As you probably know by now, the global pandemic has created a paradigm shift in the way we apply for jobs and perform those jobs. And by all accounts, remote-interviews and remote work may endure long after the fight against Covid-19 is won.
If that is the case, you cannot waste any time in sharpening your virtual job interview skills. While there are many great video interview tips you should learn and master, this list is geared towards the top virtual job interview tips we learned – the hard way – in 2020.
1. More than one way to connect
Many companies have rushed to provide the necessary tools to meet the sudden demand for remote video conferencing and team meetings. Today, there are so many different options for a recruiter to choose from when hosting a virtual job interview. Some of the more common applications include Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex Meetings or BlueJeans.
In an ideal world, your interviewer would give you plenty of notice as to what platform you will use for your virtual job interview. But if 2020 taught us anything, it is that we do not always have the luxury of living in an ideal world.
To best prepare for your interview, you may want to download several of these videoconferencing tools and familiarize yourself with them. Also, be proactive and ask your recruiter or interviewer what tool you will need for the interview. The last thing you want is to have something go wrong, or not have the right tool moments before your supposed to have your interview.
2. Anticipate the need to troubleshoot
Can you hear me now? Without question, every candidate should be ready to troubleshoot problems that will (yes will) arrive during a remote interview. We have all heard 2020 tech horror stories of cameras shutting off, internet cutting out, or microphones and speakers failing, all at the worst possible time.
It goes without saying that you should test whatever device and program you will use for your video job interview. And without question, all devices should be charged, and Bluetooth devices paired, well in advance. But you should also have contingency plans in place.
One of the best backup plans is to have a smartphone within arms reach if your computer fails just before, or during a job interview. Why a phone? Not only are most video interview applications available on your phone, but you can also connect and use them with data should your Wi-Fi fail. And if worst comes to worst, you can at least call your recruiter and proceed with the interview rather than wasting all your time trying to get your original device working again.
3. Inform those around you of the interview
You may have seen the 2017 viral video of the two children who surprised their father while he was being interviewed on live television.
Working from home not only changes the view outside the office window, it also presents us with a host of new “co-workers” we are not used to working with. Parents must now work while their children are at home, balancing work life and home life like never before. Others now share the same workspace as their partner. And finally, many pets are quite happy to have their owners around more often.
With many people operating on different schedules all sharing the same space, it is important that you inform those living with you when you have an interview and will need peace and quiet. To avoid the 2017 BBC spectacle, tell those you live with (including your pets if you can) that you have an upcoming interview. Tell them where you plan on having the interview, and the time it will take place. This will decrease the chances of a toddler or half-dressed partner appearing on screen at a less than practical moment.
This will not however stop your cat from walking across your keyboard.
4. Prepare for a whole new line of questioning
Remote work has created new lines of questioning that you must prepare for if you expect to make a good impression on your next virtual job interview.
If the company interviewing you has shifted to remote work, or the position itself calls for remote work, you can be sure your interviewer or recruiter will want to know how you plan on managing your time away from a physical office. They will want to know if you can remain productive while at home or work with others you have not met in person.
While the traditional STAR Method will help you answer these novel questions, you will still want to spend time considering what questions your interviewer may ask.
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