02 February 2021 · by A candidates guide to video interviews
The impact of COVID-19 has meant that many companies have had to completely transform the way they operate, including their business model, to fit around the new ways of remote working.
In particular, the government’s safety restrictions including social distancing, regional and national lockdowns has led to businesses leaving the traditional face-to-face method of hiring and turning to video meetings to recruit new staff instead.
Although the idea of virtual interviews sounds straightforward (and less daunting), they also present their own unique challenges from using new technology, to reflecting enthusiasm for a role through the computer screen. However, you can of course use video interviews to your advantage.
In this blog, we have put together some useful tips on how to prepare for a virtual interview to ensure if runs smoothly and effectively, and more importantly, how to secure that second interview!
Do your research
As you would with a traditional ‘face-to face’ style interview, ensure that you have thoroughly researched the employer. COVID-19 has meant that many businesses have potentially restructured, opened (or closed) new offices or change their service offering.
Make sure you familiarise yourself with any recent business changes as these could crop up in the interview. Follow the company on LinkedIn and keep up to date with the news on their website.
Set up your space
In preparation for your interview, make sure you test the area’s lighting to ensure you can be easily seen during the interview. Bright natural light is always best, so if you are able to position yourself in front of a window for your interview, great! Be sure to have the sunlight in front of you and not behind you. When it comes to backgrounds the best choice is a neutral, plain wall.
Once settled, eliminate all distractions. Turn off the TV, silence your phone, and close any nearby windows to muffle traffic.
This important tip applies to the usual face-to-face method of interviewing AND video interviewing. One of the most crucial things to prepare when it comes to interviews is preparing questions that you would like to ask the employer. Many candidates go into an interview blindly without preparing any questions and from an employer perspective, this can be deemed unprofessional.
Questions show the employer you have taken the time to thoroughly prepare what it is you would like to find out. Some examples of questions include;
- What does a typical day look like?
- Can you talk me through some examples of projects I’d be working on?
- What are the biggest challenges that someone in this position would face?
- What goals does the company have in the short/medium/long term?
- What is the working culture of the company?
Technical knowledge prep
When preparing for your interview, make sure you fully understand the video platform you will be using in addition to the details you will need to access the interview (interview invitation link, passcodes for access etc).
Alot of video platforms require a myriad of account sign-ups, app downloads, or permissions on your device. Ensure you have spent some time understanding how the tool you will be using works to avoid any technical mishaps on the day.
Read the visual cues
One of the main disadvantages of virtual interviews is the fact that it becomes much harder to read body language of the interviewee. You will need to be even more aware of their body language and their use of language.
Try and stay calm and confident and look comfortable with your posture, to show you are engaged and approachable. Also, pay attention to the interviewer’s body language and subtly try and mirror it without being too obvious. ‘Mirroring’ can make the interviewer feel more empathy or rapport with you. Maintain positive facial and hand movement cues; a tilt of the head shows interest, a nod indicates you understand or agree with what is being said.
Close the interview effectively
Unlike face-to-face interviews, when it comes to an end there will be no ‘shaking hands’ and both parties standing up and parting ways. Instead, plan to finish the interview with any remaining questions, positive comments, thank you and a smile. Be sure to ask the employer the next steps in the process and any further actions.
In summary, a ‘virtual interview’ is still an ‘interview’ at the end of the day. Typical interview techniques and do’s and don’ts still apply, however the points above are additional things to remember/prepare for to ensure you leave the strongest impression possible.
If you have an upcoming virtual interview to prepare for or would like to discuss job opportunities, Huntress are here to help. We have a dedicated team of consultants who are readily available to make sure you are interview ready. For more information, contact one of the team.