Virtual Interviews: Top Ten Tips for Candidates
23/03/2020 by MRL
Quick Job Search
This week has seen a dramatic shift in people working from home, and organisations from all backgrounds and sectors are looking at how they can maintain business continuity – remotely. Business critical processes such as recruitment are no exception, and so an increasing number of businesses are turning to virtual interviews, using video technology to offer as realistic an interview experience as possible.
This can be challenging from a candidate perspective; it can feel intrusive as you are letting a stranger into your home and personal space. You may feel daunted about being on camera or worried you won’t be able to get your points across as clearly as you might in person. But rest assured, it is possible and here are some tips to help you feel confident, ensure a smooth process and to give you the best chance at securing that dream job.
It’s pretty obvious, but as with any meeting that involves the use of technology, make sure it works first. Do you have a strong connection? Make sure your computer or device is fully charged and ready to go and practice dialling in to make sure it works. If you experience any trouble, ask for IT support from the company you are interviewing at.
Even if you’ve tested the equipment, technology can still fail, particularly when it’s under such high demand, so request back up alternatives – conference call dial ins or even just a mobile number for an interviewer. That way you can always get hold of someone on the day.
Think about where you want to do the interview. Do you want your room to tell a story about you? Dress the room to how you would like to be perceived – for example, if you have a bookshelf behind you, think about what books are there. Or if it’s a wall, what artwork or posters are up there? Make sure there’s nothing that will cause offence and opt for a blank background or wall if in doubt. Above all, make sure there’s no mess!
In a similar vein, sit down at your computer and make sure that you are comfortable with the camera angle, and are happy with the interview space.
Have a go at facetiming a friend from your interview position – ask them what they think and run through a couple of practice questions. This will help you know what to expect and to feel comfortable with the impending interview.
With self-isolation kicking in across the country and the threat of school closures a lot of parents and carers are having to juggle other responsibilities with work. Make sure you have a place that’s quiet and distraction free. We’ve all seen that BBC interview featuring an interrupting child – so avoid a similar situation at all costs!
Treat it like you would any in-person interview. Arrive ten minutes early – get comfortable, help yourself to water and have a pen and paper at the ready. Dress as you would if you were going into an interview – these basics still matter.
Many of us, even in the most connected areas are already experiencing challenges with connectivity and using multiple devices. This means you could have connectivity issues – so be ready to repeat your answers and after your responses, check in with the interviewer to make sure the point was clear.
One potential downside to virtual interviews is that you won’t get to see the office environment or meet other colleagues. So prepare lots of questions and be prepared to delve into quite a bit of detail about what the working environment is like – find out about the culture, the team and how people generally like to work there, so you can get a better feel for the business. Don’t be afraid to ask to speak to other employees about the working culture – it shows you are committed and interested.
After the interview, take some time out – if you’re able to, go for a short walk, or if you are self-isolating, then have a break and do something non-work related. It can be tempting to go straight back to your day job but you need to unwind after the interview before continuing with the day to day.
If you have any questions about any of these tips or would like to chat more about job opportunities, please get in touch and we will be happy to help you.