Employee safety is a major concern for businesses as new cases of Coronavirus continue to surface globally. Although most cases are mild, many employers are taking precautions to reduce workplace exposure. In addition to letting staff work from home and canceling scheduled events, some are scrapping in-person interviews and replacing them with video calls.
As a job seeker, this sudden change in plans might catch you off guard. This is especially true if you were in the later interview stages, where a video interview might feel more unnatural or challenging to navigate. As the workplace continues to shift towards being more flexible, efficient, and connected, video interviews are something that we’re only going to see more of—even after the Coronavirus concerns subside.
If you’ve been invited to participate in a video interview, the good news is it shouldn’t be much different from a face-to-face one. To put your best foot forward, there are some additional things to consider before hopping on the video call:
Treat all interviews equally
Dress for success
Although a video interview doesn’t require you to travel to an office location, you should be treating it as if it does—especially since it’s still technically a face-to-face meeting. Wear what you would to an in-person interview, ensuring you get dressed from head to toe. Doing this will not only make a good impression, but it will put you in a professional and confident mindset.
As you gear up for your interview, it’s a good idea to think about some questions you may want to ask and to have a copy of your resume on-hand to reference. However, if you’re often looking away to read your resume or pre-written notes, it may seem like you didn’t do your homework or care enough to come prepared. As a result, be well-versed in your skills and do your company research ahead of time. Your interview should feel much like a natural conversation to see if you’re both a good fit for each other; after all, that is the point!
Check yourself before you wreck your chances
Test your technology
Prior to your interview, it’s important to become familiar with the technology the call will be hosted on—making sure it is accessible on the device you will be using. Once up-to-speed, we recommend launching and using the technology as you would on your call to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Test that your camera is connected and that your microphone and internet connection are working properly. On the day of the video interview, it’s best to show up a little early (if possible). Since technology can be unpredictable, this will give you time to deal with unexpected technical difficulties if they arise.
Take note of your surroundings
Finding the perfect place for your call may take some planning, so be sure to think ahead to avoid any unnecessary panic day-of. To ensure there are no background noises or distractions, it’s ideal to pick a space where you will be the only person in the room. If this is not an option for you, try finding a private space at a library instead of choosing a public spot like a café. While cafés may provide a more comfortable environment, they can be quite distracting for reasons out of your control (music, people, background noises, etc.).
It is also a good idea to take note of what’s on the wall or in your vicinity. Try to avoid having anything in the background you don’t think your interviewer will appreciate—this includes certain photos, posters, personal belongings, and as previously mentioned, other people.
Close any unnecessary web browser tabs
Know that your surroundings may not be all that the employer is able to see. If you will be sharing your screen for any reason, your browser tabs may be visible. Be sure to keep your screen or desktop as clean as possible—closing any tabs or apps that you do not need, and hiding any files that could be a distraction.
Make sure your phone is on silent (and out of view)
It is likely your phone will be nearby as you prepare to hop on your call. Remember to double check that it is on silent, and out of view. You want to make yourself as available as possible to your interviewer, and having your phone in sight—or worse, go off—will make it seem as if you aren’t fully committed. Something as simple as this could cost you the job.
Show your appreciation, no matter what
Send a thank you
Remember that the interviewer took time out of their day to get to know you and give you a chance to show off your skills. Just like an in-person interview, it’s important to let them know you appreciate their time, even if you realized the job isn’t for you. While you’ll normally have the chance to obtain a card during an in-person interview, you can still ask the interviewer for their contact information if you do not already have it. Read also: Feeling Thankful? 6 Dos and Don’ts for Writing the Perfect Thank You Note