Jobs tips

Don't Rely On Notes

While you might take a few notes of your own during the interview, don’t write down a list of things you want to say. Too many notes will be awkward and make the interview seem forced. Pro Tip: You won’t want to have detailed notes, but you will want to have a few questions jotted down so you are prepared. You may even include some stats or competitor notes that you saw in your research. Don’t feel like you need to rush into answers. Give yourself a second or two to breathe before answering the questions. Not only will the short pause give you a second to organize your thoughts, it will ensure you aren’t cutting in on top of the interviewer. Remember, when you are nervous, you are more likely to go faster than when you are comfortable, so slow it down!

Provide excellent customer service

Postmates delivery drivers earn base pay, around $4-$6 per delivery. Most experienced Postmates emphasize that the larger percentage of their pay comes from tips. Therefore, they suggest you always go the extra mile and give the best customer service to each and every customer. Some of them say that those who order more tend to leave more generous tips.

Use Engaged Body Language

Similar to the power poses, using engaged body language during the interview is going to help you answer with confidence and energy. Even if the call is just over the phone, the right posture will help you sound more friendly, open and sure of yourself. On the flip side, slouching can cause you to feel tired and want to be done. Crossing your arms or your legs will look like you aren’t fully engaged and can actually cause a kind of mental block that makes it hard to really take in the information. Pro Tip: Make sure you are sitting up straight with your shoulders back and head up. This is something you will want to practice when you are getting your spot picked out. Make sure that your computer or camera is positioned at eye level, so you don’t have to lean over or duck down to get in the frame. You may need to place it on a box or stand to get it to the perfect height.

Look Your Interviewer in the "Eye"

In the online environment, eye contact is important—even though it isn’t true eye contact. Instead of looking at the person on the screen, look directly into the webcam and stay engaged. It can be tricky to look at the camera when you see a person on the screen. But, looking at the screen will make you look like you are staring down (since screens are usually below cameras). If you’ve taken a selfie before, then you probably know the deal. But, somehow, video is harder. Pro Tip: If you are uncomfortable, put a picture of someone you know up by the webcam. This way, you feel as though you're chatting with a friend. If you have a webcam on a stand, you can even place it in front of the person’s face to make this a little easier.

Calm Your Nerves

Practice your main talking points if you’re nervous and remember to slow down—it can be easy to talk over people on online calls. You may need to be slightly louder and more emphatic than you would be in person, since the screen is going to reduce a little bit of the impact you would have in person. Pro Tip: Even though this particular interview is hosted online, don’t forget to review your traditional interview skills. You’ll want to have answers prepared to some of the more common interview questions and examples in case they ask for specifics. Before the interview, try standing in power poses to channel your nerves into feel-good energy. Science has shown that these poses can help you think on the go and perform well under stress.

Log on Early and Test Setup

Being on time is really being about 10 minutes early. For a virtual, first-time interview, you may want to make sure you are ready to go 15-20 minutes early. If this sounds like a lot, just remember: In a normal interview, you would probably be getting ready, driving, parking and finding the right room before the interview. In this situation, setting up the computer and logging in is essentially the parking part of your interview process. Make sure everything works and then you can hang out until about 5-10 minutes before the scheduled time. Pro Tip: ALWAYS act like your interviewer can hear and see everything you are doing. Getting in the habit of feeling “watched” during the session will help you not do something strange because you forget people are in the room or don’t realize your camera is on. From the moment you log in until the moment you close the screen, just assume they can hear and see everything.

Remove Distractions

Silence anything that could interfere with your conversation, including your phone and email notifications on your computer. It is rude to be interrupted during an interview unless you have an emergency situation that your potential employer is already going to be aware of. Pro Tip: Make sure no one else is around when you are completing your interview, including pets. Interviewers have seen cats walk across the computer screen and close the session, half-clothed people walking across the room in the background or hear children screaming in the next room. Don’t jeopardize your career by not being prepared! If you can’t ensure people aren’t going to interrupt you, it might be best to either take your interview to another location or make sure your roommates (or family) can plan to be gone for the day.

Forgo Virtual Backgrounds

You may feel tempted to pick out a cute background on the platform, but don’t! Backgrounds are distracting and unprofessional for a first-time meeting. In fact, you want to choose the most professional area of your home for the interview—feel free to stage it just for the interview! Pro Tip: Once you’ve identified the places that offer the best lighting, you will want to carefully examine the backgrounds to choose the best spot. Remove any clutter. Avoid odd things in the background like a bed or toilet. It may seem obvious, but sometimes people just don’t really think about the first impression their home is making. Books can make you look smart, tactful home décor can give the appearance of being put together and artsy pieces in the background can make you look cultured. A blank wall is even acceptable because it keeps the focus on you.

Pick the Perfect Spot for Lighting

Make sure it isn’t too dark but also stay away from overhead lights during the interview, if you can. If possible, try to settle down near a window with your face towards the light. You always want to put your best foot (or in this case, face) forward!

Do a Test-Run With Your Computer

In this day and age, technology can be overwhelming and with online interviews especially, you need to feel comfortable using whichever method your prospective employee prefers (Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, etc.). Once you’re comfortable with the program you’ll be using, it’s a good idea to test your internet connection as well as your audio and sound capabilities to make sure everything works properly. Pro Tip: Before logging on, ask the interviewer what the format is. Here are a few questions to ask to make sure you’re prepared:

  • Is it an audio interview or both audio and video?
  • Is there someone on the other end of the video or are the questions pre-recorded?
  • If they are pre-recorded, how many chances do I get to record my answer?
  • What do I do or who do I call if I start having technical difficulties? Then, find a friend or family member you can use that platform to connect with. For platforms like Zoom and Skype, they are pretty user-friendly, but it helps to feel familiar with the interface before you get on with your employer and realize you are trying to respond and still muted.