The pandemic has changed many aspects of the workforce, including how companies find and hire candidates. Now more than ever, businesses are relying on digital tools to hire employees, manage day-to-day activities, and communicate.
To keep up with the evolving job market, job seekers need to know how to navigate video job interviews. Older job seekers who have experienced the digital divide may not be familiar with virtual interviews and have a hard time convincing employers that they are the right fit.
Older job seekers have the advantage of experience on their side, but if it’s been a while since your last interview, adding an unfamiliar space such as video calls may make landing the job a challenge.
By learning how to present yourself on a video job interview, you can successfully find the job you are looking for.
Tips for video job interviews
Here’s what you need to know about video interviews.
1. Stay on topic
When doing a video job interview, and can be easy to become comfortable in your own home and fall off-topic. It’s important to remain focused when answering questions, even though you are not face-to-face with the interviewer. Answer each question fully, but be sure to get to the point promptly.
2. Be prepared
Preparation is key for any type of job interview. The more you practice, the more confident you will be in front of employers.
Research on the company that is interviewing you. Learn more about the people who will be interviewing you and the position you’ve applied for. This will help you provide thoughtful answers and ask questions.
Practice common interview questions for the job you are interviewing for. You can find many of these lists online. Write down a few notes, but try to refer to them as little as possible during the video job interview. You want to remain present and not seem like you’re reading off a piece of paper.
3. Practice the technology
Testing your equipment before the video interview will help you feel more comfortable and avoid issues during the call. Make sure the app your interview is scheduled and working properly. Test the lighting and sound where you plan to do the interview.
If possible, as a family member or friend to test the equipment with you. Set up a video call with them to be sure you know how to join the call, mute and turn off your video, end the call. Make sure everything looks and sounds good while practicing.
Be sure to charge your device fully before the interview. You don’t want your device to run out of battery halfway through the call!
4. Set the stage
While you may be interviewing from your home, the background of your call needs to be professional. Unlike a phone interview, employers will be able to see you and your surroundings in a video job interview.
Try to face the camera towards a neutral wall that does not have a lot of distractions on it. You want the interviewer to be focused on you, not on what’s on your walls.
Dress as if you were going to an in-person interview in attire that is appropriate for the position. Try to avoid patterns – they can show up blurry through the camera.
5. Show your experience and willingness to grow
Your experience is a huge asset, but it can also leave you sounding overqualified for the job, which may be a turnoff to some employers. The interview does not need to know everything you’ve ever accomplished. Instead, talk about relevant strengths and experiences that demonstrates why you are a great fit for this position.
Showing a willingness to continue learning new techniques and skills can give you a better shot at landing the job. Employers like to know that you are not a person who is stuck in your ways, and is willing to adjust to new procedures.
6. Minimize distractions
To keep you and the interviewer focused, minimize distractions as much as possible. Turn off any TVs, radios, and silence your phone. If you need to, shut the door and/or windows to the room you are in to cut down outside noise.
If there are other people in the home, be sure to let them know to keep the noise down before the interview begins. Keep pets back from where you plan to do the video interview.
If a distraction does occur during the interview, take them in stride. These things sometimes happen. We are working in strange times these days and still trying to adjust to the “new normal”. Apologize for the interruption, excuse yourself if you need to and stop what is causing the distraction (you may want to mute and turn off your video), return as quickly as possible and resume the conversation.
7. Acknowledge the differences
It’s OK to point out that a virtual interview is different from in person. Acknowledging this can help put people at ease in awkward introductory moments. Speak up if something is off – for example, let the interviewer know if you cannot hear them clearly. This will demonstrate that you’re willing to be straightforward about issues.
While acknowledging that the video interview is different from in-person helps the employer see that you enjoy connecting with others, try not to dwell on the topic. Keep the interview moving and stay positive to best show why you are a good fit for the position.
*The information in this article is intended solely to provide general information on matters of interest for the personal use of the reader, who accepts full responsibility for its use. This article should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal, medical, or other competent advisors.