you could have, but if you've ever walked into an interview and asked the person with the hiring power to hang on while you mic the room and rig a tripod, odds are they figured you for a lunatic.
These days, the gear's already there and running.
Also, don't be a d!ck about it-- let the person know what you're doing. Tell them it's to review later and look for ways you can better sell yourself.
"But, Damien, seeing myself interview feels weird."
Yup. You now know how awkward you really are.
That's rough, but it's also useful information you can work with, down the road, if this interview didn't go your way.
It probably did, though.