In 2020, online video interviews have become de rigor. They are just another part of our changed reality forced into existence by social distancing requirements and rise in unemployment rates, which means that more and more people are on the hunt for a job.
Preparing for a job interview has always been a nerve-wracking experience, so it’s only understandable that people are equally nervous about the idea of a video interview.
Here are our top 5 tips for preparing yourself for a video interview.
Curate Your Space
When you go to a job interview, you’re always thinking about what you should wear to look respectable, professional and well put together. Now, with online interviews, the burden of thinking about what you should wear has been lessened by half to be exact! Check to see how much of your outfit will be visible on camera and make sure at least that half of you is dressed in the way you would for an in-person interview – for the parts that the camera can’t see, it’s up to you! If you ask us that means slippers and tights are more than acceptable.
However, there’s another aspect of presentation you have to be cautious of – the room you do the interview in itself. Most of us won’t have a dedicated home office and will likely be conducting these interviews from our bedrooms or a communal space in our homes. Make sure the space visible behind you is something you’d want a potential future employer to see, no piles of laundry, dirty plates or crumpled bedsheets. If you live with others make sure you also give them a heads up as to what time you’ll be on your video interview so they can make sure they are discreet and don’t interrupt.
There’s nothing more awkward than being the first one to log into a Zoom meeting or any other kind of online call. However, when you’re interviewing for a job, you should be that first person to arrive in the virtual meeting room. In the same way, you’d want to be on-time or even a little bit early for a traditional in-person job interview, you also want to be on time for a video interview. This will show the interviewer that you are prepared and courteous and that you value the time of the person interviewing you so much that you don’t want them to have to hang around and wait for you.
Be Personable but Professional
Remember when people are interviewing you, they’re not only choosing a future employee but also a co-worker to make sure you let your personality shine through a bit. Remember to be respectful but personable, ask the questions about themselves, remember to smile and try and make eye contact (although granted this is challenging through conferencing apps) and maybe even try a joke or two if you’re feeling supremely confident!
There’s no question that job interviews can be awkward, they often feel more like an interrogation rather than a conversation, the stakes are high and you’re trying to sell yourself and your skills.
In particular, introverts can find it especially challenging to make their way through interviews and adequately sell a complete stranger on their skill set. If you’re introverted, use the video interview to your advantage, you’re in your home, a safe and reassuring environment, surrounded by your own belongings – you can make your space as calming and as comfortable as possible.
For tips on how to manage the actual interview itself, you can check out this article from Upskilled which will help you to prepare for the interview and have answers loaded for every question.
There’s nothing worse than when you’ve absolutely rocked a job interview, answering every question with ease, only to have the interviewer to ask you if you have any questions to ask in return and find yourself completely freezing. Not only is it awkward but an interviewer might take your lack of questions as a sign that you haven’t thought seriously about the job.
There’s plenty of advice out there about questions to ask however, it’s important to think about questions that will help you out in the hiring process. For example, a question like ‘what has this position become available?’ will tell you a lot about the company such as whether it has a high staff turnover which might indicate it’s not a great working environment, however, if it’s been created due to company growth then that’s a great sign! Another great question to ask is ‘are there any concerns you have about me that I can reassure you about?’ this can give you a great opportunity to sell yourself one ore time before you leave the interview.
Also see: How to make a Video CV