Video Interviews have become commonplace in recent times due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and it looks like they are here to stay. But do you know what is required to make a good impression in a virtual interview? Are you familiar with the different online platforms used to conduct online interviews?
Here are some tips to help you avoid some of the most typical mistakes and maximize your chances of getting a job.
1. Familiarise yourself with the web conferencing or video calling software to be used during the interview
Whether it is Skype, Zoom, Google Meet, Hangout, MS Teams or any other…make sure you know your way around it. If you are not sure how it works, there are always tutorials on the internet where you can learn the basics. It is a good idea to practise beforehand to prevent any potential technical problems so that everything goes smoothly on the day of the interview. Make sure that…
- You have a strong Wi-Fi connection that can handle video calls
- Test your camera for positioning to ensure you are not too close or too far away
- Check your audio for volume and sound quality
- Make sure you have a suitable seating location away from any noise and distractions
- Make sure you have a comfortable seat and space to make notes with pen and paper
- If you need to download and install an app, you should do it well in advance to avoid any last-minute installation or password problems.
2. Make sure you use a Professional User Name
You may already have an account with the video conferencing software you are going to use for the interview, or you may need to create a new account. Either way, it is important to check that your user name is not something that could be deemed ridiculous or offensive. What may seem funny when you are interacting with friends may not be appropriate during a job interview.
3. Choose a quiet location and an appropriate background
It is important to choose an area in your house where you will not be disturbed. Look for a quiet room away from children’s playgrounds or any other exterior noise. If you have young children, it may be a good idea to use a room with a lockable door so you can avoid any potential interruptions.
Turn on your camera and take a look at the background that shows up in the video. Every detail is important as your surroundings say a lot about you. An untidy background, for instance, will not help you make a good impression on a potential employer, so plan and prepare. An office-like setting is usually the best option.
4. Check the lighting
Remember that first impressions matter so it is important to ensure the video image is clear and that there are no lighting issues. Turn the camera on before the interview and make the necessary changes in the room. For example, you may need to change your position, close or open windows, etc.
5. Dress professionally as you would if you were meeting in person
Just because you are at home, it does not mean that you can overlook what you are wearing. Go for a professional look and avoid bright colours that might be too distracting on camera. Be prepared for the unexpected, so make sure you have dressed appropriately from top to bottom as you might need to stand up during the interview, and you don’t want to be wearing pyjama bottoms if that happens!
6. Log in at least 5 minutes before the scheduled interview time
Make sure you connect a few minutes before the interview starts. 5 minutes is usually Okay. Most video calling platforms have waiting rooms so you should aim to be there early.
7. Be aware of your body language at all times during the interview
Body language is key in face-to-face communication, and it is not different during a video interview. However, it is important to consider that the interviewer can only see what is on the video frame, so gesturing too much can be distracting or give the wrong impression, especially if your internet connection is not very good. Show interest, smile, listen and look at the camera from time to time to ensure you establish some kind of “eye contact” with the interviewer (s). Looking at the picture on the screen will not give the impression that you are looking directly at the interviewer, so remember to look at the camera whenever you can.
8. Turn off your phone and any notifications on your computer
There is nothing worse than getting alerts and notifications on your computer screen when you are in the middle of a job interview. They can block your screen for a few seconds throwing you off track and the noise can be also distracting for the interviewers. The same applies to your mobile phone. Remember that the microphone will pick up any noise in the room so it is important to turn your phone off and close any applications or windows on your computer that are not necessary for the interview.
9. Have a pen and a notepad to write down notes
Similarly to what you would do during a traditional interview, you should be prepared to write down important information. You should also ask a few relevant and intelligent questions to the interviewer, do your research about the company and have your CV with you.
10. When the interview is over, make sure you are fully disconnected before you speak to anyone or do anything else
It is important to double-check that you are not still connected when the interview is over. Close the application you are using or log off before you say or do anything. In that way, you can avoid any embarrassing situations or any unwanted remarks being heard by the interviewer.
Finally, just remember that preparation is the key to success and that video interviews, although daunting at first, are not very different from the traditional method. You still need to know your CV well, find information about the company, ask relevant questions and present yourself in a professional manner. The difference is that there will be some technical requirements and some additional factors to take into account and as such, you will need to be prepared to do what is necessary to maximize your chance of getting the job.
If you are looking for a job, please upload your CV