After the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, a lockdown started, and this led to guidelines like working from home. Though people have been working from home, it does not change the fact that companies still need to make some hiring decisions. These employers, therefore, have to result in phone and video interviews as the solution to this issue. Hence, the beginning of virtual interviews.
WHAT IS A VIRTUAL INTERVIEW?
A virtual interview is an interview that happens from a distance. It could be over the phone sometimes, or it could be via online communication platforms like video conferencing. At this time, when the Federal Government and the Centre for Disease Control have ordered that people should practice social distancing, it has become necessary for both employers and candidates to learn and understand the virtual interview process.
Virtual interviews are most times conducted like face-to-face interviews. However, virtual communication requires distinct considerations and adjustments due to the limitations in reading body language and facial expressions. Virtual interviews allow candidates and interviewers to meet from different locations online. They allow the interviewer to see your appearance and body expressions.
WHAT YOU SHOULD CONSIDER BEFORE COMMENCING A VIRTUAL INTERVIEW?
- Put up your computer in a clean and quiet area where there are little or no distractions. Your environment has to be as peaceful as possible.
- Ensure that the room you want to use has enough light. If the light is not enough, you could make use of a desk lamp to lighten your face. Note that if the light comes from behind you, it will reflect on your computer screen.
- Test your computer camera quality before the interview. If the quality is poor, you should get a better webcam
- It is advisable to use a headset with a microphone because headset microphones improve the quality of your voice.
- Internet Connection
- Check out the speed of your internet connection and close all apps that may use up your internet bandwidth.
- Video Software
- Check out the software that will be used for your virtual interview. Download the application and be familiar with it.
HOW TO ACE A VIRTUAL INTERVIEW?
- Dress Professionally
- In a virtual interview, you must dress the same way you would if the interview were face-to-face. Doing so would make you look professional, feel confident, and prepared. A virtual interview is just as formal as the one in an office, so you should ensure to dress formally.
- Prepare Beforehand
- Like a face-to-face interview, you will do well if you take time to prepare in advance. Being in front of a computer does not give you the leverage to quickly lookup answers on the Internet. You must prepare so that you can have a natural conversation without having to click around. Suppose your employee gives you a list of questions in advance that she wants you to answer. If that is the case, get ready the same way you would for an interview.
- Curb Distractions
- You should take an interview in your house to avoid distractions. Choose a room that is clean and formal-looking so that the interviewer can focus on you. If you don’t have office space, you can use a bedroom or a kitchen table. Endeavor to place your computer on a desk or a table rather than on your lap. Inform people you are sharing space with about the details of your interview (time and area of interview). Tell them that you would want the house to be quiet during the area of your interview.
- Use Professional Body Language
- Interviewing using video or phone limits the ability to communicate with body language. This is why you should utilize your body language in a professional and clear way. Sit up straight and make sure your camera is in the middle of your face. Look for ways to greet and show enthusiasm, like smiling.
- Establish Rapport
- It is very important to build rapport in all business relationships because it helps you establish a personal connection with the interviewer. In a virtual interview, look for ways to establish rapport and strike a connection. You can do this by asking your interviewer about a common interest or talking about a neutral topic.
- Be Real
- In a virtual interview, you have the chance to speak in a familiar and comfortable environment. This should help you express yourself better to the interviewer and prove why you are the best person for the job. Maximize your body language, facial expressions, and advance knowledge to show your confidence and personality.
- Always Follow-up
- After the virtual interview, ensure you send a timely follow-up message. It is advisable to send a follow-up email within 24 hours of your interview to thank the interviewer for their time and to let him/her know that you are available for more questions.
VIRTUAL INTERVIEW MISTAKES TO AVOID
- Avoid Staring
- Ensure that you do not look dazed or stare into space during the virtual interview. Make sure you keep eye contact and stay engaged while answering questions.
- Moving at a Fast Pace
- Make sure you do not speak in a rush while talking with the interviewer. Instead, you could take a few seconds before answering questions.
- Bad Camera Focus
- Make sure your camera is positioned correctly before starting. Let the camera be in line with the top of your head.
All these tips should help you prepare for an online interview and ace it. You can apply these skills when interviewing for open positions on our job board.