How To Make A Good Impression In A Virtual Job Interview
Follow this guide to prep and perfect your video interview skills.
Theres no question that for many job-seekers, interviewing is the most intimidating part of the process. But what if you could do it from the comfort of home? For many employers, virtual interviewing is the futurewhether you live far away or need to interview remotely for another reason, video conferencing is an easy fix that many companies utilize when meeting candidates face to face.
While video interviewing doesnt allow for some tried-and-true methods for making a good impression, like giving a firm handshake, there are many ways to wow your potential boss from behind a screen. Simply follow this guide to prep and perfect your video interview skills.
Send The Candidate A Virtual Interview Invitation Via Email
Send each candidate an invitation for the virtual interview to stay organized. The invitation should include the day and time that the interview will be held and all the information needed to access the software youll use for the interview. Be very clear about the format of the virtual video interview, so candidates know what is expected of them. For example, if the candidate will need an access code to log in to the interview, list this information in a prominent place in the email. Include how long you anticipate the interview lasting and add any additional documentation or information you want the candidate to have on hand during the interview.
Provide Information On What The Candidate Can Expect Going Forward
At the end of each virtual interview you conduct, inform the interviewee of what they can expect going forward. Let them know when you plan to choose a candidate for the position, how you will inform candidates on whether or not they got the job and if you require additional information from the candidate for consideration. You should also let candidates know how your company plans on addressing the coronavirus situation going forward and what candidates can expect throughout the hiring process.
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Strategies For Effective Virtual Interview Questions
The best questions help decipher whether or not a candidate has the requisite skills.
Remember, the aim of an interview to assess whether or not a candidate possesses the requisite skills and experience that your company needs to be successful. The questions posed during the interview should reflect those needs, as specifically as possible.
Additionally, they should be used as a means to determine whether or not the candidate in question is aligned with your companys values and vision. Ambiguous and generic questions wont provide you with the insight thats necessary to assess the profile of interviewees and ultimately determine whether or not they should be hired.
A word on generic questions: The utility of boilerplate interview questions is debatable. On the one hand, its likely many candidates will have rehearsed answers to these questions by the time they meet with you. For this reason many hiring managers avoid these questions. Altogether.
On the other hand, if a prospective employee is unable to give a thoughtful and articulate response to a standard question, its likely they also lack the more nuanced soft skills youre looking for.
Bottom line: Generic interview questions are useful as long as you have realistic expectations about what they tell you. If you use them as a way to assess the most basic soft skills, great! If, however, they significantly influence hiring decisions youre likely overvaluing them and could benefit from dialing back those expectations.
Benefits Of Holding Virtual Interviews Over In
The primary benefit of holding a virtual interview during this time is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to keep yourself, your employees and potential candidates safe. However, there are other benefits that come with conducting interviews virtually. Virtual interviews are a convenient interview method because they require much less preparation for both the interviewee and the interviewer. Holding virtual interviews can help candidates feel more comfortable, allowing them to offer more natural answers. Virtual interviewing allows you to accommodate a variety of schedules. For example, if a candidate currently has a full-time job, they may be unable to travel to your workplace for an interview during normal working hours. Virtual interviews can allow you to speak with candidates all over the world. This is especially important if you are looking to hire for remote positions or a position that is not in your home office.
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Choose A Clean Quiet And Well
To reinforce that youre taking this interview as seriously as you want the candidate to take it, make sure you find a spot whether youre in the office or in the back bedroom at home that is clean and free of anything distracting in the background. Pick a quiet space that will allow you and your candidate to communicate clearly and, as much as possible, without interruption.
Find a well-lit room and control for outside light. Both too much light coming through the windows or too little can make you difficult to see, and that can get in the way of connecting with your candidate.
Be Enthusiastic And Positive
A job interview is a great opportunity for a hiring manager to evaluate your professionalism, so it’s wise to treat a virtual interview with the same enthusiasm as an in-person interview. It’s good to be comfortable in your home, but you still want to convey energy and passion with your answers. Remember to phrase your answers in a positive light. Avoid discussing negative experiences unless specifically asked to, and even then, try to think of and focus on the positive outcome or what you learned from the situation.
