19 Mar Let’s Chat
The world is changing and so is the way we do business. 2020 has seen businesses globally, from big to small, being given the “virtual shove” into changing the way that they do things- working remotely and communicating electronically.
Since the day I opened RESOURCE recruitment almost 20 years ago, we have prided ourselves on being leaders in e- recruitment. With a Facebook Following of over 20 000 job seekers, almost 10 000 connections on LinkedIn and a Bulk Mailer of 35000 active job seekers (in addition to the regular online portals most employment agencies use), we have a very big digital footprint. All that being said, I have always been adamant (and still am) that we need to maintain the human connection and personally meet our clients and candidates, get to know their businesses and them as people, and not be tempted into communicating exclusively electronically.
But, 2020 has had different ideas for me, and I am being forced to grow and evolve and embrace video meetings like Skype and WhatsApp Video Calls.
Here are some tips that I have researched that will help you prepare and ace your next video job interview!
- Dress to impress
It is so tempting to not dress up for your interview, if you are sitting at home in casual wear. There are two reasons why you should dress to impress. The most important is the way that it makes you feel when you power dress in a smart outfit, versus the t-shirt you were going to wear. The second is that research shows that on video job interviews, the details are amplified. The person on the other side of the camera is more likely to notice your makeup, earrings and nail polish; than a person would face to face. I have also read that shades of blue, black and white are the best colours to wear, because red, orange, yellow does not always appear good to other screens.
- Avoid interruptions
Most important- PICK A QUIET SPOT WITHOUT INTERRUPTIONS. Tell people that you are having a video meeting and that you cannot be interrupted. If you can, lock the door so that no one walks in mid-meeting. Personally, when I have tried to have a conversation with someone and there is a child screaming, or what feels like a party going on in their background, and I am battling to hear them, I get irritated at the lack of respect and professionalism that they are showing. I can also only imagine how distracted they are feeling.
- Prepare your surroundings
In a traditional interview, you are going to a company, or inviting them into your meeting room. But on video interviews, you may be inviting them into your home. Make sure that your backdrop is neat, uncluttered and does not reveal too much about you personally. Be authentic. I once had someone send me a video interview with some motivational books strategically placed on their desk to impress. When I asked about their opinions on them, it was clear they had never even read them!
- Close other programs on your computer.
Getting notifications during your interview is distracting and unprofessional. Before your interview, make sure all other windows on your computer are closed (especially if they make a noise).
- Look at the camera, not the screen.
It is very tempting to watch yourself or your interviewer during a video session but looking directly at the video camera is the only way to maintain direct eye contact with your interviewer.
- Use notes, but not too many
Don’t be afraid to help yourself with post-it notes or a copy of your resume handy when you interview. A benefit of having a video interview is that you can have a cheat sheet in front of you so that you don’t have to memorize everything and can keep your focus. However, avoid having scripts written out and being so concerned about the notes that you disrupt the flow and human connection of the interview by awkward pauses and papers flapping.
- Keep your profile professional.
Unlike face-to-face interviews where your first impression is made by arriving well-presented and smiling as you shake someone’s hand, when you do a video interview it is different. The first impression is your profile, your username and your picture and before the call even clicks through you have made an impression. If your profile is not professional- create a new one.
- Watch your body language.
Sit up straight, but keep your shoulders relaxed. Chose a desk chair over a comfy couch. Try not to fuss with your hair or fiddle with things on your desk.
- Practise makes perfect.
The job interview itself or meeting is not the time to test the audio settings and internet connection and if your Skype is working. Do that beforehand. Video call some friends and ask them how you look, what the background looks like, and how they can hear you. Get comfortable with seeing yourself as you talk to someone, and not getting distracted by that image, while you make a connection.
- Stay connected and engaged
It’s easy to lose the connection with the person on the other side of the screen when you are talking too much, or not to notice when their interest has been lost. Try have a two-sided conversation, rather than launch into long speeches.
This is new to us too, so we would love to hear any hint, tips and hacks you may have for video interviews or any experiences that you would like to share.