7 Tips for Acing a Video Interview

Whether you just graduated school or are just seeking a new job, work interviews have modernized. Video interviews —conducted online— are increasingly common. In some industries, IRL interviews are (for now) a thing of the past—as more companies take on remote hires and millions are working from home.

And, with the rapid rise in digital job interviews, what are some ways to ace the video interview?

Here are seven tips for giving an impactful and memorable video interview—from practicing potential answers out loud ahead of time to tweaking the lighting for your camera.

There are various ways to get a first job after college. Being prepared for video interviews is one way to make a positive first impression.

Dressing for the Video Interview

For remote jobs, it’s quite possible that applicants may do a video interview through their tablets or computers. And, while the job interview location may now be a digital platform (and your couch), certain interview expectations stay the same—namely presenting yourself with professionalism and dressing for the job. Even when (especially when) you’re interviewing from home.

It may be helpful to ask about the expected dress code for a remote position. Asking questions like this may show a hirer that you’re aware that businesses have diverse expectations for professionalism. Even if they say you can wear whatever you want, you’ve shown that you’re unafraid of asking questions to grasp what’s expected of that role.

There’s an old adage— dress for the job you want, not the role you have. In a video interview, this could mean opting to dress a touch more formally—even if HR said the employees usually go for business-casual. (And, yes, you should wear pants during video interviews.)

It’s hard to feel like you’re going to shine if you’re in coffee-stained PJs.

It’s also not a bad idea to confirm the logistics of the video interview (in addition to outfit- planning). Some video interview logistics questions could include:

•   Will you get a calendar invite or event link for the interview?
•   What time zone will the interviewer be calling in from?
•   Which video conferencing platform will be used?
•   Will you need to download software to be able join the interview?

Knowing the answers to logistics can help bring more confidence to the video interview.

1. Practicing to Make Perfect

Different companies or organizations may use different platforms to host the interview—from Zoom to Google Hangouts to other programs. Don’t worry: You don’t need to become a pro at all the expert features. Still, it’s a good idea to become comfortable at:

•   Dialing in to scheduled calls
•   Checking the audio and the camera
•   Understanding what the interviewer can see
•   Ensuring the WiFi signal is strong enough for the video interview

If an interviewer mentions a program you’ve never used, it’s advisable to download and try it out well before the actual call. Opening up an unfamiliar program just before the interview only to realize it’s not compatible with your technology might create a positive first impression. So, make sure you double-check that you have all logins or passwords for the call. It’s best not to keep interviewers waiting because you failed to check the video interview details.

Try to make a mental checklist of digital distractions you’ve run across, as well. Then, see what you can do to minimize (if not outright eliminate) those common distractions before the live video interview. For example, you could turn off notifications or sounds for texts and emails during the interview time slot.

2. Setting the Surroundings

Generally, it’s a good idea to do a test call on the planned video-interview platform. This could help you assess how you and your surroundings appear via video. You may even want an extra set of eyes and ears–asking a friend or family member to do a “mock” call to ensure the audio and visuals are clear.

When prepping for a video interview, put yourself in the position of whoever will be interviewing you. Some questions to chew on:

•   What can the interviewer see of your space?
•   Are you easily visible or is more light needed?
•   Are there any distractions in the camera frame?

Some digital platforms allow users to record sessions. So, interviewees may want to record themselves talking and then watch and listen. You could run through the main things you want to say in the real video interview. Talking aloud on camera can help some people to become more aware of their own nervous tics and body language.

3. Taking Notes Beforehand

With job interviews, researching the company beforehand could give you ideas of how to connect previous work experience with the brand’s values or role’s job. One of the benefits of a video interview is that you can make these research notes quite literal.

Write out key points on a big piece of paper near your computer. Or, jot down some ideas or accomplishments on a sticky note next to your camera. It’s likely that the employer conducting the video interview will have no idea you’re looking at those pre-prepared notes—just make sure you keep your notes short, so you can naturally weave in keywords.

Talking points are a good idea. You may want to skip long sentences that sound like you’re reading.

4. Minimizing Off-Screen Distractions

Above all else, keep your on-screen image distraction-free. It’s worth remembering that the only person the interviewer wants to interact with is you–not your adorable pets, lovely roommates, or kid sister. You ask the folks you share a living space with to keep quiet or stay in their rooms during your interview. Plan ahead so the conversation isn’t distractingly interrupted by unexpected visitors.

5. Wearing Headphones

It would be a shame to have the audio cut out mid interview. Nothing can derail a smooth interview back-and-forth than the inability to hear the other person. It’s likely neither the interviewer or the job applicant wants to say, “What?” or “Can you repeat that?” during the video call.

