When lockdown was in full force, the only option which employers looking to hire new employees had was to conduct interviews over the phone or, more commonly, via a video-call.
Although lockdown may have ended and restrictions have been eased, many employers are still choosing to conduct their interviews via video-call. However, while many aspects of the interview process remain the same whether it’s face-to-face or over the internet, there are some additional things which you can do to really impress your potential new employer when you’re being interviewed via video-call.
One of the top things to do is to make sure that your surroundings are appropriate for an interview. Not only does having a pile of dirty washing-up in the background not give a great impression, but if you’ll be working from home your interviewer may also be using the video-call to confirm that you have an appropriate set-up that is free from distraction and looks professional. A desk always helps, as does an office chair. Interviewing from your sofa is a definite no-no.
Another vital preparation once you’ve got your video-call background area looking nice and professional is to make sure that all of the technology works! Around fifteen minutes before the interview is due to start, open up the programmes you’ll be using for the interview and check they’re running as they should. Asking a friend or family member to do a brief test-call just before the interview starts will tell you if your microphone levels, camera angle, and lighting levels are right, and, even more importantly, it’ll show up if you’ve got any connection issues. Once the test is done, turn any phones and push notifications onto silent.
By email before the interview, or at the start of the interview, make sure that you’ve given your interviewer a phone number they can call in case technology lets you down. As for when the interview starts, it’s a good idea to hide your own image so that you’re not distracted by it on the screen. Look directly into the camera so that your interviewer feels that you’re looking at them.
During the call, don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat themselves if you don’t quite catch something they’ve said. It’s important to hear the actual question so you can answer properly, rather than try to guess what they asked.
Finally, don’t panic if things go wrong – whether that be in technology form or the form of a small child embarrassing you in the background. Your interviewer will take how you react under pressure into account. Stay relaxed and style it out. Your potential employer is only human too (at least you’d hope so!) and they’ll be well aware that sometimes, these things just happen.