The world of job hunting has changed dramatically in recent months.
In May, nine out 10 UK job interviews were conducted over a video or phone call.
So with competition for jobs intensifying, here are my top tips to ace your next Skype, Hangouts or Zoom interview this summer.
1. Prepare your environment in advance
Unlike normal face to face interviews, this time your own house is the fancy office where you will be answering the questions. First, decide where you want the interview to take place — somewhere that not only looks clean and presentable but has a strong wifi connection too.
Make sure you take those posters off the wall, make your bed, or clean the dirty dishes behind you. Allow enough time to set everything up before the interview so you’re well prepared.
2. Set up your video chat profile to look professional
Before you do your interview, make sure you check your public-facing username and profile picture. Change your username if it isn’t clear who you are, or if you have an old username that doesn’t seem appropriate for an interview.
For your profile picture, use a smiley headshot of yourself, just like you would on LinkedIn. Remember, first impressions count.
3. Practise makes perfect
First, make sure your camera is in the correct position for an interview. Tilt it so your head, shoulders and upper chest are in the frame. Practise video chatting with your friends beforehand so you know what works and what doesn’t. You may need to buy a new microphone or borrow someone else’s!
4. Find your comfort zone
Find the right space to work, preferably a place where you know you won’t be distracted. Ensure that you feel comfortable enough doing the interview there – this can help put you at ease and calm any pre-interview nerves.
5. Have your notes in the interview
A huge positive of a remote interview is that you can have your notes in front of you without the interviewer being aware. If you have a valid point you know you want to make or a question you need to ask, you can have it in your line of sight the whole time. You can do a quick skim read if you forget something.
6. Dress to impress
The saying “if you dress the part you will act the part too” is extra pertinent when it comes to video interviews. Put on a nice shirt or a blouse, and you’re more likely to act professional and do your best — just as if you were physically going to an interview rather than sitting at home.
7. Be aware of your body language
Facial expressions and body language are crucial in any kind of interview, but doubly so when you’re being observed over a screen. So make sure you are aware of what you’re doing. Your voice should also be slightly louder and a lot clearer than in normal interviews due to background noise and considering that the connection might not be perfect.
8. Don’t panic if you have technical issues
Finally, if there are any technical issues during the interview, do not worry. Your interviewer should be used to slight technical problems — especially after three months of remote working. If you couldn’t quite hear their question, just politely ask them to repeat it. Welcome to the new normal.
Main image credit: Getty