There’s no need to invest in fancy, studio-quality headphones, thankfully—if you’re comfortable with earbuds, those should work fine. They also have the added benefit of not being visually intrusive.

6. Going Outside for a Breather

It’s hard to feel energetic and friendly if you’re cooped inside all day. A good way to minimize nerves is to get fresh air. Don’t just open up a window—put on sunscreen, maintain social distancing, and go outside. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, a jolt of sunlight and breeze can reset the mind.

7. Remembering to Be Yourself

After preparing for the logistics of a video interview, it can be easy to forget one simple thing: Be yourself. While a strong WiFi signal and well-lit space won’t hurt your chances during a video interview, it’s helpful to recall that interviews are conversations between two or more people. Be prepared and share who you are.

Getting to Work

Acing a job interview—video interview or otherwise—is just one part of navigating life after college. Being ready for a video interview is just one new way to get noticed these days.

On top of looking for a full-time or better-paying job, some grads also want to find ways to reduce their outstanding debt balances—including long-term bills, like student loan repayments.

After exhausting federal options (like income-driven repayment or loan forgiveness programs), some borrowers decide to refinance their student loans with a private lender.
Refinancing student loans could reduce monthly bill payments or the amount paid in interest during the duration of the loan.

Learn more about refinancing your student loans with SoFi.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license # 6054612; NMLS # 1121636 . For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal.

Third Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
SoFi Student Loan Refinance
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.


Source: sofi.com

Checking Out Wifi for Apartment . . . Before You Lease!

You’ve looked at the pool and checked out the square footage on an apartment you love – job done, right? Wrong. If you love downloading, streaming or surfing the Internet, then having access to Wi-Fi is essential. Unfortunately, everything from location to building materials can make using Wi-Fi difficult. So how can you ensure that the Wi-Fi for your new apartment is going to be top-notch?

Ask About Service Providers

Depending on your location or who your community allows, you might be limited on your choices for providers. For example, if Wi-Fi or Internet is included with your rent, your building will generally have a contract in place with a company that you will have to use. Additionally, not all cable and Internet providers are available in all areas. Find out if your apartment community has any restrictions, or if they have a list of suggested providers.

Related: Using smart home technology in your apartment

Double Check the Information

It’s crucial to do a little research on your own. After all, information can sometimes be outdated or there may be new providers in the area. One of the best ways to discover what’s available to you is to simply plug in your potential new zip code into Internet Providers by ZIP. From there, you’ll be able to see a full list of providers, contact information and even speeds and data plans offered.

Related: How Much do Utilities Cost in a Studio Apartment?

Don’t Forget to Test

It’s likely that you’ll have your smart phone or tablet with you when you’re apartment hunting. Take advantage of the opportunity to walk through the apartment building AND complex and see how your cell service data plan picks up, or if there are any black spots in your apartment or community.

Be sure to walk to any other areas where you’re sure to want to use your devices, such as the common areas, pool, gym and even the parking spaces. See how reception is there. Additionally, try using a service like Measurement Lab to get a feel for how Internet and Wi-Fi providers in the area are performing.

If you’re looking at an apartment in an historic structure, be sure you test from the inside. Plaster walls can kill a cell signal. Some rooms may have a stronger signal than others. This is crucial if you plan to work from home.

Related: Tips to Troubleshoot Slow Internet Speed and Use Wi-Fi to Overcome Bad Cell Service in You Apartment

Talk to the Neighbors

Ask people you see who their provider is, and how their service is. If it’s bad, try to get more details. Is it just bad in their particular building? Where is their building? A lower elevation can make a big difference. If the building you’re considering is in a higher or lower spot than theirs, that can matter. If they’re in the building you want, don’t go into denial if they say their service is bad or spotty: ask to see other buildings.

When it comes to having apartment Internet service, it’s best to research before you sign your name on the dotted line. Wi-Fi black spots in your apartment can become increasingly annoying over time.

Related: America’s most tech-hungry cities

Are you an Internet junkie? Have you tested services before you moved in to your apartment? Tell us your stories on social!



Source: apartmentguide.com

Use WiFi to Overcome Bad Cell Service in Your Apartment

You’ve moved into your brand new apartment only to discover the worst: Bad cell reception! Fear not, it’s not the end of (connecting with) the world… there is one simple solution to getting better cell phone reception in your apartment.

What Exactly Is A Home WiFi Network?

Regardless of why the cell phone reception in your apartment is bad, the easiest fix is hooking yourself up with a personal home WiFi network.

