Video interview and conference have become an integral part of our professional lives. Video conferencing was already a widely used way of communication. Ever since COVID-19 virus struck the world, more professionals rely on video calls to maintain social distancing.
Majority of offices had to shut down, and employees have not been able to go to their office. Unemployment rate shot up, and those who retained their jobs, have had to work from home for lesser pay. Work from home is a concept that most organisations have had to adapt extremely fast. Video calls have become a reliable way to manage accountability without experiencing communication breakdowns. With an uncertain future and impact of the pandemic, many companies have resorted to video interviews to hire people for jobs.
Meanwhile, companies that are hiring are still hiring and interviews are moving to video conferencing platforms like Google Meet, Zoom, and Skype. Even after the virus is contained, this trend for video interviews is likely continue growing, as it has other cost and efficiency benefits.
Video conference calls or interviews are a little different, so I wanted to share some important points to make sure you give the same strong impression as you would in person.
Here are some suggestions to remember as you get ready for your virtual job interview in english.
Do a video interview test run first
Especially if you are not accustomed to video conferencing applications, make sure you try the application first and make sure everything works well on your computer.
Call your mother or a friend. Ask them if the sound is clear and see if you can hear them well. If there is a problem with the connection, find another place in your home that works better, or plug your computer into your router directly.
The last thing you want is to have problems connecting to your interviewer, or to connect and not be able to hear them well.
These things can happen, but a test before your interview can save you a lot of embarrassment.
Dress up as if its a real video interview…
Seriously, it may be tempting to neglect how you dress when you have a video conference or interview. Of course, the interviewer will likely only see your shoulders and head, but it’s important to dress as if you were meeting in person.
First of all, this will give you more confidence when speaking in english. We wear professional clothes to interviews so we look professional, but also so we feel professional.
Second, there is always a chance that you will have to stand up during the interview. What will your interviewer think of you when they see you wearing exercise pants below your formals.
Take an extra moment before you answer
Even the clearest and strongest internet connection can have a small delay. Similarly, if the video is delayed, you may not be able to see when the interviewer is done talking.
Therefore, in your video interview it’s important to take a moment after they finish speaking before you begin speaking. This will save you a lot of frustration and confusion. Remember to count three after every question before you answer.
You can also use this time to collect your thoughts, glance at your notes and then respond. It is always important to think before you speak, and video calls make it easier to do that.
Stay focused on your video interview screen…
Just as you wouldn’t check your phone during an in-person interview, you do not want to be looking at different tabs during your video interview. You will find that it is much easier to become distracted using your computer, so you may consider removing any temptation by closing other applications during the interview.
As always, look at your interviewer in the eyes (by looking at the camera, not your screen) and speak clearly. The moment you look away, it will be clear to your interviewer, and you may hurt your chances of getting shortlisted for the job. If you are afraid of speaking english, you can read about common interview mistakes and how to avoid them during your interview.
…and don’t be afraid to use notes
A major advantage to having a video interview is that you can use your notes very easily. If you have made notes about the company and the job position, you can keep them nearby.
Don’t rely on them too much, as you still want to focus on your interviewer, but they can help you remember useful facts your hiring manager needs to hear.
To avoid seeming distracted, write them in a document, minimize the window and put it at the top of your screen near your camera. Otherwise, write them on paper and lean it against something next to your laptop.
It may be that your children are home from school or you have a pet that just loves attention. Of course they may be tempted to speak or need something from you during your video call.
Tell your family before that you will be in an important meeting and need as much quiet as possible. If you can, choose a different room and close the door so your pet can’t come in.
Likewise, choose a professional space where you can sit up straight and there are few distractions behind you. Do not sit in front of a window as this will make it difficult to see your face. You must stay away from the windows to avoid the street and traffic noise.
…but plan what you will say in case you are interrupted
Sometimes, a child or pet who needs your attention is unavoidable. It might not look good, but there are plenty of ways to mitigate the bad impression.
If you have an infant child, try to schedule a time when other family members are available to take care of him or her. If your young child comes in during the interview, say “excuse me” and take the time to politely send them away.
Remember, the interviewer is looking at how you are as a person and they will respect you more if they see you are calm, prepared and a kind parent. Interruptions can happen. Try to prevent them of course, but be prepared just in case.
Don’t apologize too much or lose your focus if something happens. Use phrases like “excuse me, as I was saying…” or “sorry about that, what were we talking about?” to quickly return to the interview.
Pay attention to body language during the video interview
It’s important that your interviewer can see you and your movements clearly. When practicing for your video interview, look at what is on the screen and what is not. If you are gesturing, keep your hands a little higher than normal so the interviewer can see.
On the other hand, make sure you’re not moving too much or blocking the camera with your hands. Try to keep your head still and in the frame and avoid fidgeting excessively. If the connection is even a little slow, the result can be very distracting for the interviewer.
In general, remember that a video interview follows a lot of the same rules as an in-person interview. You must be polite and professional, try to maintain eye contact and speak clearly. But by paying attention to the details we discuss in this post, you can be sure to leave a great impression.
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