During these challenging times, it is clear that clients and candidates are adapting and learning new ways to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the majority of the workforce has transitioned to working from home, the recruitment process has changed in response to this, for example, interviews have now moved from face-to-face to face-to-screen. As long as isolation and social distancing guidelines are in place, online video interviews will continue to be our new normal.
With that, I have compiled a list of tips to ensure that you put your best foot forward in an online job interview.
Familiarise yourself. Ensure that you are comfortable with the video interview platform that you are being requested to use. You should be notified with a link or calendar invite prior to the interview with all of the details. Ensure that you log on, download the required package, learn to navigate it easily and ultimately have the confidence that you know it is going to work.
As a suggestion, try setting up your own account and trial it with someone you know. This will ensure that you are across its functionality and this will enable you to see how you will look and sound during the interview.
Minimum distractions. I suggest setting yourself up in a room or space that you will be comfortable in, away from any distractions. Ensure that the lighting is appropriate so the interviewer can see you and that you aren’t in a position where you will be squinting. Try to avoid any areas where loud background noises could occur or where people could walk around, as this could throw you or the interviewer off.
Dress to impress. Be mindful that this is still an interview and I would always recommend dressing professionally. My tip would be - make sure that you are wearing something that you are comfortable in, that is professional and that makes you feel super confident!
Set expectations and be a little vulnerable. Be upfront with your new potential employer. This could be anything, from telling them that you are feeling a little nervous as it's your first video interview or perhaps mentioning that you have three children at home which you’ve had to try and keep busy to ensure that you have an uninterrupted hour in a quiet room.
This gives you a chance to build rapport because chances are the person on the other end can completely relate. This will also help if your children do interrupt or if your dog decides to bark in the background - it will make it less awkward having addressed this initially.
Allow for lag time. This is common feedback that I have been getting. Candidates have mentioned that often, there is a lag between someone asking and/or answering the question. Ensure that you give it a couple of seconds to confirm that the other person is finished and that you have heard everything you need to.
Prepare. Review all of your previous positions and bullet point all of the tasks and responsibilities that you were required to do in these roles. Include any projects that you were involved in as well as any achievements in those roles. This should work as a refresher and an opportunity to think of real-life examples for any behavioral-based questions.
The main goal with this is to ensure that you can better articulate your experience and align it to the role you are interviewing for. This can make a huge difference when trying to secure a new role.
Reconfirm that you have answered the question. Video interviews make it harder to pick up those little ques or the body language of the interviewer. I would recommend asking at the end of your answer “did that cover your question?” or “is there anything further with that example that you wanted me to clarify?”.
Ask questions. It is important to ask questions about the role and about the company but it is also an opportunity to ask how they have adapted to the change, what the onboarding process now looks like and what are some of the key challenges they feel are yet to come. As mentioned, everyone is adapting to this new normal and again, it is important to continually try and build rapport throughout your interview.
There are a number of positives that come with video interviewing, for example, it saves you time, you are in an environment that you are familiar with, you can have endless notes prepared in front of you (just be careful not to refer to them by looking down throughout the interview) and it also ensures that the hiring process can continue through challenging times.
If you need any support or would like to do any interview practice, please send me an email and I would love to help. Stay safe and healthy!