With the increasingly international nature of recruitment and an ever-growing number of employees now working remotely from home offices, virtual job interviews have become commonplace. The incidence of global virtual interviews is also set to rise as a result of the current Coronavirus pandemic, as the concept of working from home becomes much more widely accepted.
In an effort to help you avoid some of the potential pitfalls, we've put together some top tips for video interviews, from the perspective of both the interviewer and the candidate.
Preparing properly for an interview is as important for a company as it is for a candidate, and the first of our top tips for video interviews is: make sure you're ready. As an interviewer, you should be fully familiar with the job description, and use this along with the candidate's resume to help formulate your questions. Check that your chosen location for the interview is available, that there is technical support on hand, and that the candidate is familiar with and comfortable using your preferred virtual platform.
If the interview will involve other people, double-check that all have the precise time in their diary, adjusting for different time zones if necessary. It's key that everyone has accurate information about the candidate's potential role and who they will report to, and a look at the Glassdoor website to check any recent (and relevant) reviews of your company would be a good idea.
Make sure the candidate is aware in advance of the other people involved in the interview process, giving them the chance to prepare relevant and meaningful answers. Check, too, that your colleagues are clear on how they will be expected to submit feedback following the interview.
One of our key top tips for video interviews is recognising that, while the candidate is trying to sell him/herself to the company, the company is also trying to sell itself to the right candidate. It is crucial, therefore, that everyone is well informed about both the candidate and the position, and that the picture of your company portrayed by each interviewer is positive and consistent.
All interviewers should be in harmony on the following key points:
Advance knowledge is key to success in any form of job interview, and especially virtual job interviews, where an element of technical competence is also required. Try to find out what video platform will be used, then familiarise yourself with it to reduce the chance of any unexpected glitches during the interview. A ResumeGo survey revealed that the majority of employers typically use Zoom (43%), followed by Google Meet/Hangouts (19%) and Skype (12%).
It is also useful to have an idea of the potential length of your interview; another survey of companies showed that most are over in less than an hour. Just under half lasted between 30 minutes and one hour, while 36% took less than 30 minutes, and only 16% lasted more than an hour.
You cannot be over-prepared for a job interview. Another of our top tips for video interviews is to have a trial run before the day. Check that your webcam and other equipment is in good working order, and if you know what video technology is going to be used, put in some practice with it. Make sure your camera is set at eye level to provide the best possible image of yourself and check that whatever's in your immediate background doesn't look too cluttered or distracting (or include anything that might give an unfavourable impression of you)!
According to a ResumeGo survey, the majority of employers prefer business casual when it comes to interview attire, though many expressed no preference. There is also a theory that some people act casual when they dress casual, so looking smart for a job interview might just give you a little extra edge. For most candidates, only your head and shoulders will be in view, but if there's any chance you might have to stand up, make sure you've taken that into consideration!
The last of our top tips for video interviews is to remember that, even though it's happening remotely in your own home, you are still being interviewed for a job, and all the usual rules and recommendations are still very much applicable. Be yourself, be creative, and be successful.