If you’ve applied for a job recently, being asked by the interviewer to ‘come in’ for a video interview instead of a physical one is not uncommon.
Given the unusual times we find ourselves in and the heightened safe distancing measures, virtual interviews have become the new norm for companies to hire and recruit. Such an arrangement may throw some of you off, especially if you’re more used to the traditional face-to-face interview.
But fret not. Here are some of the dos and don’ts to help you navigate a virtual interview successfully (and hopefully land a job).
DO test out the video platform, audio and video
Whichever video platform your interview will be hosted, make sure you can sign onto it with ease. The last thing you want is to deal with a failed login which could jeopardise the whole interview.
Do a quick test of your audio and video to ensure they are both working fine. Prepping this in advance will give you time to troubleshoot any issues before the actual interview.
DO check your internet connection and camera settings
Imagine this: you’re saying all the right things to wow the interviewer, but you have a spotty Wi-Fi. Chances are, they won’t be able to catch everything you say; or worse, they’d be left frustrated with your ‘half-delivered’ replies. So test that you have a strong and working internet connection beforehand.
When it comes to the camera on your device, set it up so that you are seen from the waist up. Make a point to clean the camera so that you don’t appear blurry on the other end.
Look straight into the camera so that it appears you are addressing the interviewer directly. Making eye contact is important and can add to mutual understanding and trust.
DO be strategic about where you conduct the interview
It’s important to plan for the ‘location’ of this interview. Find a private space where you can chat quietly and without distractions. Make sure the lighting is good and not overly glaring or too dim which may make you look dull and unclear.
Try to ensure you have a clean and presentable backdrop where there are no objects, posters, or photos behind that could distract the interviewer. If you’re using popular video platforms such as Zoom or Google Hangouts, you can even change out the background to a more professional setting.
DO look and sound the part
You may think “Oh, it’s just a virtual interview, so I’ll just dress from the waist up”. Well, there’s a fair chance that you may still stand up or move around. So, do dress professionally.
Speak slowly and clearly with a calm, pleasant tone. Avoid filler words such as ‘ums’ and ‘ehs’ as they make you sound less polished and professional. Most of all, try to let your personality shine through by smiling and being amiable.
Read Also: Dressing for Job Interview Success
DON’T go in unprepared
Just like with any interview, don’t go in without doing your research. And yes, while you could secretly Google for answers on the spot, it’s not likely to leave a good impression.
Doing some research shows the interviewer that you are interested in the company and have an informed opinion. It also helps to make for a more meaningful connection between the interviewer and yourself.
“In the interview process, candidates who demonstrate grit, curiosity, optimism, a global mindset and a knack for problem-solving tend to make a positive impression,” says Mastercard Chief Human Resources Officer, Michael Fraccaro.
DON’T be too casual
It’s easy to get comfortable in a virtual interview; after all, you are in your comfort zone (and not at someone else’s office). But don’t lose sight of the fact that it is still a job application. Avoid slumping back in your chair or becoming too relaxed which may give the impression that you don’t really care about getting the job.
DON’T read off your screen
It’s not okay to read out answers to potential questions. Even though interviewers can’t see you do it, they can hear you and you’re unlikely to sound natural.
Consider using cue cards instead. Keep the points short and in a tiny corner of your screen to act as a reminder on what you need to cover – such as drawing on past career experiences. One of the qualities employers look for when it comes to hiring is the ability of candidates to share stories of previous successes at work. So be ready to know what to say at a moment’s notice.
DON’T lose focus
Even the slightest distractions may disrupt your interview. So make it a point to turn off the TV, silence your mobile phone, and close the window or door to muffle any noises. If you have children, do take additional steps to avoid any potential interruptions.
Given the current situation, virtual recruitment strategies will increasingly be the standard for interviews. So be prepared by following these tips to nail your virtual interview. All the best!