Now that in-person interviewing has been temporarily removed during COVID19, you may be wondering what is most appealing to companies that are conducting web interviews.
Here are a few tips and tricks you should consider when you need to break out the laptop and your best virtual “game face” to get that job offer.
- Find a quiet, well lit place. Make sure your background is appropriate and not over-elaborate (e.g. in front of a fireplace).
- Ensure that your internet connection is strong in the area of the house where you are doing the interview.
- Test the web cam! If you have never used a web cam, set up a conversation with a friend or family member. This will ensure audio and connection are good and the presentation is good.
- Make sure your device – whether a laptop or a cell phone- is fully charged or plugged in.
- Professional attire, although at home, is KEY. You want to dress professionally. Try laying out your clothes the night before your interview to save you some time.
- Have a pen, notepad, and copy of your resume on your desk.
Before the interview
- Close all other files and web browsing on your laptop to limit distractions. You want to be fully engaged with the hiring manager and/or team.
- Make sure you have good posture and test the video one more time.
- Ask the interviewer for a phone number where you can reach them if you experience technical difficulties. Ideally, this would be done at least one day in advance.
- When answering or asking questions, you look directly into the camera. If you are looking at the screen it could look like you are not making eye contact.
- Be mindful of your posture.
- Lean forward a little at times to show engagement.
- Make the conversation as natural as possible despite the barrier (aka: physical separation). Have a conversation just like you would in an actual face-to-face interview.
- You can have some notes in front of you (off camera) to remind you of critical issues you want to highlight, but do NOT overuse them, or you will look odd on camera.
- When responding to questions from the interviewer, nod, and take a second before responding. Just in case the connection is weak, this ensures you don’t end up talking over the interviewer.
- Be confident in your ability and don’t get flustered if you’re asked a question that you don’t know. Maintain posture and eye contact.
- Express interest in the position and ask for next steps as the interview wraps up.
If Things Go Wrong:
- If noises, such as a siren, interrupt your video interview, apologize and ask for a few moments to mute your microphone until the noise has passed.
- If someone enters the room unexpectedly (READ: kids or a pet) during the interview, apologize to the interviewer, ask for a few moments, mute your microphone, and turn off your camera. Step away to deal with the interruption.
We are all finding ourselves adapting to this new way of living, so remember that we’re all in the same boat. Overall interviewers should be cognizant of that and understanding if some interruptions do occur. Just do your best to limit those interruptions, put your best foot forward, and be honest. You’ll do great!
Jamie Houvig is managing director of The Denzel Group.