Virtual Interviewing

By The Intersect Group

7 Essential Tips

Due to the coronavirus, recruiters and hiring managers across the country and around the world are converting in-person interviews into video interviews for the health and safety of everyone involved.

While it may not be everyone’s first choice, video interviews are enabling the hiring process to continue despite quarantine protocols.

To better prepare you, we have gathered up some of The Intersect Group’s most essential tips and best practices to successfully take – and ace – your next video interview.

1. Test the technology you will be using
There are a variety of video interviewing technologies available today. From Skypeand Google Hangouts, to HireVue and Zoom. You will likely receive a calendar inviteor an email with the details of your video interview ahead of time. Be sure to create alogin if you do not have one already and test out the technology. If you already have anaccount for the platform you will be using, like Skype or Google for instance, make sureyour profile is appropriate – this includes username and/or email address, profile pictureand bio.

2. Prepare your interview space
This tip is completely unique to a video interview. When you take an in-person interview,you do not have to think about what your home office or dining room table looks like.Now you do. When you test out the technology you will be using, it’s also a good ideato take a look at what your surroundings will look like when you are on camera. Don’t beafraid to stage the area behind you and really look at what is in the frame. If you have abookshelf in the background, make sure you don’t have any inappropriate book titlesshowing. The same goes for pictures and anything else that might be hanging on thewall behind you. Your surroundings, just like what you are wearing, is a representation

3. Dress up
We’ve all heard it before, but I’m going to say it again: “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” A video interview is still an interview, so don’t slack on dressing the part. Be mindful about wearing bright colors or jewelry that makes a lot of noise. In short, all of the same in-person rules apply to how you dress for a video interview.

4. Don’t forget your notepad and questions
Treat a virtual interview the same way you would an in-person interview, by dressing the part and coming prepared. Bring a notepad to the interview and be sure to write down 3-5 questions ahead of time. Do not use your notepad as a crutch if you are uncomfortable on video. Instead, only write down the imperatives, and before you start writing it’s a good idea to mention to your interviewer that you are going to be jotting down some notes. You don’t want it to appear like your focus is on anything else but the interview.

5. Put your phone on silent and turn off other notifications
You don’t want to be distracted by an email popping up on your laptop or by the latest COVID-19 news alert. Turn off or mute these distractions while you take your video interview.

6. Be patient
As many companies and employees take their work remote, bandwidth and technology platforms are being put to their limits. Lag time and other technology glitches are bound to happen, even when the whole world isn’t working remotely, so be patient with yourself and with the interviewer. Answers during an interview should be concise anyways, but it might be a good idea to check in and make sure your interviewer can still hear you. This is an especially good idea if your answer is taking you more than a minute or two to get through. You don’t want to get through a lengthy response only to find out he or she couldn’t hear what you were saying the whole time.

7. Show your personality
One of the drawbacks some people face on virtual interviews is that they don’t get to share as much of their personality, and the interviewer therefore doesn’t get the same benefit of really getting to know you. As much as possible, you want to make the interviewer feel like they have just walked away from an in-person sit down with you. Don’t be shy about using hand gestures and facial expressions.

While it may not be everyone’s first choice, video interviews are enabling the hiring process to continue despite quarantine protocols.