The recent global pandemic has changed how we interview and hire, not only during these uncertain times but perhaps forever! As COVID-19 sweeps the globe, employers are finding themselves scrambling to hire essential employees in order to keep their business running smoothly. But with social distancing, stay at home orders, and travel bans, that’s not as easy as it once was. Enter video interviews.
As a result of the increase in remote communication, telecommunication apps such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams have seen increases of up to 500%. All this to say, there’s a good chance that you may have a video interview in your future. And while many of the same principles apply as in-person interviews, there are a few virtual-specific things to note to ensure that you nail your video interview.
Have a backup plan
We all know technology doesn’t always go the way we plan. There’s a chance that your internet could go down, or your microphone randomly stops working, or your computer might start an update that takes 3 hours to complete. As a precaution, make sure your interviewer knows your cell phone number and that you have your phone next to you just in case!
Set the stage
Before your interview, pick where you’ll sit for the duration of the meeting. Choose somewhere with lots of natural light and a neutral, clean background. Sit in front of your computer and turn your camera on. If you’re using a laptop, tilt your screen so that there is about a hand’s distance between your head and the top of the screen. Check out how everything looks and make adjustments as needed to lighting, what shows on the screen, and positioning. (Pro tip: run a clean microfiber cloth over your camera to get rid of any smudges – you’d be surprised at how dirty those things can get!)
Run a test
The biggest culprit of virtual meeting malfunctions is unchanged settings. It may seem obvious, but make sure your volume is turned up, and your microphone is on. If you can use good quality, discreet headphones, that often produces the best noise-canceling sound. If possible, have a friend run a test run with you! Be sure to use the same software that your interviewer has set up. After all, practice makes perfect!
Dress for success
Just because it’s a video interview doesn’t mean you get to wear pajama bottoms (sorry!). Dress for success from top to bottom. Make sure that none of your outfit elements make too much noise like bracelets or a swishy jacket. Try to limit distracting clothes or accessories, and keep your hair and face neat and clean. Not only will this ensure you look great on camera, but you’ll also feel more confident.
In the end, treat your video interview like you would any other. Be yourself, answer questions thoroughly, and always show your interest in the position and company. Interested in more interview tips? Explore more career resources here!