Times are changing and technology is becoming more of an everyday norm. With the added COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are working remotely and having to use video platforms for our daily work interactions. This video conferencing also applies when applying for a job. Companies already started using video interviews for initial candidate screenings and until the shelter-at-home is lifted, many employers are having to go through the entire interview process using videoconferencing. Here are some tips both the employer and candidates should consider of the Do’s and Don’ts when preparing for a video interview:
Make sure you have internet connection and a reliable device. Test your connection, sound and camera with your IT support or for candidates by calling a friend to make sure everything is working. Consider using a headset as it produces clearer sound than most computers and laptops. The last thing you need is having technical difficulties during the interview. Technology can be unpredictable so having tested your connection in advance will help in fixing any glitches that might come up unexpectedly and be prepared to have plan B, like having a phone next to you if all fails.
For the candidates, dress professionally as if this was an in-person interview. Choose a location with natural background and free of clutter. Make sure you remove items you don’t want seen. Check the lighting so it’s not too bright to avoid a glare so avoid having a window behind you and make sure the place is quiet and private to avoid interruptions. If you are the candidate and have family at home during your interview, put a note on the door that you’re interviewing or on the front door of the house letting them know to keep quiet.
If possible, try logging into the interview a few minutes early to make sure you’re good to go. Candidates should research the company prior to the interview and have questions ready to ask about the position. Your resume should be in front of you along with the job descriptions in case you need to refer to it and have pen and paper ready to jot down notes. Be prepared to answer common interview questions.
It is helpful for the interviewer to provide the candidate with a schedule prior to the interview so they can prepare who they will be interviewing with and what is expected during the call. Video interviews can be a bit intimidating so starting the conversation with small talk but keeping it professional can help break the ice before digging into the job questions.
Keep eye contact with the other party, have good posture and speak clearly. Sometimes digital connections can be delayed, wait a few seconds for the other party to be done speaking before speaking yourself. Do not look at your cell phone or wander as this can be distracting and inform the other party if you are taking notes to avoid misreading of your actions. If you have never done a video interview, practice talking to a camera or mirror to ensure you maintain eye contact.
For the interviewers, giving a glimpse of the company’s workplace environment is helpful for the candidate. Sharing photos or videos if available of the work office is helpful in creating a better experience for the candidate if that they can see themselves working there. Explain company culture, providing employee testimonials if available to help the candidate get a feel of what it’s like working for the company.
Ultimately you want your video interview to have a similar experience as an in-person interview, for both parties to see if this is the right fit for the job. Keep the interview conversational to make a connection, be yourself and personable while remaining professional. When closing the conversation, candidates should thank their interviewer for the opportunity and follow-up with a post-thank you email as they would with any other interview. Interviewers should let their candidates know when they can expect to hear back for next steps.