Updated: Sep 19
With the current COVID-19 pandemic, employment across all job sectors and across the US has been greatly impacted. While many companies are instituting layoffs or furloughs, there are actually companies that are still hiring and holding interviews. Due to concerns about the COVID-19 situation though, the job hiring process has changed drastically. For starters, the application process may take longer due to many companies still working on improving staff access to key business systems while working remotely. Additionally, the job hiring process has seen some swift changes moving away from in-person interviews to solely phone or video calls. The virtual-based interview setting is new to many companies as well as applicants. This post will cover 4 key tips for handling video interviews:
2.Test the Tech
4.Check Your Background
If you're searching for a job now and preparing for this new type of hiring process, read on for 4 key tips and more details on how to rock your video interview! When you're ready to take the next step in interview prep, check out my Comprehensive Interview Preparation Resource.
Always dress up for interviews no matter if they are in person or through video or even just on a phone call. Doing so will help you feel more confident and ready for the professional call! If you're interviewing through a video call, treat it like you were meeting in person. How would you dress? More than likely, you would choose a professional outfit that meets or exceeds the level of dress code at that company. When in doubt, always dress MORE formally than less so.
Keep in mind that details matter. Make sure that your outfit is clean and free of wrinkles, stains, rips, etc. You always want to make the best first impression possible so take time prior to the interview to ensure your outfit is ready. A benefit of a video interview is that you won't be wearing the interview outfit for too long so you should be able to keep it clean and re-wear it for other video interviews!
2.Test the Tech
When scheduling a video interview, ask the hiring manager what technology will be used. That way, you will be able to research that technology or app and test the capabilities before the interview. And remember, ALWAYS test the technology that you'll use for the interview ahead of time. Understand how to join the video call, how to turn on and off the video component and how to turn on and off mute! You may not think this step is important but remember that you will more than likely be nervous during your interview and if you haven't tested the technology and familiarized yourself with the control options, it may make you even more nervous! Not being familiar with the technology may also make you distracted during the interview rather than being able to focus on the actual interview.
Make sure you also test your own technology. Will you be using a computer or laptop or your phone for the video call? Will you be using a headset, earphones, or computer or phone speaker for the call? Test these options to determine which will work best and to also make sure you have all of the components needed for a successful call.
Remove distractions prior to and during your interview! This means keep the pets and kids away if possible. Find a quiet area so that you can focus on the interview! With Stay at Home orders in many states, it may be difficult to get away from your roommates or others in your home. That said, do your best to communicate with the others about the timing of your interview and what you need from them. Additional distractions include your phone ringer and notifications from apps on your phone as well as notifications on your laptop or computer. If you're using your computer or laptop for the video interview, ensure that no notifications will sound or pop up on the screen. Similarly, make sure you turn off notifications on your phone if you are using it for your interview. If you're using a computer or laptop for the interview, turn off your phone completely to eliminate any distractions.
In addition to removing distractions, make sure you are set up to maintain FOCUS during your interview. One way to do that is to make sure you have a copy of important information handy next to you during the video interview. Examples of key information include a copy of your resume, a copy of the job description, a list of questions you have for the interviewer, and a list of your best highlights. Having that information handy will help keep you focused and should help increase your confidence because you can easily reference the information rather than trying to recall so many details by memory. Lastly, have a notebook and pen handy to take notes during the interview.
4.Check Your Background
Before you get on a video call, decide where you will be located during the call. Your kitchen? Your office? A corner in your bedroom? Your living room? Then, set up your laptop/computer/phone and the video settings to see what your background would look like for a video call from that location. Make sure there isn’t anything distracting or inappropriate behind you when you will be on the video call. Things that could be distracting include family photos, your grocery list or bills tacked to a cork board, etc. These aren't bad things on their own but you want the interviewer to focus on YOU, not your space decor or personal photos.
In addition to testing the technology you will use for the video call, check whether there are options to blur or change your background during the call. Many video apps offer that option and it can help you manage a more professional image no matter where you're calling from. Background change options can include uploading a using a photo or image behind you. While this option would allow you to be creative and use any background such as a Hawaiian sunset image, keep in mind that the video call is for a professional job hiring process. If you choose to change your background for the video call, make sure you choose a more professional background style. You don't want anything distracting the interviewer from your conversation.
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And when you're ready to take your preparation to the next level, check out my Comprehensive Interview Preparation Resource. Includes:
*200 example interview questions
*Example answers and key phrases to use in interviews
*Fill-able forms to track key information for your interviews
*Fill-able forms to track your interview progress
*And fill-able forms for taking notes!
In summary, the employment landscape and hiring process is drastically changing across the US right now and for the foreseeable future. The more you can do now to prepare for a more virtual-based hiring process, the better. Become familiar with the technology needed to support video interviews so that you can be more confident and focused during those interviews. In addition to the technology, make sure you keep key information handy during your interview such as a copy of your resume and the job description. Lastly, make sure you keep a notebook and pen handy so that you can easily take notes during the interview.
* Review this tips and put them into practice BEFORE your next video interview.
* Invest in my Comprehensive Interview Preparation Resource
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Connect with me at Sarah@ThatPurpleBook.com with questions.