As technology continues to enable organizations to conduct business virtually, video interviews are growing in popularity. Video technology is being used by 60% of hiring managers and recruiters to interview candidates. In the age of coronavirus, application of remote hiring is in response to this global pandemic. Virtual job interviews allow companies to continue conducting effective talent searches safely.
What is a virtual job interview?
A virtual job interview is a way employers to select candidates with the use of digital tools to conduct interviews. They are also known as video interviews, digital interviews, and web conference interviews.
If you are a candidate, it is important to have essential tech skills to complete virtual job interviews successfully. In addition, it is key to strengthen your professional brand image and present yourself skillfully through social networks, such as creating an All-Star LinkedIn profile. All these components come together to drive successful virtual job interview practices. Here are 5 best practices to ace your next virtual job interview.
1. Organize and Prepare
Organize and prepare for a virtual job interview just as you would for a face-to-face interview. Compile a list of your strengths and weaknesses. In addition, plan on being prepared for a conversation about your background and skills. Collect all the materials you will need, so they are within reach to reference during the interview. Here’s some items to get together:
- A copy of your resume in clear view.
- A short list of your accomplishments.
- Smart device or pen and paper for quick note taking.
2. Know Common Interview Questions
Compile a list of practice interview questions and have answers for common questions such as:
- “Tell me about yourself, your background, and skills.”
- “Why are you interested in working for our company?”
- “What’s your greatest weakness?”
- “Why are you looking for a new role?”
- “What’s your greatest achievements”
- “Tell me about a workplace challenge and how you handled it.”
3. Do a Mock Virtual Job Interview
It’s not as easy as it seems to articulate yourself over the phone or make the right impression via video. But practice makes perfect. Have a friend or family member conduct a virtual mock job interview with you and screen and audio record it to review later. Dress for the mock one as if it’s the real thing.
You can then review your interview recording to implement improvements. If you hear lots of "ums", "uhs", and “okays" in the recording, practice reducing them from your conversational speech. Review your body language to ensure you are showing sincerity and interest. Make sure you are satisfied with your appearance, your facial expressions, and the background. In addition, practice interviews are a great opportunity to test out any technical equipment that will be needed.
4. Set the Tone
It is important to set the tone for a virtual job interview as you will not want any external disruptions while it takes place.
- Time - schedule the interview at a time that will allow you to be comfortable and unhurried.
- Location - select a dedicated space that has closed doors. Clear the room of kids and pets. Turn off any TVs and stereos.
- Interruption free - if you’re using a smart phone for audio set it to “Do Not Disturb” to eliminate call waiting and notification interruptions.
- Lighting - Use room lighting that best to illuminate your facial expressions via video.
- Outfit - dress to impress with professional and modest business attire.
5. Get Your Technology in Place
We all know of the technical difficulties that can arise with digitized work collaboration when team members work remotely. To avoid any mishaps during a virtual interview, get your technology in place. Make sure you test out all your audio, technology, and technical equipment prior to the actual interview. This will give you time to troubleshoot any issues.
Audio for the Virtual Job Interview
If you are using a smart phone for audio, pick a location to do the interview where your phone receives strong signal to eliminate dropped calls or static. If you are using computer audio, make sure you’re using a microphone that clearly captures your voice. If you are using a dual headphone and microphone system, confirm that dispatch and receipt are clear.
Technology and Technical Equipment for the Virtual Job Interview
Here are recommended technology and equipment to have in place for your virtual interview:
- Laptop or desktop - if you are using a portable device, make sure it’s fully charge or plugged into an outlet.
- Microphone, phone, and speakers - check incoming and outgoing sound of microphone, phone, and speakers.
- Webcam or computer built camera - do a camera check for display quality and any lagging.
- Access to video conference software - secure software access via the cloud or hard install on your computer (popular ones in business include Skype and Zoom). Familiarize yourself with the tool if you’re a new user.
- Access to high speed internet - Skype recommends 1.5 Mbps for a clear HD video conference. Use www.speedtest.net to test your internet speed.
Summary: Virtual Job Interview Best Practices
- Organize your materials and know your talking points.
- Conduct mock virtual job interviews.
- Test all audio, technology, and technical equipment beforehand.
- Select a quiet location with the right lighting.
- Dress accordingly in professional attire.
- Don’t chew gum or eat during the interview.
- Keep a bottle of water on hand.
- Smile to project a positive image to the listener and change the tone of your voice.
- Be self-aware of your body language on camera.
- Look at the camera, not at the screen.
- Speak slowly and enunciate clearly.
- Formally address the interviewer with titles such as “Mr.”, “Ms.”, or “Dr.” + “last name” unless they ask you to call them by their first name.
- Don’t interrupt the interviewer when he/she is speaking.
- Slow down and take your time. If you need a couple moments to collect your thought, it’s okay.
- Don’t provide every detail of your personal life story. Be concise with your question responses. Only divulge information relevant to your professional background.
Follow Up Action
- After the interview, thank the interviewer and ask if there is a later date that would be good to set up an in person meet and greet.
- Send the interviewer an email correspondence thanking him/her for the opportunity and inquire about the timeline for next steps in the interview process.
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