There is no doubt about it: in Covid-19 challenged times the way we conduct our professional lives is changing. When it comes to recruiting, half of professionals in the U.S. are now changing their in-person meetings to either phone or video, for health and safety reasons. And Europe makes no exception; so new times call for new ways to handle such experiences.
As a candidate, you need to know that most likely the questions and conversations are likely to be the same in a video interview as they would have been in a live one-to-one interview, however there are some differences between an offline interview, conducted face-to-face versus through a digital screen.
If you’re in the process of getting ready for a job interview on video, these examples of what NOT to do ahead of and during a video interview for a new job should be best practices to get you set up for success.
Don’t leave your internet connection to chance
Check your internet connection speed to help ensure your video will come across smoothly – particularly in the room in which you want to be at the time of the interview. Don’t leave your familiarization with virtual meeting tools up to the time of the interview – it’s also a good idea to download the software used, like Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts, which are currently being made available for free test runs. Have the virtual meeting tool available both on your laptop, as well as on your smartphone.
Don’t leave it up to the interviewer to remind you to share cellphone numbers – just in case you need to conduct the interview (or parts of it) over the phone.
Don’t get distracted by the space around you
We recommend you have the interview at home – a quiet, well-lit space with a neutral background is ideal. Despite it being your personal space – and have it say a lot about you – choose not to clutter it with home interior accessories, photos of your loved ones, clothes or any other type of memorabilia.
Also try to keep pets and family members in another room during the interview.
Make sure you aren’t distracted by your phone and computer notifications (yet there’s the upside that you can have some notes on hand to highlight that you’re the right candidate for the job).
Don’t get too comfy with your attire
Even if it’s a virtual meeting, it’s important to dress as you would if you were going to the interview in person.
Don’t use too bright of a color in your choice of attire and also avoid large pieces of jewelry or statement accessories, other than the necessary headphones.
Don’t rely on the fact that your bottom half will not show: make sure your bottom half matches your upper half, in case you need to get out of your seat for any reason.
Don’t dive in the virtual interview pool without a small practice
Virtual interviews have their plethora of challenges, but one of the biggest is rendered by the conversation flow, which may at times become robotic.
Try to be calm, patient and also to pitch in to the conversation, with something you may have read or documented about the company you are considering joining.
Adjust your body language, don’t sulk (adjust your posture and sit upright, without seeming stiff) and also don’t be irritated if the recruiter is taking longer to respond.
Remember that there is a two-way street to the video interview game and that the recruiter is also human 🙂 Loosen the connection with the interviewer, but also show that you are a team player, capable to adapt to diverse situations.
Have a practice run ahead of the actual interview, as this might prove to be your winning ticket to a new job.
Also take into consideration, ahead of the interview to:
- Have a copy of your resume and any other notes ready for you to reference.
- Set out a glass or bottle of water for yourself on your desk.
- Set your phone to silent.
- Check that your webcam and audio are working.