Video interviewing was slowly becoming the norm, but one thing is for sure: it’s shifted into high gear because of the coronavirus. Who knew a little virus could do so much?
With this in mind, the Lewis Recruiting team thought we’d not only prep you for the new normal, but give you a few tips along the way. So, sanitize those hands and let’s get started.
IT’S STILL AN INTERVIEW
Treat video or phone interviews the same way you’d treat a “regular” interview. As I’ve shared in other posts, this means going back to the original job posting you applied to and doing your research. Why did it attract you in the first place? Do you have the skills to do it? How does it fit with your long-term career goals? Answer these questions and be ready to talk about how your skills and passions are a perfect fit for what the company needs. And of course, read up on the organization. Learn more about the company by visiting their website and researching their Glassdoor reviews. It’s important not to forget that these job hunt basics still apply even though the interview format is different.
VIDEO DOES NOT MEAN LESS SERIOUS
Just because you’re interviewing on the same phone or laptop you use to watch cat videos doesn’t mean it’s no big deal. Be professional. Look good. Be sharp. Make sure to arrange a quiet space with no distractions. Tell your friends and family so they know not to disturb you until the interview is over. And of course, turn off your phone, PC, or laptop notifications. The last thing you need during an interview is to be distracted by an email alert or some lame reply to your last Snapchat.
YOU’RE THE STAR & THE DIRECTOR
Just like a Hollywood film director prepares an actor for a scene, do the same for a video interview. Dress the part by wearing a nice outfit. You don’t have to go extreme and wear a three-piece suit or designer outfit, but look professional. Outfits like collared-shirts and/or tops with a nice blazer will do the trick. For color, stick with solids. Navy blue is always easy, but any solid color will work fine. Hairstyles should be neat and put together, with makeup kept light and simple. And just like Hollywood, don’t be afraid to rehearse. Shoot a short video of yourself answering some practice questions and tweak your “performance” to be your best. Emphasize your enthusiasm and facial reactions. Video interviews can be a time to show the same personality and friendliness you would in person, so don’t be afraid to add some additional smile. Now, Action!
TEST YOUR TECH
The middle of a video interview is not the time to run out of batteries. Testing your technology beforehand is a smart move. How’s your internet connection? Does your microphone work? Is your audio on mute? Run through these simple steps an hour or more before your interview and you should be good to go. For video interviews, many companies use familiar software like RingCentral, Zoom or GoTo Meeting. All of these are simple to use for job candidates. You will be emailed or texted an invitation with a simple link to click at the time of your appointment. This link will open a window and after 1 or 2 more clicks your interview should be ready to start. In most cases the recruiter or manager will be waiting for you, or if you logged in early they’re sure to come on the line soon. Still nervous about the tech? Reach out to the Recruiter and they should be happy to help.
ACTIVE SPEAKING / ACTIVE LISTENING
During a typical face-to-face interview it’s usually two people in a room talking with each other. It’s simple, it’s hard to get distracted and it’s human. Although accomplishing the same thing, video interviews may sometimes lack that natural connection so they take some work. Make sure you’re listening and speaking actively. What that means is to be hyper-attentive to what the person onscreen is saying while also being aware of how you are communicating. Don’t get distracted by the techieness of it all. Don’t cut people off before they’re done talking and try waiting a second before it’s your turn to speak in case of audio delay. Be aware of body language, yours and theirs, and make sure you’re always listening attentively.
Whether it’s in a pandemic or not, being prepared for a video interview is important. More and more, technology is helping smart companies hire good people quickly and easily, while offering a positive experience to you, the job candidate. If you follow these tips, you’ll be ready when the time comes. Oh, one last thing: always wear pants.
David Draper is the Director of Talent Acquisition for the Lewis Group of Companies. David is proud to be a part of a successful, stable, and winning team dedicated to its projects, its people and its community. Follow David on Twitter @LewisRecruits.