As businesses manage this COVID-19 crisis, many companies have begun using digital technology early in the talent engagement process to replace face-to-face interviews.
As a job seeker facing this reality, you should approach these video interviews no differently than you would an in-person, face-to-face conversation. Keep in mind, video meetings are still interactive events where you have an opportunity to build a connection with hiring managers. As such, be prepared and bring the same professional decorum.
In an interview with Tim Ihlefeld by Stelcy V. Joseph, President & CEO of Harqen—a video, voice and SMS interviewing company, for insights on ways candidates can prepare for their digital interviews.
Dress professionally and be intentional about your environment.
Treat your virtual meeting like you would for a live, in-person discussion. Shower, shave, brush your hair, and change into work-appropriate clothes. Make sure your surroundings are suitable to be on-camera. Place yourself in good lighting and avoid distracting elements in your background. You do not want to have your refrigerator, family photos, or stack of mail behind you while you are interviewing for a position you really want.
Minimize potential noise or physical disruptions as much as possible. Notify others nearby that you are conducting a job interview via video conference and ask for privacy. Do the best you can to secure kids or pets in a safe and quiet place temporarily to allow you the opportunity to focus on the interview.
Prepare ahead of time for the interview as you would normally. Write out your questions, have a pen and paper nearby to take notes. Understand your strengths and weaknesses and be prepared to share them.
Test your technology tools in advance of the interview.
Check your WIFI signal and/or cellular signals. Glitches happen, so confirm you can log into the video system ahead of the scheduled conference time. If you are required to download an app, do so in advance. App downloads can cause a variety of issues depending on the types of devices you use. If a glitch does occur, do not panic! Most interview platforms will reconnect and resume the session.
Do not forget to craft a follow-up note to close the loop and thank the interviewers for their time. This a good way to send other critical pieces of info and solidify your connections.
Most importantly, be curious and do not be afraid to let your personality shine. Ask and answer questions normally and with a controlled cadence. Employers are interested in your core skills, but they are equally as interested in your soft skills and communication. There is no better way to demonstrate this skill set than on a video interview.