The tides are high and the water’s rough. With the COVID-19’s unanticipated outbreak, businesses, and individuals alike are tormented with panic – and rightly so. The extent to which the pandemic is now affecting the economy is both unforeseen and worrisome.
However, as with most other things in the world, it doesn’t come without some faint silver lining.
The change in hiring processes
As concerns about the virus spread, companies are revamping their hiring processes. Recruiters are either postponing interviews indefinitely or giving the option of having one over video conferencing.
As such, interfaces that allow for video calling like ZOOM/Skype/Hangouts, etc. are assuming the higher ground. Both SMBs and large corporations like Amazon, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn have scrapped on-site interviews in favor of video ones.
This is new ground for candidates who relied on an in-person meetup to create a stronger impression and secure a position. But, how to thrive in this new situation? The following 8 tips will set you up for the highest chances of success:
Acing a video interview through 7 simple steps
Double-check your internet connection
It is highly imperative that your internet connection remains stable throughout your interview.
Things may not work out ideally, but you must do your bit in ensuring a high-speed network connection – for audio and video. You do not want to piss your potential employers off with an unstable connection. The best way to go about this is by securing a spot that allows for the best connectivity and testing it a couple of times before your scheduled interview.
Have a distraction-free well-lit background
You want to avoid windows lest you become invisible to the recruiter. The video quality decreases exponentially when you sit right in front of the source of light and all your interviewer can see is a halo of light emanating from behind a faceless person.
Hence, find a background that appears professional and causes the least distraction to both the recruiter and to you. Make sure your walls have no hanging pictures of your childhood or you’re not leaning up against a pillow in bed. You want to be sitting upright at a desk, against any source of light with no moving figures or shapes in the background.
Frame yourself properly
Ensure that you’re seated chest-up for the interview, keep the camera on and align yourself to the frame beforehand.
Keep in mind that it’s a tad tiresome to sit in front of a screen for long durations. So you want a position that isn’t too hard on your neck and doesn’t require bed pillows and support.
Use a top-notch microphone
Now is the right time to invest in a high-quality microphone!
To ensure a smooth interview experience over a video call, it is crucial that your microphone does not cause any hindrance. Just as you would thoroughly clean your PC camera before the call, test your microphone audio as well.
Most interfaces, like ZOOM, allow for microphone and camera tests that can be undertaken before you join the meeting. Keep your mouth at a fair distance from the mic or it will cause massive disturbance while you speak.
‘Arrive’ early for the interview and give yourself some extra time to test the angling and audio. It will save you from loads of potential trouble later.
Dress smart and sharp
Working from the comfort of your home can lead most people to slack off in terms of clothing. This doesn’t matter when you are chatting with a colleague about a new project. But, when the interviewer can see only 50% of you through a screen, every little thing counts.
So, dress professionally. Get your suits and tie in order, your hair up and try to look active and responsive. The preparedness will boost your confidence and mental alertness as well.
Prepare through mock interviews
Try appearing for a few mock interviews – they won’t just help you gauge where you are information and style-wise, they will also help you to mentally and physically prepare for the actual interview.
It may appear easy, but sitting in one spot for an hour trying to respond to questions in the best way is a pretty daunting task. Mock interviews can help you to prepare your own bag of tricks for an impactful interview.
You’ll need to research and prepare just as well for a video interview as you would for an in-person one. The setting might have changed but the recruiter’s questions won’t. So, practice answering on video with a friend or a family member.
Calm those nerves
We know you are scared and this isn’t essentially a cakewalk. Times are rough and all your plans are now all down the drain. You were somewhat prepped for your in-person interview, but now you have to follow multiple steps just to sit through one video call – and that’s anxiety-provoking. It is not easy and it can cause a lot of distress and stress, especially with the ongoing COVID panic.
So, we suggest you put in some extra effort and invest a little bit of self-care before you start interviewing. It is not easy and it is important to support yourself through the process. Eat some chocolate, do some yoga, or just play with your pet on the day of the interview.
Remember folks – one of the biggest perks of video interviews is that you have all the time in the world to prepare, get a good night’s sleep, avoid wrangled nerves due to traffic, and only worry about wearing professional top-wear (you can finally try boxers with a blazer!) The comfort of your home is an added bonus.
So, no need to despair. Focus on the positives of a video interview and research well as you would for an in-person interview. Pretty sure you’ll get off the call feeling positive and hopeful. Good luck!