Home WiFi is personal wireless network that uses a radio signal to connect your devices to the Internet instead of a wire. An internet connection comes into your building through a hard line which is then connected to a WiFi router in your apartment, which converts that internet connection into a two-way radio signal. Connect your phone to that signal and, boom, you have your own personal and private wireless local area network (LAN).

Using WiFi with your phone will allow you to browse the internet and use most of your apps without needing better cell reception because WiFi does not require a cellular signal. Additionally, if your phone service charges for using above a certain amount of data per month, using WiFi does not count towards your data plan.

Texting And Making Phone Calls With WiFi

You may still have difficulty sending text messages and making phone calls if you have bad cell reception in your apartment, because SMS and voice’s mobile network signal is different from your data signal. This can be solved by using WiFi calling, a service through your phone provider, which allows texts and phone calls to be sent and received over WiFi.

Alternately, you can use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) apps like Facebook Messenger, Skype, Viber, and iMessage for text and voice.

Who Provides WiFi Service To My Apartment?

Most people purchase an internet service subscription from their local cable company, which will also rent you a wireless router to turn their internet signal into your Wi-Fi signal. If you’re cord-cutting, most cable companies also offer an internet-only package.

Unfortunately if you choose not to go through a cable or satellite operator, there are few WiFi options. If you’re lucky enough to live where Google Fiber is offered (currently in about 20 cities), that may be your best alternative. Additionally, some cities offer Google Fiber Webpass, a similar service for apartments only.

Alternately, public WiFi is available in many cities that may reach into your home. Just scan for these networks on your phone and connect. Much like the free WiFi you find at your local coffee shop, the service is free but most likely comes with a slower signal and a variety of security risks. Be sure to research that service’s security and protect your connection before you log on.

Hooking yourself up with WiFi is just one of many solutions to getting better cell reception in your apartment, but it’s the best place to start.



Source: apartmentguide.com

How You Can Avoid Falling for the Latest Identity Theft Scam

Source: goodfinancialcents.com

5 Simple Steps to Set-Up a Fast and Secure Wireless Network

You just moved into your new apartment; time to unpack boxes, arrange your furniture and put everything in its proper place. It’s usually about this time that you decide to setup your Wi-Fi, after all, unpacking is a lot more fun when you can listen a Pandora or Spotify playlist instead of just the thuds of moving boxes around. By now, you probably know how to set-up a wireless router. Take it out of the box, plug the cords into the appropriate port, follow the on-screen instructions and you’re done!

That gets it set up, but is only the bare minimum. You want speed and security, right? That takes some extra work but is worth it.

Consider buying your own router

Just about every Internet Service Provider (ISP) will give you the option of renting a modem/router combo from them. They work fine, but usually aren’t the best hardware. Buying your own dedicated router can be expensive, but they’re usually faster, better built, and more reliable than what you’ll get from your ISP. This can also save you some money every month, as you have to pay a rental fee for the router from your ISP but won’t with your own dedicated router/modem. The rental fee is normally in the $10/month range, so even if you spend $200 on a router/modem, it will have paid for itself in a couple years.

Dont use the preset network name

Every wireless router comes with a preset factory name: Linksys001, Netgear233, etc. You want it to just work, so why have to change it?

There are several reasons. The default network tells anyone trying to connect some information about your network. It might seem harmless for your neighbor to have an easier time leeching off your Wi-Fi, but that could slow down your network, or even cost you money if you have a bandwidth cap and your neighbor makes you go over.

The most serious reason is that the more you know about a router, the easier it is to break in. It’ll be easier to guess what vulnerabilities exist there. According to Paul Cucu from Heimdal Security . “If a cyber criminal knows the manufacturer of your router, they will know what vulnerabilities that model has and then exploit them.” Don’t think you’ll change the name later – take the extra step and change the name right away.

Change the password

An even bigger vulnerability is the password. If you leave the password as its default, you’ll make it much easier for anyone who wants to break in – like leaving your door unlocked. Default passwords are easy to guess and often follow predictable patterns. Create a unique, strong password that’s at least 10 characters long and contains a mix of numbers and special characters. You’ll be tempted to make it something really easy to remember, but the easier a password is to remember, the easier it will be to guess. Creating good passwords is hard, but worth it for the security you gain.

Note: Follow these password recommendations for all of your online accounts. You may also want to setup two-factor authentication, which requires a code or pin to login, for any accounts with personal data (like bank or credit card information).

Set up a good security protocol

All of this security is useless if you don’t have encryption enabled. There are three types that you’ll find on most routers, but only one you should ever use. Look for a section called something like “Encryption” and enable WPA2. There will also be WEP and WPA options available, but those should only be used if you can’t use WPA2 for some reason. If you have an older router that doesn’t have WPA2, buy a newer router. WEP and WPA are better than nothing, but WPA2 is so much better than either that there’s no reason not to use it.

