As the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the planet, companies worldwide are using ‘virtual interviews’ as a way of assessing candidates while lockdown and social distancing rules are in place.
It means that many candidates must now show why they’re the correct fit for the job without ever meeting the hiring manager in person.
While it’s not a new concept, a lot of people will be taking part in their first ever virtual interviews though various video conferencing platforms in the coming months as businesses look to hire the best talent on the market.
With that in mind, here are our top tips based on the thousands of virtual interviews SThree and our clients have conducted in recent years.
1. Always prepare for the interview
Qualified and motivated employees and contractors are key to the success of any business, so it’s crucial to prepare and be ready to show that you’re the best fit for the job.
Research the company, practice your answers and make sure you have some questions prepared for the interviewer.
One advantage of sitting at your private computer rather than in-person with the hiring manager is that you can have notes and any relevant documents prepared and ready to reference throughout the interview. As well as practicing your answers to anticipated questions beforehand, use reminder notes to help you give clear and detailed answers during the interview.
2. Make sure you leave enough time in your diary in case the interview runs over
The hiring manager will usually give a clear timeframe for when the interview will take place but sometimes interviews can last longer than anticipated.
Plan enough time for the original slot and give yourself a time buffer for before and after the interview. By doing that, you’ll be able to carry out last minute preparations before the interview while having flexibility in the event that the interview over-runs.
3. Find a quiet place with no distractions, where possible.
Loud noises and other people in the background can negatively influence the quality of an interview, particularly when it’s being done virtually. If you can, make sure you set-up in a room that allows you to hear the interview questions and allows you to answer without distractions.
With many of us now working from home with young kids and other family members, however, it can be difficult to find a quiet place to conduct an interview. Speak to the interviewer ahead of the interview and let them know your situation, if you know there may be interruptions.
4. Prepare yourself mentally
Take a few minutes before the interview to gather your thoughts and be clear in how you are going to approach the interview. Think about how you’ll answer potential questions, based on your interview preparation, and consider what you want to know about your prospective employer.
5. Relax and don’t be afraid to show off your personality
The more relaxed you are, the better you’ll perform during the interview. It’s important to show you can fit in as part of a team, so, during the interview, smile, engage in small talk and if you’re brave enough you could even crack a joke.