Anyone new to the world of remote work is probably still adjusting to the reality of effective virtual communication while under COVID-19 lockdown. For job seekers, this means confronting the very daunting prospect of video interviews.
While the art of the interview is a blade that consistently needs sharpening, online interviewing—whether it’s via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Hangouts—can present a whole new set of unique challenges.
Here are seven video interview tips to help you execute your remote job interview with confidence.
Get to know your video platform beforehand.
Set your computer to “Do Not Disturb” (Mac) or “Focus Assist” (PC).
Don’t stare at yourself.
Don’t just dress for where the camera can see.
How do video interviews work?
Scour the company’s LinkedIn and Twitter accounts.
It’s okay to cheat.
Write ten role- or company-specific questions ahead of time.
Follow up on the call.
Patience is a virtue.
1. Get to know your video platform beforehand.
These days, a lot of different video platforms require a myriad of account sign-ups, app downloads, or permissions on your device. Spend some time the day before your interview getting to know the platform or tool you’ll be interviewing for your interview on to avoid any technological mishaps on the big day.
2. Set your computer to “Do Not Disturb” (Mac) or “Focus Assist” (PC).
There’s nothing worse than a text thread with a friend or a series of missed calls from your partner interrupting your interview.
3. Don’t stare at yourself.
Checking to see what you look like is something we all do subconsciously. However, it’s very noticeable on the other end. When speaking to an interviewer via video chat, make sure you’re looking directly at the camera and not at yourself—this is the only way to maintain direct eye contact.
4. Don’t just dress for where the camera can see.
Professional dress codes are expected in video interviews. The best way to guarantee your confidence and seriousness in the conversation is to dress the part… entirely. Balance Careers has a good tip regarding color choices: choose clothing that is neutral in color and does not blend into the background in front of which you will be sitting.
5. How do video interviews work?
Before diving into interview specifics, carve some time to get to know the person you’re speaking with. There’s a good reason why you’re both sitting at home doing this interview virtually: don’t skip over the strangeness of the situation. It’s a good way to build rapport and it will help both of you relax as the conversation moves forward.
6. Scour the company’s LinkedIn and Twitter accounts.
Don’t wait to find out why your future employer is in the news. Keep tabs on the company’s social media accounts and see if you can incorporate casual references to new partnerships, announcements, and other news-worthy talking points during your interview.
7. Be concise.
It’s easier to get carried away when answering questions during a video interview because we don’t feel as much pressure as we would feel if we were sitting down in the same room with the recruiter or hiring manager. Keep yourself in check, and try not to ramble when you’re answering a question. If you feel yourself starting to go off on a tangent, stop, apologize, and ask for a few seconds to recollect your thoughts.
8. It’s okay to cheat.
The beauty of a video interview is that the interviewer can only see what’s directly in front of the camera. Take advantage of that by writing down a few talking points you want to make sure you don’t forget. Stick them behind your laptop screen or camera, and don’t be afraid to take a peek now and then.
9. Write ten role- or company-specific questions ahead of time.
Hiring managers adore candidates that show up curious, so come prepared with a list of questions that will prove you’ve done your research and emphasize your curiosity. To get you started, here are 37 questions that Business Insider highly recommends using during a video interview.
10. Follow up on the call.
It’s so simple, yet so easy to forget. Take three minutes after your video interview to write a thoughtful thank-you note to your interviewer. Be sure to highlight specific conversation topics that might have stuck out so that your interviewer can retain a strong memory of the conversation (and of you).
11. Patience is a virtue.
Recruiters and hiring managers can be extremely busy. If you think a company is moving too slowly in responding to your candidacy, keep reminding yourself that your interviewer likely has many roles to fill at once. There is likely a lot happening behind the scenes. Set yourself reminders to follow up once a week with your interviewer—be polite but clear in demonstrating your continued interest in the company and the role.
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