Since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, many of us have been forced to change the way we conduct our professional lives. employers are embracing remote work styles and employees are entering a new, digital workforce era. Amidst all these unexpected changes recruiters and Hiring managers are still tasked with finding the right talent. This sudden shift from in-person to video only interviews has come as a bit of a shock to many candidates especially those who have been training extensively for the traditional in-person interviews.
While questions and conversations remain the same, there are some differences between interviewing in person and through a digital screen, and with more and more employers using Skype, Google Hangouts, or Zoom as their main interviewing tools, it’s time to take your interviewing skills to the next level.
Check your tech
Remote interviews require technology. For starters, you must familiarize yourself with the software where the interview is taking place. It’s a good idea to try using the virtual meeting tool beforehand, like Zoom & Google Hangouts, which are currently made available for free test runs. This testing will allow you to determine whether the software recognizes your microphone, is picking up enough volume, and if the program is running efficiently with your internet connection.
At the time of your interview, make sure your device (computer, tablet, or phone—whichever you feel most comfortable working with) is fully charged. Or, plug it into an outlet, to avoid battery outage.
Pro Tip: Before your interview starts, make sure your interviewer gets your cell phone number so you remain reachable in case anything goes wrong.
Prepare your interview space
With everyone improvising and getting creative with their home-office spaces nowadays, it’s important to find an area with minimal physical distractions for your interview. Consider creating a mini studio at your place; find a quiet, well-lit corner with a neutral background. It’s also important to remember that video interviews give a peek into your personal life so make sure that mini-studio/ space is clean and free of any possible distractions of people or kids in the background.
Before you conduct your interview, make sure to quit all unnecessary apps in your background. For one thing, they might impact your bandwidth and processing power—especially if you have to share a screen and walk the interviewer through some work of yours. Second, those apps can prove a distraction; a notification popping up at exactly the wrong moment can derail your answer to a particular question.
Pro Tip: Do a trial run at the same time of day that you’re going to be doing the interview, so that you know exactly what the lighting is going to look like
Master the digital handshake
Just like your usual in-person interviews, first impressions do matter. In the first few seconds of your video interview, when you are seen on camera, make sure your body language expresses that you’re engaged and – to put it simply, alive.
Your camera should be at eye level to avoid looking down or up when speaking and try to keep your eyes focused on the camera throughout the interview so it appears on the other end you are looking right at the other person.
Pro tip: avoid brightly-colored clothes or large pieces of jewelry that can be distracting. And, make sure your bottom half matches your upper half, in case you need to get out of your seat for any reason.
The all-time, common interviewing tip. With many candidates wrestling with new adjustments in the interview process, it’s important not to forget “studying” for an interview. Take some time before your interview to conduct extensive research on the role and the company; during the conversation, try to bring up recent news you’ve read about the company and maybe some personal experiences in your answers to break the ice. Being yourself will make you sound less robotic so DO NOT memorize answers.
At the end of your research, jot down any questions that need clarification; If there is a specific question regarding the outlook of development for the position, or knowing the tasks you may handle, make sure to ask it when you’re given the chance as they will go a long way in impressing your potential employer.
Pro tip: Book your interview coaching meeting with WUZZUF Coaches to help you answer the most common interview questions.
Before you sit down for your next interview, it might help to do a couple of practice runs with friends or family to get comfortable and ask them to share their feedback. This will ensure things going at least relatively smoothly even if you’re not wholly comfortable with video interviewing as a format. Keep in mind that everyone is doing their best to adapt to this new COVID-19 situation, and that might help you relax a little more. And most importantly, stay safe