Don’t worry if you’re not tech savvy, you can call tech support to walk you through the process or follow these step-by-step directions to encrypt your wireless network .

Upgrade your routers firmware

To finally get your router up to date, you’re going to need to make sure it’s running updated software. There are flows in router security found all the time, and updates are the way you deal with that. Look through the manual to find how to update it and run through the update process. You’re going to have to spend a while without internet access while it updates and restarts, but when it comes back online, you’ll have the most secure version of your specific router that you can get.

Now that you have security, let’s talk about speed. There are a lot of things that can cause problems with internet speed, and not all of them are going to be under your control. There are some, so let’s look at those.

Put your router in a central, open location

Routers are incredibly smart radios, but still limited by the physics of radio. If you want to reach devices throughout your apartment, you’re going to want the router as close to the center as you can get it. If you tried to put it off in a closet in the corner, most of the range would go to covering your neighbor, rather than your entire apartment.

The other problem with putting it in a closet is that surfaces and objects can get in the way. Walls (especially plaster, brick, or concrete), windows, mirrors, or any other surface can mess with the signal. You don’t have to put it on the floor in the middle of a room, but having it close to the center and away from most walls is the best way to get the best signal across your entire living space.

Change to 5GHz

Most routers use the same wavelength for communication: 2.4 GHz. This means that if you live somewhere with a lot of neighbors, all of whom have their own wireless networks, you’re going to get a lot of interference. By changing to a different channel, your router will run into less interference. You’ll need to access your router’s settings, like you did when setting it up in the first place. If you’ve never done it before, contact your ISP, ask a tech-savvy friend or follow these directions which will show you how to find a less-crowded channel that will help your network run faster.

Consider a mesh network

If you have a particularly large apartment or are renting a house, one wireless router might not be enough to cover the whole place with good internet. This has always been possible, but until recently required a lot of work and tweaking to get it all working. In recent years, there’s been a rise in companies selling simple, mesh wireless routers, such as Eero or Orbi (by Netgear). These consist of  multiple routers which talk to each other, but from your perspective, you stay connected to the same wireless network no matter which you’re connected to. This gives you a much stronger signal everywhere, translating to faster internet access wherever you go.

Setting up a fast, secure wireless network doesn’t take long and if you take these initial steps when you move in, you’ll have less to worry about later. To make sure you’ve covered all your bases, use this cheat sheet for apartment Wi-Fi networks when you setup your router.

Photo by Farzad Nazifi on Unsplash



Source: apartmentguide.com

WiFi Password Security: Why It’s Important, How to Get It

Hacking is all over the news, from major corporate data breaches all the way to random viruses. Don’t kid yourself that nobody would really be interested in stealing your information. Securing your personal information is more important than ever before, and it can start with something as simple as ensuring that your apartment’s wifi password security, as well as your other passwords, are strong enough. But how do you create a secure password?

The Three Essential Rules to Creating a Secure Password

Though passwords may seem like a hassle to remember, they’re a hugely necessary inconvenience. According to cybersecurity company IdentityHawk.com, they’re essential in the fight against someone stealing your data or even your identity. In order to ensure your password security, start by keeping these three rules in mind:

  1. Passwords should be complex and long
    While this may make your password more difficult to remember, it also makes it more difficult for a hacker to guess. Aim for a password that’s at least 8 characters long, includes both upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters such as %, # or &.
  2. Passwords should not be easy to guess
    It’s always tempting to use something simple like “password1” or even “123456,” but that’s one of the worst things you can do. Sequential numbers are actually the worst for hacks, according to SplashData, who collect information on data breaches. In fact, in 2015, “123456” was the most commonly used password found in hacks for the 5th year running.
  3. Use a different password for every account
    Using the same password for all of your accounts is just asking for trouble. Oftentimes during major data breaches, hackers will try using acquired passwords on other accounts just to see if they’ll work, meaning they could possibly gain access to your important financial information. If your memory just isn’t built for that kind of thing, try using one of the top password managers to ensure your password security.

How Do I Know If I Have a Bad Password?

That’s easy — just check out SplashData’s Worst Password List of 2016 below. If yours is on it, it’s time for a change:

bad security passwordsbad security passwords
 Infographic provided by TeamsID.com

What’s the Best Way To Create a Secure Password?

how to create a safe passwordhow to create a safe password

Infographic credit: Sage Data Security

Did your password make the bad password list? Are you worried about password security? Let us know on social!

Related: Smart home technology for your apartment



Source: apartmentguide.com