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Use Professional Body Language
Because interviewing via video or phone limits the ability to communicate with body language, it is important to utilize body language in a clear, professional way. For example, if you get a question that is unexpected, make sure to stay poised and take a moment to collect your thoughts.
Sit up straight and ensure your camera is placed so your face is in the middle of your screen . In most interviews, you shake hands with your potential employer at the beginning and the end of the discussion. It’s an important body language cue that helps you establish the relationship. Instead, find other ways to greet and exude enthusiasm, like smiling and giving a confident wave with eye contact.
Discuss Your Companys Culture And Values
Holding virtual interviews can make it challenging for candidates to get an idea of what your company culture and office environment are like. Inform each candidate of what they can expect in terms of your companys culture and the values your company follows. You can also describe the workplace environment to give the interviewee a better idea of what to expect if you hire them.
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Your Local Community Center
Community centers like the American Job Center offer a number of job resources like training referrals, career counseling and job listings, but your local center may also be a good place to conduct a virtual interview if you cant do so at home .
Like many of the places on this list, some centers have temporarily closed or moved to virtual services during COVID-19, so contact them beforehand to find out your centers current status.
What To Do After A Remote Interview
The best thing to do after an interview â a remote interview included â is sending your interviewer a thank-you note for their time and help. You can send a thank you via email and should hit send within 24 hours of the interview.
In addition to saying thank you to the interviewer, take the opportunity to reiterate why you would be perfect for the role, focusing on what you can do for them and the company, and telling them again how excited you are for the potential opportunity to join their team.
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Tip : Look Out For Communication Cues
As well as paying close attention to what your potential employer is asking you, you should also try to pick up any communication cues they exude.
For example, dont be afraid to subtly copy their level of energy or the volume and tone of their voice. This can create a positive first impression by reflecting your ability to adapt.
Honing your interpersonal skills can help you build a personal connection with the interviewer.
Don’t Overthink The Interview
What? Now there’s another type of interview to master? That’s enough to make anyone nervous, right?
But don’t sweat it automated interviews usually provide clear instructions and more than enough time to answer the question. In fact, automated interviews can be quite fun you’ll have the opportunity to present yourself in a new way, and to do so within the comfort of your own space.
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How To Conduct Video Interviews With Indeed
When you post a job on Indeed, you can schedule video interviews with candidates youre interested in from the Interviews tab on the Candidate details page of your Employer Dashboard.
Simply suggest days and times for the virtual interview, add a message and click Send Invitation. When the candidate accepts your invitation, youll both get an email with a unique link to the video interview.
On the day of the scheduled video interview, click the link in your confirmation email or from the Interviews tab on the Candidate details page of your employer dashboard to open the Indeed Interview lobby and start the virtual interview.
In Indeed Interview, youll have everything you need to interview candidates without any complicated settings. From the interview room, you can view the candidates resume , mute and unmute your audio, stop and start your video, and end the interview.
After the interview, update the candidates status about whether youre still interested and make sure to add notes from the interview to refer back to.
Test Your Technology In Advance
When you receive your automated interview invitation, make sure you have the correct software needed. For instance, if your automated video is hosted using a third-party app that you have to download, make sure you have it beforehand.
Additionally, test your tools: Is your webcam working? Is your microphone turned on? Is your keyboard properly working?
All of these questions will be imperative to your success for an automated interview there’s nothing worse than trying to complete a video interview with a webcam that’s not turning on.
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Dont Perform A Monologue Spark Conversations
Zoom calls are more monotonous than their in-person alternatives. Your main challenge during the interview itself will be keeping the conversation lively.
Be interested: Eighty-nine percent of the successful candidates in our study conversed with their recruiters in a natural, candid way. How? They showed genuine interest in their interviewer by asking questions. Our research found some of the most engaging questions were: How does the team communicate right now? What tools do you use to collaborate? How do you monitor remote work? Does the office have a virtual Friday happy hour where I could meet new colleagues? Some of the least engaging questions were questions that one can easily find answers to online, such as, Where is the company based? or What awards have you recently won?
