Hiring in the new normal will be different the way it used to. From face-to-face interviews to having video conferences, the new normal definitely paved way to digital means.
Looking for a career opportunity at this time is challenging. Landing a job interview can be both exciting and nerve-wracking, especially if you are new to having it online. After the initial conversation with the recruiter, a phone screening, and possible online assessments – another critical process is the video interview.
Preparation for a video job interview is the first step towards having a clear and undisrupted conversation with the Hiring Manager. It is best to be prepared a day or two before your scheduled video job interview to prevent possible mishaps. Here is a list of things you need to prepare beforehand:
Your interview spot
A day before your interview, search for the perfect spot. It is best advised to look for it at the same time your interview is scheduled because lighting can vary at the time of day. Look for an area that has natural light, and make sure that it’s not too bright to prevent your eyes from squinting. You may also check if your clothing looks good on screen, as light also makes a difference in how it looks on screen.
If there is no well-lit space, you will need to create one by using artificial light (i.e., desk lamp). Position the camera wherein no shadows will appear on your face. Place the camera at eye level to maintain eye contact with your interviewer.
If possible, find a neat space that will serve as your backdrop. If not, make use of a virtual background which can be downloaded online.
The interview attire
In a physical or digital interview, how you look and what you wear matters. Pick the right business attire by choosing colors that look good on you, on the screen, and your background. It is best to avoid loud patterns and colors that are similar to your background.
The video platform
Once you found the perfect interview spot and have the appropriate attire, your next task is to effectively navigate the video conferencing platform. As early as you can, find out what video platform will be used for the interview, and ask friends for tips or schedule a trial call with them. Make sure you have a reliable microphone and camera by checking if both are working well.
Another critical aspect is your internet connection, as having a poor signal can cause miscommunication and even frustration during the interview. If you are using a wireless connection, move your device closer to the router. If possible, disconnect other devices connected to the Wi-Fi to dedicate the line to your laptop.
Close unnecessary tabs and applications on your laptop or device, because it slows down the connection and can become a distraction. Keep only important applications open, such as the video conferencing app and a copy of your CV.
Lastly, ensure that your device is fully charged. Video calls tend to drain batteries faster compared to regular usage.
The interview format
You may ask the interviewer for the format of the interview, as it may be a one-on-one interview, a group interview, or an interview wherein you would need to share online materials. Allow yourself to be fully aware of all the functions of the video conferencing tool. Practice the Share Screen function of the conferencing platform to minimize technical errors during the actual interview.
Your technical dry run may have gone smoothly, and it’s always best to be prepared for the unpredictable. In case of technical difficulties, it is best to have with you share your phone number and ask your interviewer to share his/hers with you to continue the interview via phone call.
No to distractions
Before your interview begins, minimize all distractions in your environment. Put your devices on silent mode and avoid checking your chat boxes or text messages during the interview.
Maintain eye contact and talk clearly
Once the interview starts, focus on communicating clearly. Be sure to look directly at the camera just like you are looking directly at the interviewer. Being able to have direct eye contact with them digitally will show that you are interested with topic and listening to what he/she is sharing.
Be conscious to wait for the interviewer to finish asking or sharing before you speak to the microphone. Remember to answer the interviewer’s questions on a steady and confident pace.
After the interview
Before ending video interview call, make sure to thank the interviewer for their time and the opportunity. You may also opt to senda “thank you” email after the interview.
Even after the pandemic, video interviews will still be widely-used and will be around for a while or even permanently. The sooner you get comfortable with the video interview, the better. If you need some practice, scheduled a catch-up video conference call with friends to get comfortable talking directly to the camera.
Receiving feedback from the HR recruiter is necessary. In case, you haven’t heard from your interviewer on the committed time of feedback, reach out. Even though you weren’t able to land on the job, stay in touch with your interview or the Hiring Manager by having him/her on your network. Rather than seeing a lost opportunity, learn from the video job interview and treat it as both a valuable experience and an opportunity to connect and network professionally.
Article by Marge Casio/Asia Select’s Associate Director