The global pandemic has changed almost every aspect of our life. If you are looking for a job, you’ll feel the effects more than most. Some industries are on a hiring freeze and choosing to downsize their staff, while others are trying to reduce their overhead expenses. All is not lost. A natural consequence of the pandemic has been the shift to virtual interviews. While they take a while to get used to, they come with their advantages.
Here are some tips on how you can pass your virtual interview…
Test your Technology
Before your interview check your internet connections are stable and that your camera and microphone are in working condition. Schedule a few practice sessions to get used to talking to the camera and seeing your reflection. It’s easy to become distracted by how you look on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Call a few friends and get used to having a conversation over a video platform. Doing a test run will also help you become more familiar with video conferencing – including ‘unmuting’ yourself at crucial moments.
Check your Background
Instead of sitting face-to-face with your interviewer, you’ll be talking to each other from your respective homes or offices. While you can sit in a comfortable chair and enjoy the perks of being interviewed from home, you need to consider your background. It’s a good idea to choose somewhere with a clean background. You’ll need to remove anything that might be offensive and avoid having any clutter in your background shot. Alternatively, if you are using Zoom or Teams software, there are background images that you can use.
It can be tempting to wear comfortable clothes like pyjamas or loungewear however you still need to dress professionally for your virtual interview. The emphasis will be on the top half of your outfit, including your hair and shirt. Some interviews will require a more business formal look, including a blazer. A good rule of thumb is to wear something similar to what you’d be expected to wear in the job you’re applying for. If you have long hair, tie it up into a bun to avoid being distracted by it during your interview. You want to show your potential employer that you can be professional in any environment.
With an in-person interview, you can read someone’s body language more closely and have a more one-on-one experience with them. While the conversation might not flow as naturally during a virtual interview, you want to make sure it’s still a two-way conversation. Most companies will finish their interviews by asking if you have any questions for them. Do your research and write down two to three questions that you want to ask, making them as specific to the company as possible.
Remove any distractions
When you have a face-to-face interview, there usually aren’t any distractions. With a virtual interview, you’ll be surrounded by distractions in your home. It’s a good idea to turn your phone on silent and keep it out of your direct line of sight during your interview. If you have a landline phone, disengage it until after you’re finished. Ask your family or roommates to go for a walk or grab a coffee to limit background noise.
During a virtual interview, you’ll still be judged on the same factors as an in-person interview. One factor people forget about is body language. Trying to keep eye contact with your interviewer over a laptop screen may be difficult, but it’s worth focusing on. You want to show that you’re paying attention to what they’re saying by keeping your eyes focused on the screen. It’s a good idea to sit in the centre of your screen, so you’re naturally looking into the camera.
Join the interview early
You wouldn’t show up to an in-person meeting at the last minute, and the same is true with your virtual interview. You never know when the interviewer might start the call on their end, and they’ll be watching for when you appear in the waiting room. Opening the call a few minutes early can help you relax and gather your thoughts ahead of your interview.
Don’t talk to each other
One consequence of virtual interviews is that the lack of nonverbal communication can make it difficult to know when someone has finished speaking. Let the conversation flow naturally between you and the interviewer, but you want to avoid speaking over each other. Let your interviewer finish speaking before you start. If there’s a third person on the call, they may find your conversation more difficult to follow if you’re interrupting each other.
At the High Street Centre we have facilities that can accommodate you during your virtual interview. With great internet speed and professional background and tips in your pocket, you’ll have all you need to succeed in your virtual interview.