Scientists expect a Covid-19 vaccine to be available by April 2021 but even then, Harvard disease researchers predict that social distancing will need to continue until at least 2022.
As you may have guessed, living this way will be difficult – humans are social creatures after all – but the ‘show’ must go on.
What if we told you that we’ve been practising social distancing long before the pandemic?
Virtual interactions on digital platforms such as Skype and Zoom (the latest trend in video conferencing software) allows you to interact with others from wherever you are, as long as you have a device and a steady internet connection.
Zoom seems to be the virtual platform of choice during this difficult time, it lets you remote-host or attends video or voice-call meetings with one or more people.
In this case, we’ll be looking at virtual job interviews and how you - the prospective employee – can make the most of your job interview and maximise your chances of being hired, with these tips and best practices.
Let’s get started!
Download and set up your Zoom account
You can access zoom by visiting their website or by downloading the software from their website. Zoom also offers a range of other settings and options to suit your preferences.
Download it here: https://zoom.us/download
Remember to create and activate your account.
Get to know the platform
The last thing you’d want to do is ruin the interview by clicking all the wrong buttons, so do yourself a favour and familiarise yourself with the platform the day before the meeting.
Zoom offers a quick start guide that walks you through the steps to get started on the platform.
Practise with a friend
Be sure to record the ‘meeting’ though, this way you can review it afterwards to see what it will be like on the day of the interview.
When reviewing the recording afterwards, ask yourself the following:
- Are you fidgeting too much?
- Are you smiling enough or maybe too much?
- Are you in line with the camera?
- Is the video quality and audio quality good?
Consider the background
In terms of lighting, you don’t want to be in a room that’s too bright or too dark so move to different areas of the house to see which spot works best. Preferably sit with your back facing a wall but be sure to remove any posters or stickers beforehand.
One of Zoom’s unique features is that it offers a range of virtual backgrounds to choose from.
Tip: Avoid choosing a distracting background with images or one that’s too colourful.
Also look out for external noises in that area such as dogs barking, noisy neighbours, a squeaky chair etc.
Think of your Zoom job interview in the same way you would a physical one.
The difference is that you’re not in the same room as the interviewee, but behaviour and etiquette are still important.
Dress for success
You may be tempted to stay in your pyjamas during the interview but don’t.
Dress professionally or in business or business casual attire – remember that the interviewer can still see you and first impressions matter.
Clean the room
Adding to the previous point, the environment in which the interview takes place matters too. Pack away anything laying around (clothes, dirty dishes, dog toys etc).
Technical Tips – preparing your computer
Close background programs
People often forget to do this but closing background programs on your computer to avoid slowing down your operating system is a vital step in preparing for your interview.
Having apps run in the background could affect the Zoom video and audio feed.
Adjust your screen
Adjust the hight of your screen on the desk so you and the interviewer will be “face-to-face” the whole time.
Also, don’t sit too close or too far from the camera, make sure that you are in the frame but not too far away.
Clean the camera lens
This may seem like a minor detail, but it is almost as important as dressing professionally.
It affects how professional you look so make sure you clean your web cam’s lens before starting the interview.
Also, having an annoying spec show up on the employer’s screen while speaking to you will be very distracting – maybe even annoying – to them.
Check your connection
Test your Wi-Fi connection and speed before the interview to avoid losing the signal and disconnecting mid-sentence.
During the interview – Quick tips
- Maintain eye contact with the interviewer
- Don’t scream, but don’t whisper either. Test your computer’s speakers and microphone beforehand to make sure everything works properly, and the volume is set to an appropriate level.
- Have your CV ready in case the interviewer has a specific question or refers to a point in the document.
Lastly, remember that the traditional interview rules still apply. Be polite and friendly during the interview, be prepared for what the interviewer might ask (research common interview questions) and practise your answers beforehand.
Most importantly – be confident and believe that the job is yours!
Read also: How To Get In Gear For Your First Job Search