While we all hope to be back to in-person meetings, virtual interviews may be here to stay. We sat down with Jeff Deel, Vice President of Human Resources, to discuss this trend. During our conversation, Jeff identified 10 tips for candidates to have a successful virtual interview.
Test your platform
Sometimes there is setup required before logging on. To save yourself the stress of that process right before your interview, conduct a test in advance. Check internet connectivity. Confirm your camera and microphone work.
Set the scene
Determine where to take the interview. Look for an area with optimal lighting, preferably near a window. Make yourself the focal point of the screen. Avoid cluttered or distracting backgrounds. Turn off the tv, silence your phone, and close windows to block out noise from the outside. Avoid virtual backgrounds that can cause glitches in the outline of your hair, clothing, and hands.
Your computer has a single purpose – the interview. Do not use the computer to look up answers to questions you should have prepared in advance. Do not rely on your computer to refer to the candidate’s resume. Have a hard copy in front of you for reference.
While shaking hands is no longer on the table, body language still matters. To make an impact on the small screen, sit up straight, smile, and make purposeful hand gestures. Avoid having anything in front of you that could tempt you to fidget, distracting the interviewer, and making ancillary noise.
Dress the part
Dress as you would for an in-person interview. Not only does it make a better impression on the people you are interviewing with, but studies have shown that it can boost your self-confidence.
Make sure your clothing is comfortable. Wearing ill-fitting clothes can make you feel uneasy. This feeling can seep into your demeanor and send the wrong message.
Avoid wearing close, high-contrast pinstripes, corduroy, and herringbone. These patterns and textures create a wavy rainbow-colored pattern called a moiré effect.
Some cameras oversaturate the red channel to warm up skin tones. Wearing red heightens this effect. Reds and oranges can add an unnatural “glow.” Darker reds and oranges are less problematic. Cool colors and earth tones generally look good on camera.
Don’t become a wallflower. Make sure there is sufficient contrast between what you are wearing and the background.
Share your uniqueness
There are times when many candidates can be interviewed in a single day. By sharing a unique story, interest, or connection to the company, you have a better chance of standing out as an ideal candidate.
Learning the cadence
For efficiency, multiple decision-makers may participate in a single interview. Working from an agenda is helpful. During a virtual platform conversation, it is easy to step over speakers. It is appropriate to pause while allowing the interviewer time to complete their question, demonstrating your listening skills.
Remember you are on camera
From the moment you turn your camera on until you click off, you are on camera. Assume that you can be seen and heard.
Look into the camera
To make authentic eye contact, you need to look into the camera’s eye, not the interviewer’s image on the screen. When possible, position the camera at the same level as your eyes. This will prevent you from looking down or up and eliminates unflattering angles.
Crate the pets
We all love our pets, but a business interview is not the time or place to introduce your fur baby to your potential employer. The interruption can be distracting to you and the interviewer. It can also eat up the precious time you have to sell your skills and capabilities.
Hiring Agents have challenges of their own navigating the limitations brought on by COVID. Below are some pros and cons employers will be considering now and in the future.
- Lower costs for both the candidates and the hiring company.
- Virtual meetings can be highly efficient.
- Eliminate the need for travel, providing immediate contact.
- Provides a visual impression of a candidate that is not possible through a phone call.
- Video interviews put the candidate’s communications skills to the test.
- Expands the company’s candidate pool by reaching talent that might not be in your local area.
- Recorded interviews can be shared with other decision-makers.
- Technology – connection issues, audio, and video quality problems.
- Multiple people talking can cause audio havoc.
- The conversation tends to be more serious – not as casual as in person.
- Harder to read a person in a virtual environment.
- Missing out on introducing the candidate to the broader team.
- Hard for the candidate to get to know the office environment.
“I believe the virtual interview is here to stay, at least for the early stages of screening candidates,” said Deel. “It’s a wise investment to leverage the pros and address the cons,”
To learn more about career opportunities with The Austin Company – https://theaustin.com/careers/