The American office space has taken quite a transformation this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions of workers have swapped the cubicle for the couch, khakis for sweatpants, and in-person interviews to video. While COVID-19 will eventually disappear, video interviews are here to stay. With advance preparation you can take advantage of the benefits that video interviewing provides. Utilize the tips below which can increase your success during the video interview process.
Home Field Advantage
Leverage the “home field advantage” that a video interview provides. You are in control of your environment without the stress of off-site interviews. Choose a comfortable room with little distraction and extend the comfort to your clothing. From the waist up, dress the same in a video interview as you would in-person. A jacket over a collared shirt or blouse is always appropriate. The difference in a video interview is that you can make yourself more relaxed by wearing jeans or going barefoot. This added comfort will translate to added confidence. Just remember not to stand up on camera!
Consider Your Setting
Ensure your setting is appropriate. Your surroundings should be as simple and professional as possible without distractions. Remember to have a subtle background like a blank wall and not a poster or picture that could be misconstrued as offensive. Check your room lighting. Pay attention to how the sun and artificial lighting fill the room to avoid glare and dark areas. Lastly, consider the potential for noise in the background. Move children and pets to areas where they can’t be heard or interrupt the interview.
Practice and setup your computer in advance. The day before, record yourself answering a question and play it back. What comes off well? What doesn’t? How is your eye contact? Practice looking into the camera instead of the screen. If needed, raising the camera will help mimic eye contact. Preparation is arguably more crucial in a video interview as you have to drive your body language, mannerisms, and personality through the camera. Embrace it!
Plan for disaster
If you are giving a presentation on a video interview, prepare for the unexpected. Prepare for issues with video or audio quality by emailing your slides to the Interviewers beforehand. If your Wi-Fi connection is subpar, try disconnecting other devices from the router to give your interview a little more juice. Have your phone ready with speed-dial in the event your connection cuts out.
Manners are identical in a video interview as an in-person interview. The key here, and what many forget, is to act as if the interviewer is in the room with you. If you cough, remember to cover your mouth. Silence your phone. Focus your attention on the Interviewer. Smile and be sure to look directly into the camera, not the screen, when talking.
While COVID-19 has disrupted the traditional hiring process, it has provided candidates with a new and more relaxed hiring process. Use the tips above to leverage this new process and increase your chance of success!