Every aspect of life in the 2020s is fast-paced, to say the least, and the labor market is no exception to this rule. Individuals have started applying for jobs on the go, researching companies on the go, and sitting in on parent-teacher meetings on the go – why should interviewing for a position be any different?
With the incredible rise of remote work and the convenience of technology in facilitating professional undertakings from anywhere around the world, it is essential for both candidates and employers to adapt to the digital space.
In this blog post, we will explore 10 key strategies and best practices to help you prepare for a video interview. Follow these tips and you might find yourself taking your next video call — not in the backseat of your car, but at your desk at your brand-new job.
1. Technical Set-Up
It is vital to have your interview setup ready to go before you jump into the actual interview prep. Here are some things you should take into consideration:
A high-speed, stable internet connection prevents any disruptions you may encounter during the interview. A wired connection is also preferred over Wi-Fi.
Device of Choice
Definitely do not rely on a phone. Not only is camera and microphone quality better on a desktop or laptop, it also looks more professional than holding a mobile device while giving your interview.
Lighting and Background
Well-lit, quiet locations with neutral, not-too-distracting backgrounds are the best choice. Avoid spaces that are cluttered, messy, or inappropriate for a professional setting.
Camera and Mic
Test these before entering the meeting room. It can get very awkward if you start your interview and have to exit it to enable camera and/or mic settings.
2. Conduct Mock Interviews
Most learning happens by practicing, and this is true for online job interviews as well. Conduct mock interviews with a friend, family member, or by yourself (although it is preferable to practice with someone over Zoom or FaceTime to get comfortable with the online format).
3. Company Research
You don’t want to seem confused about what the company does, what your potential role requires you to do, and how you reflect the company’s values, culture, and work style. It thus becomes important to research the company thoroughly before your interview. This entails looking into its:
- Recent news
Tailor your answers to demonstrate how your skills and experience align with the company’s goals.
4. Dress as If You Are Going in Person
Just because you are online does not mean that your interviewers are not judging your appearance. You need to be well-groomed and well-dressed for this event, which requires well-coordinated, clean, and industry-appropriate attire. Distracting patterns or overly-bright colors are a big no-no.
5. Be Punctual
It goes without saying that being late to a job interview is the worst first impression you can leave on your hiring managers. You have to be extra cautious about this, and thus we recommend joining the meeting room earlier than the pre-determined start time. Have all your technical setup done in advance, so that you just have to focus on answering the questions to the best of your abilities.
6. Prepare Your Resume and Notes
Hiring managers typically have a copy of your resume and relevant work with them while they interview you, and it is important that you do the same. Keep your resume and notes within reach throughout the interview, so that you are ready with the answers if they quiz you about your qualifications.
7. Maintain Eye Contact
While you may not realize it, it is very obvious when eye contact is broken while on video call. Avoid staring in different directions when you or the interviewer is speaking, and instead practice active listening and confident speaking throughout.
8. Body Language
Confidence and professionalism are key qualities, and words can only do so much to convey them. It is important that your body language shows your belief in being the best fit for the role.
9. Common Questions
Questions such as “Tell us about yourself,” “Why do you want to work with us?” and “What is your greatest strength/weakness?” are commonplace during job interviews, and an answer to each one of them needs to be prepared in advance. Be concise and focused, and show your qualifications with concrete examples rather than fluff.
Send a thank-you email to express your appreciation to the recruiters. This small gesture goes a long way in ensuring that out of all the interviewees, you are remembered.