Find common interests: Do some pre-work to see if you and your interviewer share any interests. Most companies will tell you who you are meeting with ahead of time. This means you can, and probably should, Google them. Explore what kind of articles they post or share on LinkedIn, what groups theyre a part of, what conferences they spoke at, or what kind of voluntary work they do. When the conversation starts to dry up, ask them about these things. Eighty-one percent of the unsuccessful candidates we observed had trouble filling dead air, missed social cues, and gave monologue-style answers to questions without engaging the other person at all, which ultimately bored their interviewers.
Recite Your Interview Answers
Another major interview mistake is reading out your interview answers from a screen or paper. Do not underestimate your interview panel they’ll definitely know! While you should prepare some answers for the most challenging interview questions, you mustn’t read them off a script.
You wouldn’t do this if the interview were in person, so there’s no need to do it online. Instead, practice your answers in advance, and try to memorise your best responses so you can use them on the spot.
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Dont Sit Too Far Or Too Close
Just like you wouldnt sit three inches or eight feet from your interviewer in a conference room, you dont want to sit an uncomfortable distance from your computer. When youre setting up your chair, youll want to make sure you dont end up looking too tiny or too huge. To be well proportioned, make sure theres a bit of empty space on the screen above your head and check that your shoulders and upper chest are visible.
Tip : Do Your Homework
Prepare for the job interview exactly as you would when meeting the hiring manager in person.
It might be tempting to search the web for answers mid-interview. But if youre seen to be clicking around, it might give the impression that youre not focused on the interviewer.
Be ready to answer any common interview questions without needing to use the internet.
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The Dos And Donts Of Virtual Interviews
Career and Lifestyle Writer
Virtual interviews have become increasingly popular over the years. With hiring managers and recruiters using video to conduct their interviews, it’s only a matter of time before you get asked to attend one yourself.
To help you impress recruiters and land the job, we’ve created a list of dos and don’ts for mastering the virtual interview.
What Are Virtual Interviews
Virtual interviews are screenings that happen via video conferencing software such as Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting, and Google Meet. Sometimes, these interviews involve supplementary tasks such as practice assignments, online assessments, and virtual shadowing. Typically, all rounds of the virtual interview happen online, though occasionally candidates will have to travel for an in-person interview in the final rounds.
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How To Succeed In A Virtual Interview
Senior Content Manager at Indeed passionate about making career advice enjoyable and accessible, so people feel confident about getting and succeeding in the right jobs.
This article has been approved by an Indeed Career Coach.
While COVID-19 made virtual interviewing a necessary practice, its popularity amongst employers is likely to stick post-pandemic. Virtual interviewing is convenient for employers as it allows for a more efficient interview process, eases scheduling conflicts, saves money and broadens the candidate pool. In this article, we review the best ways to be successful during your next virtual interview.
Mirror The Dress Code
It’s always important to research the company thats interviewing you. A key part of that research during the interview process should be its culture, including the dress code. You can lean on your recruiter as a source for this kind of information, as they want you to feel comfortable and provide you with all the information necessary to be successful. Once you know the dress code, mirror it as much as possible for your video interview. The interviewer is likely approaching this interview the same way theyd approach an in-person interview, so you should as well.
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Learn About The Company’s History
Apart from understanding what the business does and knowing what needs its products or services fulfill, it can be beneficial to have a basic understanding of the company’s history. For example, knowing whether the company is a relatively young startup business or a century-old corporation can help you adjust your interview answers accordingly. You can find valuable information by reading the company’s website and searching for new articles about it.
Remember To Stay Responsive After You Wave Goodbye
After you end your call, be sure not to ghost your interviewer. Download the Handshake app to ensure that you respond to recruiter messages promptly, and check your email at least twice per day to stay abreast of any outreach or next steps that might land in your inbox!
With these tips in your back pocket, youll have all the keys to succeed in your video interview. Now all you have to do is find the right opportunity! Check out this helpful advice for finding a job or internship online, and discover ways to make the most of a remote internship once youve got an offer.
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How Long Do Video Interviews Typically Last
Theres no time limit for virtual interviews on Indeed Interview. Its up to you to decide how many questions to ask and how much time you need to interview a candidate. The length of your video interviews will likely depend on the position, your industry, whos conducting the interview and any questions the candidate may have.
Over half of employers report spending 30 minutes or less talking to a candidate when conducting a full interview.