It seems we’ve written endlessly on how to prepare for interviews and interview etiquette (and to be honest, will probably continue to do so. Every so often I hear of something new and surprising and I have to update my list of Interview Don’ts). In our current situation with COVID-19, many employers are trying out different online video conferencing platforms in an effort to keep the recruitment process moving forward. And while it might be tempting to attend an interview from home in the same way you might work from home (read: in sweats and on the couch), the fact is, a virtual interview means you need to prepare more, not less. In addition to yourself, you also need to ready your interview environment.
Here are the three main things you need to ensure for a successful virtual interview:
1 – Setting
Remember, the interviewers can see everything behind you and hear everything around you. This is where common sense comes in. Is there a mess behind you? Is the dog barking? When does the garbage truck usually roll by? Oh dear, are the kids home? It’s totally OK to try out different settings, but make sure you have a private room with a lock! Just make sure you consider the next step, Tech, wherever you end up.
2 – Tech
Even if you’re somewhat familiar with video calling, you should always try to test out the video call and adjust your settings ahead of time. Try calling your recruiter or a friend on the same video platform you’ll be using for the interview. Make sure you have a strong internet connection. Ask for clarity on your webcam and microphone. Position yourself facing a light source (rather than one behind you) so you aren’t just a shadowy figure of mystery. Get familiar with your mute button and turn off your other phones so you aren’t interrupted by other calls.
If you run into any obstacles, check your settings and permissions. You never know if troubleshooting a laptop issue is going to take 5 minutes or 30 minutes. Do yourself a favour and give yourself plenty of time to set it up.
3 – You
This is still an interview. Look presentable. Know your stuff. Make an impression.
That’s it. If you, your setting, and your tech are ready, you’re well on your way to acing that interview. And remember, interviews work both ways! You might not be able to see the worksite before you arrive, so ask about anything you’d like to know and listen carefully to the answers.
Have you been attending virtual interviews lately? Share your tips in the comments!
Kael Campbell is President and Lead Recruiter of Red Seal Recruiting Solutions, a company providing recruitment services in mining, equipment and plant maintenance, utilities, manufacturing, construction, and transportation. When he is not recruiting, Kael spends as much time as possible with family in the great outdoors and on the water. He volunteers his time as a Board Member of the Entrepreneurs Organization of Vancouver Island. You are invited to subscribe to our Job Seeker newsletter or submit your resume.