Or how to avoid ending up like the Lawyer Cat.
“I’m here live, I’m not a cat.” – Someone who hadn’t read this article before clicking ‘Join meeting’.
We’ve done the research for you; gathering the very best hints, tips and advice for NAILING your virtual job interview. Gotcha hooked? Keep reading…
Working life has changed so drastically over the past year it’s almost been hard to keep up. Working from home has transformed from what was once a nice perk, to something completely necessary to get by and, when it comes to setting off down a new career path, the process has been revamped too.
Virtual interviews, once a rarity only used for a job somewhere far flung, are now a part of daily life when it comes to job hunting. But, with things switching over to the online world so quickly, is everything we know about acing your next job interview to be chucked in the bin?
Well the answer is yes AND no.
If you’re reading this article, chances are, you’ve got a virtual interview on the horizon. So whether it’s on Zoom, Teams, Google Hangout or Skype, keep reading for our top tips to boss your next video call interview.
The History of Virtual Job Interviews
These things are not completely brand new. Virtual interviews have always existed but they’ve never been as advanced, or as frequent, as they are today.
Once upon a time, the phone interview was the king of the virtual interview world and it came with its own set of benefits and drawbacks – for employers and their interviewees alike.
From not even having to get dressed in preparation, to being able to pre-plan some answers to have on paper in front of you, the phone interview might have even been a fave of interviewees at some point. On the flip side, it was harder for interviewers to get a true feel for their candidates over the phone and it’s not hard to see why the switch to the video-based interview was made.
Nowadays, you’ll be hard pushed to find a professional out there who doesn’t either own or have access to a computer or laptop with a built in webcam, all set up and ready to call with a potential future employer at the simple click of a button.
How does a Zoom interview differ from an in-person interview?
Aside from being the safest way to meet with someone new in the midst of a global pandemic, video interviews come with a whole host of advantages – for those on both sides of the webcam lens.
It removes the drama of having to travel to a new location, you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’ve got coffee breath and it saves everyone valuable time in the long run – what’s not to love?
However, the method of interviewing isn’t without its drawbacks. We’ve all be plagued by internet connection issues, poor video or audio quality, or we just might not be as tech savvy as we’d like to be.
With all this in mind, here’s our guide on how to boss your next virtual interview!
Top tips to ace your virtual interview
- Practise, practise, practise.
Going back to the alternative title of this blog post, don’t end up like the Lawyer Cat in your virtual job interview.
It’s great for a chuckle but if you’re trying to look professional and competent in front of the person who’s responsible for hiring for your dream role, it’s not the best look.
While most interviewers should be perfectly understanding of any tech problems you could come up against (who hasn’t had a laptop that’s had a random tantrum from nowhere?), job interviews are stressful enough without getting in a flap trying to adjust your settings at the last minute.
“Hang on, please! My computer’s got a mind of its own!” Yeah, let’s try and avoid the flustered vibes, shall we?
Ideally, a few days before your interview, sit down with whatever platform you’ll be using and get to know the ins and outs of it – you’ll be grateful you did if things start to go wrong and you know exactly how to fix it straight away!
2. Lose the username
Okay so yes, you’re dead right. ‘Quiz-teama Aguilera’ is a GREAT name for the weekly lockdown Zoom quiz with your mates. Feel free to steal that by the way. My treat.
For your next job interview though? The hiring manager might fail to see the funny side.
Zoom remembers what name you entered last time you logged in so it’s best practise to boot it up and check what you’re calling yourself before you click ‘Join Meeting’.
Not only will you avoid any joke-name embarrassment, but ensuring you’ve got your full name under your picture will cement the good impression you’re sure to be making in the mind of whoever is conducting your interview – and help them remember who you are!
3. Dress to impress
As tempting as it may be to only dress smart from the waist up to help you stay comfy, the drawbacks of this are twofold.
For one, it makes it a little awkward when you realise you left your CV print out on the other side of the room and you end up flashing your leopard-print PJs to the person you’re trying to impress.
Secondly, it might prevent you from getting in the right frame of mind. Hear us out here. Being at home, you’re already in such a familiar environment to you and staying dressed down might keep you in the land of nod too.
Dress to impress as you would a normal interview and not only will your smartest ‘garms give you a little boost of confidence, but your head will be in the work zone, more than ready to handle even the toughest of interview questions that could be thrown at you.
4. What are you looking at?
When setting up your workspace for your Zoom interview, take a closer look at what can be seen behind you.
Everyone is guilty of having a little nose in the background of someone’s shot – we’re only human!
While pets making an appearance might be welcomed by some animal-loving employers, it is almost always slightly distracting from the matter at hand. And it might be a good idea to pop your copy of 50 Shades of Grey somewhere outside of the frame.
5. A clean screen is a happy screen
When you’re using your personal laptop for a job interview, it might be tempting to keep open your online shopping basket, your Facebook page and that Netflix show you’ve been working through in lockdown.
Our advice is to start anew. Not only will your PC be a little quicker at running without lots of things going on in the background, but if you’re unexpectedly asked to share your screen, you can avoid the embarrassment of letting your interviewer get a glimpse of the new pants you’re planning on ordering.
With all this in mind, it’s safe to say the virtual video job interview is going nowhere. So while it’s still fresh and companies are still getting to grips with it themselves, it’s better to move with the times and get completely savvy with it while you can.
At the end of the day, a virtual interview is still an interview. The best advice we can give you is be yourself (as cheesy as it sounds!), get some good examples under your belt, and do your research on the company you’re interviewing for. You’re sure to boss it! We’re wishing you the very best of luck!
Looking for more interview advice? We’ve got loads! Take a look at these articles we think you might like: