Since the pandemic hit, Zoom has become increasingly more popular, becoming one of the most used online apps/programs in the world for videconferencing, webinars and most importantly for remote job interviewing. And, although the world is going back to ‘normal’, it’s the ‘new normal’ that we are talking about. Companies opt to interview virtually (even through metaverse now!) for many reasons - most importantly saving many people time, broadening the talent pool globally, and for companies, being able to interview more people.
Although you can interview for jobs from the comfort of home, virtual interviewing also comes with its own set of challenges. It’s easier to get distracted, and sometimes technology may not be as reliable. To increase your chances of making a good impression and getting the job, we put together these tips to help you overcome challenges with video interviews.🏆
1. Practice and prepare with the technology beforehand
Technology may be unpredictable in certain times, and sometimes let you down. Even if you are familiar with the video platform, it's best to practice before the interview comes around. Have someone close to you call you to make sure you can hear and be heard and see and be seen. Plus, it will allow you to get comfortable with the process and test the strength of your Wi-Fi.
As to the actual day, make sure to get on the video platform 5-10 minutes beforehand. This is so you can prevent any delays. If let’s say, the application was frozen, or you struggled opening the link, you will have enough time to sort it out, and in the worst case scenario seek help. 🕒
2. Interview in a clear space
Create a good impression by ensuring there is no clutter or mess behind you. Having an unmade bed or dirty laundry in your shot will immediately give the interviewer a negative impression that you are not taking the role seriously and decrease your chances of securing the job.
If you are concerned about pets or family members walking past you can upload a digital background for the background of your video. When the main room of your home is at its cleanest, take a landscape photo and upload to Zoom. Then, make it your virtual background. Be sure to let people at home know that you are being interviewed, to minimize the distractions!
3.Dress to Impress
Just because you’re in the comfort of your own home does not mean you shouldn’t make the effort in the same way you would if the interview was in person. The urge to be less formal is understandable, but it might send the wrong message about how interested you are in the role. Try to choose your outfit according to the company’s culture. Whatever you choose should show well on camera as well as be professional. 👚
4.Sit in a brightly lit room
Your interviewer needs to be able to see your body language and facial expressions during your Zoom interview, so choose a room with good lighting. Setting your interview space facing a window that lets in a lot of natural lighting is a great way to make yourself more visible. Whilst you’re at it, make sure to wipe the camera before entering the call 💡
5. Silence your phone and switch off computer notifications
Before your Zoom interview, silence your phone and put it away. You should also turn off any notifications on your computer that could become a distraction. Even better, you want to set the Zoom meeting to full screen so that your interviewer is the only thing you can see. 📱
6. Charge your computer
Ideally, you should choose a spot where you can leave your laptop plugged in during the entirety of your interview so your device won’t risk losing battery. However, if your interview space doesn't have an outlet, make sure to fully charge your laptop before your interview. 🖥️
7.Maintain eye contact and body language
Maintaining eye contact with your interviewer is a sign of confidence and respect. Little gestures can make a big impact. You don’t want to make it seem like you’re disconnected or distracted. Look into the camera as you are speaking as this creates the illusion that you are looking at them rather than yourself or the screen. Don’t worry if not, that usually comes with practice 👀
8. Pay attention to how you sound
Keep in mind how fast you speak, how you pause, the tone and pitch of your voice. Due to it being online and unfortunately the tech can sometimes disappoint, it’s important to take extra caution trying to sound loud and clear. Also, make sure you sound excited when discussing the things you’re passionate about and the role itself. 🔊
It’s vital to prepare questions prior to the interview so you definitely have something to ask but also take mental notes of any new questions you may have as the interview goes on. If you don't have anything specific, ask a broad question about advancement opportunities in the company, something about the company culture, or what a typical day might look like on the job. You should avoid questions asking about what kind of personal time you get off, whether you can arrive early or late as long as you are doing the contracted hours, or any other benefit related questions. While these are good questions, these things can be discussed later in the process.
Most importantly stay calm and enjoy the conversation! Technology develops at such a fast pace, so we have to be open to change and be comfortable with new challenges. No matter the changes in an interview process, the secret to being successful will always be the same: preparation and practice. 🎯
At UMATR, we try to make the progress as easy as possible and we’ll guide you along the interview process with hiring tech companies!