In the age of coronavirus (a.k.a. COVID-19) many companies have altered their hiring and recruiting practices. At first the changes started with limiting physical contact to help stop the spread of the virus. Handshakes moved to elbow bumps and then facial masks became a popular interview accessory. Now virtual interviews via phone and video are rapidly becoming the norm.
Not everyone is familiar with this type of interview process and though you may not need to route your commute, allow time for parking or find the perfect shoes to go with your outfit, you’ll still need to dedicate an ample amount of time preparing for your interview. Like any interview, you’ll need to understand the responsibilities of the position, make connections showcasing your experience, research the company and the hiring manager and prepare a list of questions you can ask.
For a successful virtual interview, you must be able to communicate your value well. Practice ahead of time with a faux interview. Set up your device, making certain everything that will appear in the background of your video is orderly and begin recording yourself answering typical interview questions. Next, review the recording and pay close attention to your mannerisms, eye contact and the speed of which you are speaking. Also practice alternative ways of answering questions that you may have stumbled over or taken too long answer.
Be sure to do a trial run of the conferencing software before the scheduled interview as well! Whether you’re a virtual interviewing veteran or a first timer it’s a smart step to take to eliminate technical hiccups. Skype, Zoom, GoToMeeting and Facetime are the most common video conferencing platforms used by our clients today. For most of these platforms, you’ll receive an email from our team with a link that will allow you to join the meeting. Test this link ahead of time and you’ll be prompted to download any necessary software to run the meeting when it’s time. For a phone screen or Facetime, be sure you are clear on if you will be initiating the call or if they will. Most managers are flexible to conduct phone screens in the absence of self-facing camera technology that is prevalent on phones, tablets and computers today.
Before you start your virtual interview make sure your device is sufficiently charged and find a quiet area. Separate yourself from pets, children or roommates who may create noise or distractions and silence your devices and computer notifications. Join the meeting ahead of time and don’t let technology get the best of you – make sure you let your personality shine through. Engage with the interviewer, be it by smiling or nodding it’s important to make a connection. You may need to be a little more animated to show your enthusiasm. If you are having a phone interview and do not have the luxury of conveying your excitement visually through body language, get up out of your seat and smile through the phone. Think positive thoughts and let your confidence permeate the line.
While virtual interviews can be a substantial switch from what you (and the hiring manager) are used to, it’s currently one of the few effective ways to move candidates through the hiring process while respecting current health and safety concerns. Following these tips will allow you to execute your interview well while not only answering why you’re are the man for the job, but also showing your agility, flexibility and empathy towards our current situation.