The Do's and Don'ts of virtual job interviews
A recent survey has revealed that 6 in 10 companies(!) in the US conduct virtual job interviews. A virtual job interview is essentially the same as a regular job interview, however the interview is now held over video chat. Through virtual job interviews, companies save time and money and this is why the number of firms conducting such interviews is expected to keep rising in the upcoming years. So, we thought it would be useful to share some do's and don’ts for these type of job interviews.
In a recently conducted virtual job interview for a new CEO candidate, managing director Mr. Delattre spotted a woman dressed in black in the background of the candidate’s video. Delattre simply asked the candidate ‘Who is that behind you over there?’, as the woman appeared mid-interview.
It was a very awkward moment in the interview, however, a very useful one. "If he had yelled at her to leave the room immediately, I would have said, 'Thanks a lot, we'll be in touch,'" says Mr. Delattre (The Wall Street Journal, 2011). However, the candidate remained professional and simply asked his housekeeper if she could come back at a more convenient time.
Virtual job interviews can sometimes reveal some additional valuable information for recruiters. So, make sure to pay attention to the following do's and land your next job, just like the CEO candidate did in the previous example!
Location, location, location
We slightly touched upon this in the previous section, it will benefit you to conduct the job interview somewhere quiet. You can think of, for example, the comfort of your own home, a friend’s or family member’s place, an internet café, or a nearby coffee shop. The most important things to pay attention to are your background, lighting and sound. The setting you are in should allow you to have a nice and professional interview. Moreover, a white plain background is preferred, however, not a must. Think about it this way, you are in charge of picking the location. Make sure that the location you choose reflects your level of professionalism. So, if you decide to conduct the interview behind your desk at home, make sure that your workspace is tidy and professional.
Get The Final Touches Right
One thing we strongly advise you to do is to have your documents ready! Make sure you create an easily accessible folder beforehand with your resume, cover letter and any other supporting documents. This way, you can easily use them as reference when needed.
It has certainly happened that candidates are not fully aware of the do's and don’ts of virtual job interviews. The most important thing is to conduct yourself like you would in a regular job interview. However, some people completely forget that recruiters can see their every move, even on the webcam. To illustrate, a prospective candidate short-listed for a managerial positon appeared to be reading her answers straight from a document open on her laptop during her virtual interview. This changed the firm’s perception of her completely, which led to her eventually not landing the job.
We obviously don’t want this to happen to any of you, and that is why we like to touch upon goof-ups made. Remember these previous experiences with virtual job interviews, and make sure to learn from these mistakes so that everything will work out in your favor.
Now that you noted down these do's and don’ts, you should be ready to ace your virtual job interview. Use this opportunity to your advantage and show that you are perfectly capable of handling anything that might happen!