As time passes, in-person interviews may start to become more and more of a thing of the past. By chatting with prospective hires over the internet, companies can save time–both yours and theirs—and often handle the hiring process more efficiently. Rather than having you come back multiple times to meet with different members of the organization—some of whom may be off-site or otherwise engaged, with just a few moments of free time—a video conference call with software like Blue Jeans can easily allow all of you to meet without a hassle. It also speeds up the process by allowing you to meet on short notice, without having to schedule multiple appointments that could span a week or two of your time. In that sense, online multimedia platforms might help you get hired faster!
If you’re about to get an appointment with HR or even the big boss of a company you’re planning to join, there’s no need to panic. Here are just a few simple tips to help you ace that interview.
First Things First: Test Your Equipment!
This is by far one of the most important steps in the process. There’s nothing worse than having technical difficulties, especially if they’re the fault of poor planning or bad preparation on your part. Check that your software is in working order and that you understand all of the functions and controls, and test if your camera and sound are also working properly. You might want to do a test call with a friend to evaluate if the quality of your connection is well enough and that they can see and hear your clearly. Don’t forget to choose a spot in your home that has good lighting; you’ll want the company representative to be able to see you clearly.
Just because you’re talking from home doesn’t mean you get to dress like it’s your day off. Dress professionally, from head to toe, just as you would for an in-person discussion. Going casual is certainly not a good look. You wouldn’t show up to work in your pajamas, so don’t wear them for this crucial moment! Additionally, you’ll want to be fully dressed. For example, if you think you can get by with only dressing professionally from the waist up, you might be in for an unfortunate surprise. You never know when you might have to stand up, or if you might absentmindedly shift or change position in a way that lets the other person see you’re wearing sweatpants—or no pants at all.
Mind Your Manners
According to a funny report by Business Insider, people have done some very strange and inappropriate things during web chats, from showing off their pets, to chowing down on breakfast, and even playing video games in the background. While reading about these incidents will give you a laugh, you certainly don’t want to be the perpetrator! It’s important that you handle the situation professionally, and block yourself off from all of the distractions of home. Again, as mentioned above, just because you’re in the privacy of your own home doesn’t mean you should act like it.
Time also reminds that it’s important to make eye contact with the person you’re talking to, and to quell your nervous tics. By eye contact, they mean looking into the camera—looking at the screen won’t give you an eye-to-eye connection. And as for those nervous movements, even something as simple as bouncing your leg under the table can be distracting. Just because the other person can’t necessarily see it doesn’t mean that it’s not making noise or causing the table, and thus your camera, to shake in a distracting manner.
Wash the Dishes and Put Away Those Clothes
This falls into the category of manners, somewhat, but there’s a little more to it. As you know, you should choose a clean, clear, well-lit area of your home. But one thing is imperative: mind what’s in the background! If you’ve got a pile of dirty laundry on a chair in the corner, or a pile of dirty dishes on your table or in the background sink, that’s not only distracting to the person assessing you, but it also causes you to look unprepared and unprofessional. Don’t forget tidy up the area well beforehand, and double check to see that there’s nothing inappropriate in the background; don’t talk to your prospective boss while sitting in front of certain posters, for example, and make sure that any questionable items or paraphernalia are put away and not in view of the camera.
Overall, a video interview isn’t too different from a regular one; there’s just a few more factors to keep in mind. By following the above tips, you’re sure to make a good impression and hopefully, nab that job.