How do I handle a virtual job interview during a quarantine?

I had a job interview scheduled for next week, and now it’s going to be a virtual interview. I have no idea how to handle this. Any tips?

Oh, you got this! If you have ever FaceTimed friends or family, or participated in a video conference, then you have a good idea of how to handle it. Even my 87-year-old mother-in-law has learned how to FaceTime, although not before she curls her hair and is camera-ready. And that’s an important point. Make sure you are looking presentable, just as you would if you were meeting in person — though you can relax a little with what you wear, since I don’t think anyone is expecting full business attire during the current home lockdown. Find a quiet, private place at home and test the location with your computer or phone beforehand, so you aren’t scrambling with technology or finding place at the last minute. Make sure that family and pets are not going to be making noise in the background or bombing your shot. Have soft front lighting and a nice background. Conduct yourself as you would in person — smile, be brief, stay in the shot and look into the camera . And for heaven’s sake, make sure you hang up before yelling at the kids.

Like a lot of people, I’m now working from home — and I love it! Would it be appropriate to ask my boss if I can do this all the time?

I think many of us will be facing a new normal when we get through this crisis. The ability to work remotely has grown considerably as technology has improved, and we may see a significant growth in people working from home because some companies will have employees who prefer to continue operating that way and some because of organizational changes. However, as with many things, timing is everything. I wouldn’t ask right now (or for a raise or promotion!) When your company is less focused on triaging the business to keep it running and more on returning to normal operations, you can raise the subject then. Perhaps suggest a trial or part-time remote work if you encounter any resistance.

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