With the rise of Covid-19 and subsequent social distancing measures, we’ve seen a spike in the use of Zoom and other video conferencing programs. They’re being utilized for everything from meetings to seminars to workshops and even interviews – and chances are, this isn’t a fading fad. As more and more companies get accustomed to video communication, it’s likely many will stick with it after the Coronavirus pandemic has calmed.
Whether you’re an employer or an employee, it’s crucial to become fluent in digital communication and the etiquette that accompanies it as your career may soon become dependent on these technologies. While they have many uses, we want to focus specifically on the digital interview process, which is commonly being used amongst assisted living operators.
While similar to in-person interviews, there are several key differences that can stand in the way of a successful interview if you don’t know what to look out for. If you’ve landed a video interview, consider these points beforehand to ensure you make a great impression.
Approach a video interview just as you would an in-person interview. In other words, show up on time, dress to impress from head to toe (in case you need to stand up for something), do your homework on the company and position, and address the interviewer as formally as you would face-to-face.
- Create a professional environment. Even if your interviewer knows you’re doing the interview from home, it’s best not to remind them. That means removing any clutter from the background, standing or sitting against a neutral wall if possible, turning off phone and computer notifications and limiting noise or other distractions from pets, children, appliances, etc.
- Make sure that all technology is up to standard. There’s nothing more embarrassing than going to join a group conference only to realize your audio isn’t working or you can’t remember your login credentials. Ensure all audio, video and digital programs are working at a high quality before beginning your interview. To be extra sure, we suggest doing a test-run the day before the interview.
- Position your camera well. Ideally, it should give the interviewer a clear, head-on view of you from the shoulders up. Laptops are ideal for video interviews but if you must use a phone or tablet, make sure you have something to prop it on and find an appropriate camera angle before the interview begins. You should also make sure your space is well-lit so the interviewer can see you clearly.
- Connect your device to a charger. It would not make a very good impression for your computer to die midway through the interview. Even if you think it has enough charge to last you the interview, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Have the charger handy just in case.
- Remember to pay attention and make eye contact. It can be easy to forget when you’re not with the interviewer face-to-face, but eye contact (with the camera, not the screen) is just as important in a virtual interview as it is in ‘real-life’. To ensure you have no distractions, close all other tabs and make the video full-screen so it’s easier to maintain a natural gaze.
- Have resources on hand. This includes the contact info of the interviewer in case your connection is lost, a glass of water in case your voice gets dry from talking, a hard copy of your resume if the interviewer needs to know any specific details of your work history and a pen and paper in case you need to write anything down. Having a few Post-it notes around with prompts and questions about the role may also be helpful.
- Don’t forget to follow up once you’re done. The same etiquette applies for both virtual and in-person interviews – you should always follow up with the interviewer to thank them for their time within a day or two after you speak.
Some of these points also apply to employers, but we will have many more employer-focused virtual interview tips in our next article. To keep up with all of our latest news and resources, check out the Jeff Harris & Associates blog here.