The ongoing global pandemic has changed how companies screen applicants. During this time, in-person interviewing is highly discouraged or not allowed to comply with social distancing protocols. Instead, candidates will need to go through virtual interviews using online platforms, such as Skype, Zoom and GoToMeeting. Here is how you can Impress the Hiring Manager.
If you’re scheduled to go through a video job interview, you’ll need to make sure that the hiring manager can focus on your best qualities – and not whether they can see or hear you properly.
Here are a few tips to help you put your best foot forward in a virtual interview and Impress the Hiring Manager:
- Dress to Impress
Wear professional attire from head to toe. Refrain from pulling off the old newscaster trick by wearing a suit jacket with sweatpants – or worse, boxer shorts. Your goal is to look professional like you would for a traditional interview.
Before your scheduled video interview date, put on your professional outfit and get feedback from a friend or a family member on how your attire looks on screen.
2. Work on Your Smile
Flashing a white and bright smile is one of the great first impressions you can leave at the start of an interview. If possible, make an appointment with a local dental clinic that can look at existing problems with your teeth. Your dentist may recommend that you undergo teeth whitening treatment to beautify your pearly whites.
Alternatively, try to find a teeth whitening kit that comes with LED light mouthpiece to lift stains from your teeth and reveal a white and gorgeous smile. Whatever you go with, you want to have white teeth that you can show without hesitation.
3. Set the Stage for a Distraction-Free Virtual Interview
Choose a location that’s free from the distractions of pets, kids or roommates. If possible, hang a sign on the door requesting package deliverers and mail carriers not to ring the doorbell.
Also, keep your background looking tidy and organized. Get rid of clutter and other embarrassing items, such as laundry piles and dusty furniture. Remember that your background can give an impression of your work style. So, eliminate anything that doesn’t convey the message you want the hiring manager to walk away with after the video interview.
4. Maintain Proper Eye Contact and Body Language
Eye contact demonstrates that you’re interested and engaged with the conversation. During the video interview, refrain from letting your eyes wander. Look directly at the camera and avoid looking down at your notes or “cheat sheet” too frequently.
Apart from eye contact, you need to maintain proper posture to Impress the Hiring Manager. This involves sitting with your back straight, keeping your arms resting on the desk or your lap and placing your feet firmly on the ground.
5. Test Your Tech
Conduct a technical trial run a few days before the virtual job interview to check if the equipment you’re using is functioning properly. Download and install all required plugins, apps or software ahead of schedule.
If you’re going to use a video platform, such as Skype for Business, choose a professional username and profile picture.
Also, do a test run with a family member or a friend. This gives you adequate time to make technical adjustments for a better virtual interview experience.
6. Pay Attention to How You Sound
Ask a friend or family member to do a mock interview with you. During your practice, take note of the following:
- The tone of your voice
- Your pitch
- Your speech pace or speaking rate
Ask the person you’re practicing with if you need help with one of these elements. If you’re talking too fast, for instance, you’ll need to take steps to slow down your speaking speed.
7. Let the Interviewer Finish Speaking
Jumping in with your response too soon could cut off the interviewer entirely or mute their mic. This makes you rude even if that’s not your intention.
Once you believe that the person on the other end has finished talking, take a one-second pause before you answer. If you’re having difficulty with this, form the habit of hitting the mute button while the other person is speaking.
8. End the Interview by Sharing Your Appreciation
Just like any interview, make sure you thank the hiring manager for the opportunity. Also, follow up by e-mailing a thank-you note to your prospective employer within 24 hours. Reinforce why you’re an awesome match for the company and the job role.
These tips will help you bring your best self forward and present yourself in the most confident, effective and polished way possible. Even if the video interview process is slightly different from a traditional interview, your goal is still the same: to show that you’re the right person for the job.