If you are looking for a new role, be aware that in the current reality most interviews are going to be virtual. Historically, a lot of screening interviews were conducted via telephone and job interviews were done in person. Now that Human Resources professionals, recruiters and hiring managers are using Zoom or other video meeting software regularly, it’s likely that even screening interviews will be conducted that way. Here are some tips to help you succeed with virtual interviews:
Get the Technical Details
In advance of the interview, find out which virtual meeting application the employer is using, you will likely see that information in the meeting invite. The next step is to make sure you have access to that software. You may need to download or join Zoom, WebEx, Skype or another application. Double check the time of the meeting to make sure you have the correct information for your time zone.
Prepare & Rehearse
You should always prepare for interviews in advance. Research the role and the organization. Think through your answers for questions you anticipate they may ask. Have a story that illustrates each key transferable and soft skill in action. Now, you have the added step of practicing a video interview. When you practice for the interview, do not use the link from the interview, but rather rehearse by starting your own new meeting – otherwise it will appear to the interviewer that you are waiting for them to start the meeting. Set up the computer in the room where you will be for the interview, and clear up any clutter, test the lighting and eliminate the potential for background noise. For your practice interview, style your hair, wear the clothing (most importantly the top) and any make up you may apply for the actual interview. This is important for testing how you will appear on the interviewer’s screen – you are likely aiming to look polished, professional and approachable. Familiarize yourself with how to start, test and control the video and audio for the meeting. There are likely some features for customizing your background, but don’t get too fancy because some of those features may affect the quality of the video.
Traditional Interview Etiquette
While the way of conducting the interview may be novel, low touch and high tech, we can still maintain some of the traditional best practices for interview etiquette. Be ten minutes early for the interview, this may place you in the virtual meeting room, but it’s better for you to be the one waiting for the interviewer. As mentioned, make sure you and your surroundings appear and sound professional. Refrain from drinking coffee or eating during the interview, a drink of water is okay. Following the interview, send the interviewer a ‘thank you’ email letting them know a bit about why you continue to be interested in the role and their organization and that you are looking forward to potential next steps.
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Become comfortable with this new method of virtual interviewing and maintain the best of traditional interview practices to help you make the transition to that next great role.
by Sari Friedman
Editor’s note: Here are some other relevant articles on video interviews:
- The Video Interview
- Video Interviewing for the Unemployed
- Tips for Succeeding During a Video Interview