We are currently working remotely in many industries for what will likely be the next 3-6 months maybe even longer. You have a job interview lined up. How do you ace it?
Soundcloud audio-version available at the bottom of this post.
First of all, let me start by saying that you should still be applying for jobs even though we are currently in the lock down and the lock down measures are just starting to ease-up. Many companies will need to restructure, and despite the shut down, some industries have actually seen a surge in jobs. There are also new jobs that may not have been thought of pre-COVID19 that have now come up to deal with the current context.
So, how do you ace a virtual job interview?
1. Prepare in the same way as you would a face-to-face interview
Just because your interview is going to be via video-conference doesn't change the fact that you need to prepare for the interview. Read up on the organization and/or department that you are looking to get a job in. Prepare questions, know your resume inside out. Have a printed copy or an easy-to-access copy for the interview. Printed is preferred as you wouldn't want to be tinkering with your computer and accidentally cut off your call.
2. Dress as you would for a face-to-face interview
Make sure you dress up, do make-up if you need to. It is not ok to roll up in pyjamas - unless this is part of the corporate culture of the organization you are looking to join. In order to exude the confidence you would like your interviewers to sense, make sure you look sharp, put on perfume or cologne and dress for success. Why? First impressions count perhaps even more so through a virtual interview. The way you look will translate into how you feel and into confidence during the interview. Yes like I said it, put perfume on. Even if the interviewers cannot smell it, they will feed off of your positive energy through the screen.
3. Test your connection before hand
Whether the interview is via phone or video-conference, make sure your internet connection is good. Don't wait until when the interview is set to start to connect to your call. Test out the link provided to you for the call at least 15 minutes before hand to be sure that your camera is working as well as your internet connection is good. The last thing you want to do is to have to restart your computer right before the interview begins because of technical issues.
If you have housemates or children who will be on the internet, alert them before hand so they can free up the connetion so as not to have surges in your connection during the call.
If the interview is through the phone make sure that you have a good signal and have tested out the best spots at your house to take the call - the last thing you want to be doing is walking around your house during the interview is to be waving your phone in the air trying to find a good signal all the while trying to impress the team.
4. Pick a location with good lighting
Make sure you are visible in the video - choose a location where the light is in front of you and not behind you so as to ensure that you are clearly visible in the call. Also make sure that the place is quiet, so that there are minimum interruptions doing the video call or the teleconference.
5. Have your water bottle handy
As part of preparation, have your water bottle with you especially if you will have had other calls. Ordinarily a glass of water would be provided with you by the team that is interviewing you. Make sure you're prepared so you don't get parched or don't have to leave to get a glass of water in the middle of the call.
6. Bring your "A" game
While interviewing virtually is not ideal, working remotely/virtually is going to be the norm for next next little while. Bring your "A" game to the interview. Exude confidence, respond to the questions in the best way possible. Be sure to ask questions after the interview such as the timeline and also questions about the organization that shows that you read-up and are interested in the organization.
7. Send a thank you note
Once the interview is over either the same evening or the next day, send a thank you note to the team for providing you with the opportunity to interview with them. Reiterate your interest in working for the organization based on any new information that they provided you with during the interview. If references are required, ensure that you send them out within a day of the team requesting it - if they were requested them at the interview, follow-up within a day or two once you have spoken to your references.