Along with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is the emergence of the new normal, where social distancing is urged and interactions are now kept to a minimum—even in the job market. In a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, 50% of the employers said that they now use virtual interviews to screen their applicants.
The use of video conferencing software like Skype and Google Hangouts for job interviews has helped to hire managers to reach a more diverse group of candidates from beyond their locale. These programs also save them costs in screening prospects.
Before the candidates can qualify for an in-person interview, they have to pass the virtual interview first. To help you increase your chances of moving on to the next round of interviews, here are helpful tips you can do before your next virtual meeting.
Update Your Login Details
Is your username or email address still that cutesy nickname you had from high school? If yes, then you need to update it to a more professional one. In today’s digital landscape, people’s first impression is mostly based on the person’s username and email address.
Just keep it simple. You can use a combination of your first, middle, and last names as long as you avoid symbols and the numbers 1 and 0, which can be mistaken for letters.
Test Your Gear
Your tech-savvy may be tested through a virtual interview. Hiring managers would most probably be on the lookout because it is considered as one of the top competencies that are in demand in the job market.
To avoid encountering a technical glitch, make sure to do a test-run on all the gear you need for video conferencing. If you get grainy visuals or muffled audio, then you probably have to look into investing in a new webcam or microphone. However, the most important thing you need is a reliable internet connection.
Set Up the Right Environment
Your background color can help you determine what you should be wearing for the interview. If possible, choose a blank background so you will remain as the focal point. In the absence of an empty wall, you can set up in the most business-like area in your house like your home office or the living room.
Also, keep your environment clean. If you’re convincing a hiring manager that you are organized and detail-oriented, then having a messy place will not help your case. Lighting is also an essential element in your set-up. Sit near a window and position your light source in front of you.
Even though you may do an interview from home, you should still dress as if you’re going to an in-person interview. Personal branding expert Nicole Otchy recommends clothes in jewel tones as the saturation from these colors complement all skin types and would prevent washing you out if there is harsh lighting involved.
Do away with overpowering patterns and flashy accessories. You want your interviewer to focus on what you’re saying, not what you’re wearing.
Dress up appropriately like you’re going to an in-person interview.
Mind Your Body Language
Some of the common ways of showing confidence in personal interactions are through a firm handshake and an enthusiastic attitude. However, you can’t do that in virtual interviews. Instead, use your body language to assert that you are confident. Smile, sit up straight, and set up your camera at eye level.
Employers would likely remember what you said if you maintain eye contact with them. Stay focused on the camera and not on the screen. A helpful tip is to write your talking points on small sticky notes placed on the computer screen.
Keep Distractions Away
Prepare for possible distractions while the interview is ongoing. Although children bursting into the view or shouting on the background may be a little hard to control, you can do other things like turning off the TV, silencing your phone, and closing windows to muffle sounds from the street.