Author: Sam Bauer Published: Sept 2020

With Covid 19 still in full swing, many companies have opted for virtual interviews instead of in person ones. This does have some benefits, such as only having to dress professionally from the waist up and being able answer difficult questions in the comfort of your own home. But there are some major drawbacks, the biggest one is that these interviews often rely on third party technology. Not to mention the extremely unfair fact that your technology is part of the interviewer’s first impression of you, regardless of the position that you are applying for. I had an interview a few weeks ago, where my tiny computer could not handle the responsibility of running Zoom with 5 other devices connected to the WIFI. Needless to say, it did not go well. To help with that, I found 5 pieces of technology to help bolster the tech you most likely already have (i.e. your computer and phone). The best part? They are all 25 dollars or less.

(Disclosure: I am not a computer expert so do your research before you decide if this list is right for you)

Cyber Acoustic Headphones: They might look like something straight out of a computer lab and they sure don’t look as fancy as Bose or Samsung headphones but you don’t need them to be. They work with both computers and smartphones, so if your phone is your only option you’ll still manage to look professional without asking the interviewer to repeat themselves.

Price: $9.86

Cat8 Ethernet Cable: If your laptop is your only option and it has an ethernet port, I would 100% recommend getting an ethernet cable. Most of us are living with other people so bandwidth might get dicey when it comes time to interview. An ethernet cable means you get first dibs on the WIFI rather than your family watching netflix in three separate rooms. Just remember that this isn’t foolproof. Too many devices or large downloads will clog up your internet access despite your priority access.

Price: $8.99

Wansview PC webcam: This is the more expensive item on the list but it is also the cheapest on Amazon and it works with almost every operating system under the sun. Even though cameras usually come built into most laptops sometimes the resulting image isn’t flattering. This camera is a cheap upgrade and like I said, no matter what computer you have this will work with it.

Price: $23.79

Phone Stand: If you don’t have access to a computer, then most likely you’ll be using your smartphone in the interview process. In that case, a phone stand is pretty self-explanatory. Both you and the interviewer will have uninterrupted views of each other and you don’t have to do the whole thing one-handed.

Price: $10.95

Performance Troubleshooting: If you’re worried about how your device will handle whatever interview software the interviewer is using, troubleshooting software is an easy way to find out. Trust me, finding out the day of your interview that your computer can’t handle the software is embarrassing and annoying. Most computers already have troubleshooting software installed but they don’t always work as advertised. Just in case, I found a list softwares that are easy to download, free, and are a bit more sophisticated than the pre-installed variety.

Price: Free