Large chunks of our lives have gone virtual over the last weeks. And for some, covid-19 has cost their jobs. Whether you are among these or simply seeking a change, you might currently have to interview for it virtually. But: With sound preparation and a bit of practice you have every chance of landing the next exciting job just like in a face-to-face interview.
In this guide we have collected tips to help you excel. Whilst DreiKreis Key Account Manager, Veronika Demiri, helps you with your preparation, our own DreiKreis Video Producer, Oday Aubaidy, is sharing his expertise in getting the tech right.
Besides general tips and tricks for rocking the job interview there are a few new challenges to conducting the conversation from home, technology being one. This should be shipshape and thoroughly tested in advance.
Once you know which software will be used, you want to familiarise yourself with its functions. You should have the latest version installed and a professionally looking account, profile picture and username. And be sure to know your password. 😊
We recommend checking out the tools that might come in handy, starting with simple ones such as the mute button. Other helpful functions include screen-sharing (in case you want to share some of your work), live code environment (for programming interviews), as well as interview recording and privacy settings. Or background blur on Skype or Teams. Make sure, you can handle them effortlessly. You don’t want a tech struggle to get in the way of your interview.
Video producer, Oday Aubaidy, suggests you do a test run including all your equipment. This is best done in advance, so that glitches can be smoothed out. “It is important that you have a stable internet connection with good speed. WLAN as usually better than using data,” he says. Also, ask people living with you to throttle data usage for the duration of your interview.
The quality of sound and video are especially important for a successful remote interview. Oday has put his experience in video production together for you in this video guide:
“Though the quality of video-chat on phones is excellent”, he says, “I recommend using a computer. You can see your interviewer properly – good for reading mimics and body language. It also cuts down the risk of shaking the hand-held device about and avoids the usually awkward angle.” If you must use your phone, find a place to sit it stably at eye level.
On the day of the interview, make sure you close all windows, tabs, applications and notifications on your device, stop downloading in the background. Is your device fully charged? And pick the spot with the best connection. For making notes we prefer pen and paper – typing on the keyboard is usually disturbing. And in case technology fails: Provide your interviewer with a working telephone number.
Preparation is key, that goes for the tech and yourself! Key Account Manager, Veronika Demiri advises: “Don’t let the familiarity of your surroundings trick you taking the interview less seriously than a face-to-face conversation. You have to be even more professional than usual.”
Why not rope in family and friends to practice video interviewing. Alternatively, you can record a video of yourself. “Body language and tone of voice,” explains Veronika “are important. Leaning slightly forward signals keenness, whereas slouching might come across disinterested. Eye contact is so important. You should look into the camera rather than onto your screen,” she adds. “And remember to smile.”
“Interviewing from home is no excuse for sloppy clothing,” says our recruiting specialist. “Think office and dress up a notch. Whether you should wear a full suit depends on the position. This might be more appropriate for a project manager than a software developer. But even then, make sure your shirt is clean and ironed.”
Finally, choose surroundings that are suitable to an interview. “Do you want your future employer to see clutter and mess? Remember, this reflects on your work.” Best find a plain background, where nothing distracts the interviewer from your face and the conversation you are having.
On the big day
Now you are well prepared. Log on early, in case technology is letting you down or the interviewer is overly punctual. We recommend having your CV printed out and lying nearby, alongside job description, notepad and pencil. If you have jotted down questions, have them ready as well.
“During the interview, you should,“ says Veronika, “observe general rules of courtesy: Let people finish their sentences. This is even more important during video chat. Where there are several people interviewing you, make sure to address all of them at least once. When listening, nod and smile to show you are engaged. It’s easy to forget you are visible when you are alone in the room.”
Our Account Manager also suggests following up with an e-mail, preferably within a day or two. “Take this opportunity to thank the interviewer and emphasise why you think you are a good fit for the job and company.”
The path to the “new normality” – let DreiKreis guide you along the way.
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