Posted on 09/16/2020
With more companies moving to a fully remote environment, the recruiting process has been met with many challenges. The biggest one by far is conducting interviews completely through Zoom! With video interviews becoming the new norm, candidates really have to shine through the screen to stand out to recruiters.
To get a better idea of how video interviews differ from in-person interviews, we have sat down with 8 recruiting specialists to get their best tips for wowing an interviewer. Check out their best virtual interview tips below!
Find a Professional Background
Interviews have completely gone virtual, and with that comes a whole new set of practices. The best tip for candidates hopping on a video interview is to find a professional background. Oftentimes, people will interview on their bed, on the couch or with their TV going in the background and that looks highly unprofessional. Finding a solid color background in your house with little to nothing behind it is as comparable to a professional setting as you can get. It is important that the interviewer is not distracted by the things going on behind you and it shows that even in the midst of interviewing at home, you can find a way to still be professional.
Candi Luciano, Y Scouts
Keep Your Device Stable
Keep your device stable! The worst thing is being on a video call when someone is on their cell phone and it’s shaking in their hand, or they’re trying to balance their laptop. Keep your device planted on a table, check your angles before a call (use hardcover books to prop the device up if needed), and check your lighting for glares. You want your future team to see you in literally your best light!
Lauren Patrick, Curricula
Invest in an Ethernet Cable
Check your internet connection several times before your scheduled interview. As much as we’d like to think we can control everything that will happen, some things are just not in our ability. If you notice that there are certain times in the day where your internet connection is not great, make sure you schedule your interview outside of those times, if possible. You can also invest in an ethernet cable for a wired connection to ensure that you won’t drop the call during the interview if a wireless connection goes out.
Francesca Yardley, Threads
Look Directly in the Lens While Talking
Personal connection is so important when trying to make a good first impression, and eye contact is one of the best ways to do that. One of the biggest mistakes that candidates make when using video platforms is to look at themselves instead of the lens. You need to remember that the hiring panel that is viewing your video will see you looking down or away from them, which can sometimes lead to a perception that you are untrustworthy, or not answering the questions truthfully.
Instead, take a moment to think about your answer, then make sure you are looking right into the lens as you respond. More than ever, making a good first impression can be the difference between getting that second interview, or not proceeding to the next stage. In a crisis, leaders will subconsciously be looking for people they can trust, and strong eye contact will help to engender that feeling. It’s okay to glance down at notes or take a moment to pause at the beginning, but for the whole time that you are answering the question – look straight into the lens.
Ineke McMahon, P2P Learning and Development
Practice a Call With a Family Member
The key to a good interview, virtual or not, is to practice! Ask your friends or family to do mock interviews with you over Zoom or Skype so you can get comfortable on the platform. Welcome their feedback and be sure to learn from each mock interview you give!
Nikitha Lokareddy, Markitors
Try Standing for Interviews
This may sound odd at first, but standing will immediately help energize and invigorate you, making you sound far more confident and poised to your interviewer. Plus, most of us tend to sit at a computer with pretty poor posture. We then overcompensate during video calls by sitting back really stiff and formally, which negatively affects our speech. Standing nixes all these problems in the first place.
Ty Stewart, Simple Life Insure
Pretend the Camera Is a Real Person
Pretend you are at a live interview, and the camera on your computer is a real person. That means you dress as you would for a live interview, you make eye-contact with the camera like it is a person, and smile like you would with a real person. If you wouldn’t do something in a live interview, you shouldn’t do it on a Zoom or Skype call. And, whenever possible, take interviews from a desktop/laptop instead of a phone.
Nicole Spracale, Coaching and Consulting