Our Top 3 Virtual Interview Tips
The coronavirus pandemic has brought recruitment to a screeching halt - or at least a temporary slowdown - for many companies.
Before you get worried about interviews being postponed or not receiving any callbacks, recognize that many companies are still in panic mode.
It will take a few weeks to bring the chaos under control as people transition to working from home. For many departments that are already swamped and adjusting to a new way of working, recruitment is simply not a priority at the moment.
Remember to breathe, be patient, and stay positive.
As urgent as your job search situation may feel, you don't want to seem panicked during your interviews.
We also don't advise frequently chasing recruiters for answers if your interview process was unexpectedly put on hold.
Know that recruitment hasn't stopped completely. Many companies are simply shifting to virtual interviews via Skype or Zoom, which are not only safer given today's crisis but also save time for both candidates and companies.
If you have never had a Skype (or FaceTime or HireVue) interview before, they can also be a bit stressful.
We've all had an experience when technology failed us at the worst possible moment, so you want to minimize the chances of such a situation occurring during your interview.
To help you feel prepared and more relaxed, follow these three tips.
1) Treat your virtual interview like an in-person interview
Even though the interview is virtual, you shouldn't treat it any differently than you would an in-person interview
Ignore the advice of how Skype interviews are great because "you can wear shorts and flip flops and only have to dress up from the waist up."
Plan on wearing what you would normally wear to an in-person interview with the same company. Dressing up will boost your confidence and help reduce nervousness.
You don't want to have the "what if" question looming in the back of your mind!
2) Look into the camera
To appear confident and personable, you want to give off the impression that you are looking the interviewer in the eye.
During Skype interviews, you may find it intuitive to look at the interviewer on your screen.
However, this approach will make it appear as if you are looking down, causing you to lose a prime opportunity to leave a stronger impression.
Remember to look directly into the camera!
To help direct your focus, cut out a photo of a friend or family member you feel comfortable around and tape it to the right of your camera. Instead of looking down at the interviewer, just look them in the eye!
3) Conduct a test run
Even if you use Skype regularly and are very familiar with the platform, make sure to turn on your camera and conduct a test run.
In particular, pay attention to the following:
Make sure your lighting looks good on video
Check to see if your lighting looks okay by making sure your face is bright and setting up additional desk lamps if necessary.
If you're planning on taking your call in a room with lots of windows, test your lighting around the same time of day.
You want to avoid bright lights coming from behind you, which can make your face appear dark.
Sit in front of a clean, clutter-free background
Make sure the background is free of any potential distractions.
Ideally, you'll want to find a solid-colored background.
If you're not against a wall, make sure that the room visible in the shot is clean and clutter-free.
Pay attention to your camera height
Place your camera at eye level. You shouldn't have to look up or down to see it.
Test your internet connection
If you haven't used Skype before or plan on taking your call in a new location, test out the Wi-Fi to make sure the call doesn't break up.