Here are 5 best practices to ace the virtual interview
To argue that COVID-19 has altered the world is an understatement. In more than a year since the virus hit the world, it has overturned everyday lives globally. The pandemic has altered how we learn, work, and interact. Social distancing rules have acclaimed a virtual existence, both professionally and personally.
These changes have not left even the talent acquisition process in companies untouched. Most businesses struggling with this tremendous shift are looking at a remote process for decreasing or increasing headcount, managing staff procedures, and maintaining workloads.
To accelerate time-to-hire, many organisations are offering job aspirants the option of video interviewing. This new mode of interviewing ensures the momentum of the hiring process, while boosting the employer's brand and enhancing the job seeker's experience.
For many job aspirants, however, virtual interviewing is a
We interviewed a few job seekers and hiring managers to bridge the gap and help job seekers in getting a grip on their digital interviews. Here are some tips that could help you ace the interview and bag your next dream job.
1. Prep in advance
A virtual interview needs tools such as microphone, camera, a software program, and a dependable internet connection. Never use a mobile for your interview. Use a desktop or a laptop. Download the apps that are commonly used for interviews beforehand. If you have not used such apps earlier, check their running methods.
Cross check the sound quality and the network speed of your system. In case of any network issue, fix it beforehand.
Check all these a day before the virtual interview to make sure everything is in order and works fine. It is always better to check all systems again on the day of the interview and log-in 30 minutes prior to the scheduled time.
In addition to the advance check-up of technology, for best results, you should also prepare your responses in advance. Instead of directly reading from a script, do the preparatory work beforehand so that there is a natural flow of conversation.
More often than not, you will have to answer questions impromptu. Therefore, advance preparation of commonly asked questions, like in an in-person interview, is highly recommended.
2. Dress professionally
You should expect virtual interviews, taking place from your home, to be as formal as those taking place in an office. So, ensure you dress in the same way you would in a face-to-face interview. This will make you look enthusiastic about the opportunity, while appearing professional and confident at the same time.
The safest bet when it comes to dressing up for such an occasion, for both men and women, is to team a button-down shirt and blazer with trousers.
3. Minimize distractions
Choose a spot in your home that is quiet and has least distractions. The best place would be a professional-looking and clean room that leads the interviewer to focus on you rather than on the surroundings.
If you lack a dedicated office space, a bedroom, kitchen or even a cleaned-out wardrobe space can be used. Instead of placing the laptop on your couch or lap, position it on a desk or table at your eye level.
Inform everyone at home about the time of the interview, and request them to stay quiet and limit distractions. Pets should be kept in a separate room during the interview period.
4. Leverage body language, build rapport
The downside of a virtual interview is the limitations it puts on the potential to communicate with body language. It, therefore, becomes even more critical to leverage body language in a professional and clear manner.
Sit straight and make sure the camera is positioned in such a way that there is minimum blank space above and below your head and your face is in the centre of the screen. Since there is no scope to shake hands, find other ways to break the ice such as smiling and a wave with eye contact. If you get an unexpected question, maintain poise, collect your thoughts and then answer it.
Establishing rapport in a virtual interview is important as it helps you build a connection with the interviewer, allowing you to differentiate yourself from other candidates.
You can do this by asking your interviewer's experience with virtual interviews or discussing a common interest. You could also take up any neutral topic to get to know more about your interviewer.
5. Follow up
Don't forget to send a follow-up mail after your interview. A well-timed (within 24 hours of the interview) mail thanking the interviewer for the time, and showing your availability for any additional questions, is a good practice to adopt.
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