Pulling off a great interview is no mean feat, doing it over video conferencing is a whole new ball game and ensuring you impress the hell out of the interviewer during a global pandemic is crucial.
So how do you convince a recruiter that you are the best candidate for the job without ever meeting in person?
Here is our step by step guide to nailing a virtual interview in 2020.
Before the virtual interview:
- The very first thing to do when applying for a job is to make sure your CV is completely up to date and highly relevant to the role you are applying for. Your CV shouldn’t be a ‘one size fits all’ document and should be adapted to showcase your skills and experience for the role you are applying for.
To find out more about CV writing read our blog.
- You’ve been shortlisted for an interview, hurrah! This is no time to be complacent and if it is a job you are really interested in, do as much research as you can. If you’re meeting an external recruiter then ensure you have fully read their job description for the role and you know exactly which parts of your CV are relevant to the role so you can highlight them in your discussion.
If you are meeting the internal recruiter then do your homework – research the company, their mission statement, their people; make sure you fully understand the requirements of the role and what they’re looking for.
- Make notes – the beauty of a video interview is that you could have notes to hand if necessary; reams of notes are definitely not recommended, but you could highlight elements of your CV so that you are easily prompted visually should you be asked questions about your work history or education. However, make sure it’s not obvious you’re note checking – you should definitely know your CV inside out.
- The computer you will be using for the virtual meeting should be set up somewhere you won’t be disturbed and must have good internet access; before the interview starts you should check you have good lighting and sound and ideally you will be sat at a desk or table. Your background should definitely look professional – if you’re sat in your bedroom with your unmade bed behind you it won’t look good. Use a virtual background if necessary and ensure it’s suitable for the meeting.
- If you’ve not used the video conferencing platform that the recruiter is using then it’s important you know how it works before the meeting starts. Install it on your PC or download the app and check it works; technical complications on the day can happen, but if you know your way around the software it will make the whole thing less daunting.
During the virtual interview:
- Dress to impress – even though it isn’t a face-to-face interview you still need to dress appropriately. Wear what you would normally wear to an interview, it will impress the recruiter and will also help you get into interview mode.
- Be ready and waiting, raring to go. Ideally you will be sat ready to answer the call with all your settings correct, any brief notes in front of you (not visible to the recruiter), your mobile on silent and your game-face on.
- A good handshake was always crucial at the start of face-to-face meetings. Now that so many meetings are via video platforms the simple gesture is lost, therefore it is important to decide how you are going to greet the interviewer and ensure you remain professional.
- Eye contact is one of the hardest things to get right on video conferencing as each PC/tablet is different and where you are looking isn’t always where the camera is. If you’re looking at the screen but the camera is above you then it may look to the recruiter like you are looking down. Any practice you can have before the real thing is crucial, so video call a family member or friend and ask them to run through it with you if you’ve not done it before. Making ‘eye contact’ is one of the key ways to create rapport with someone on video conferencing, yet one of the toughest things to do.
- Allow the interviewer to speak. Interruptions on video calls are much more obvious due to the very slight delay, so try not to jump in too quickly with your answers.
The rest of the interview should be conducted in the same professional manner as you would in person; be prepared, be positive and be personable.
Our consultants will be happy to answer any questions you have before an interview and you can read more tips on how to create the right first impression here.