As we sprint into the digital age, more and more facets of our life are becoming digitized, every day!
And as a job seeker, you’re more than likely finding that “pounding the pavement” and dropping off paper resumes door-to-door is no longer the norm. Instead, you’ll likely be looking for, applying for, and even interviewing for jobs online!
In a world of remote work, it should come as no surprise that how you attain work is remote, too.
That’s why today, we’re going over how you can prepare for and succeed in your future remote interviews! Let’s take a look…
Prep Your Tech
If you were going to an in-person interview, it’s important that you plan your trip in advance — check for directions, watch traffic reports, and even test the route in advance to know exactly how long it takes.
Remote interviews are no different.
Start by making sure that you have all the necessary software and a basic understanding of how to use it — or even how to leverage its tools to your advantage! For example, knowing how to mute yourself quickly can help you cover up a cough in the nick of time.
Pro Tip: Test your setup by doing a mock interview with a friend or mentor! That way you can get used to the tools, while also getting feedback on your audio and visual quality.
Prep Your Environment
With an in-person interview, the setting is typically on location at the business to which you’re applying. Which means you don’t have to worry about the backdrop of your conversation.
But with video interviews, that’s not the case.
It will be up to you what sort of setting you wish to present yourself in. That said, there are a few good rules of thumb to make sure it’s appropriate:
- Ensure that you have good lighting. It is best to place a light (or bright window) pointed at you from beside/behind the camera. Lights pointed into the camera can cause glare, and may cause your camera to automatically lower the brightness — making you more shadowed and harder to see.
- Ensure that your background is as neutral as possible. That means tidying up, and avoiding any personal items that might send the wrong message. You should look at the objects/decorations around you and ask yourself: “What does this say about me?” and decide if they reflect the sort of message you’re trying to send.
- Ensure that your space will be quiet and free of distractions. Generally, you want to be the only person in the room at the time of your interview. But if there’s a chance that sound from outside the room (such as neighbours, roommates, family, pets, etc.) might still be heard, then talk to them about keeping it down during the time of your interview, or ask them to leave the building until you are done. Maybe your roommate can take your dog for a walk to give you some space!
- Ensure you have everything you need for the interview readily accessible. You should have a pen and paper with which to take notes. You may also have some cue cards or prep notes. If so, place them near to your camera so you can stay facing forward even when referencing them.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to dress for success! Your outfit and personal appearance are all part of what people see on screen during a video call. Keep your hair, makeup, and clothes tidy and formal (but not too formal). And yes — even if you’ll be sitting down, you should definitely wear pants!
Prep Your Knowledge
“Knowing is half the battle!” – G.I. Joe
When it comes to victory at your next interview, going in informed is key.
The overwhelming majority of businesses today have some online presence — whether it’s a website, a social media account, a YouTube or TikTok channel, or all the above! So before you meet with a new business, get to know what their brand stands for online.
Start by reviewing any online job postings or “why work with us” type pages on their website, to look for the keywords about what sort of candidate would best reflect their company culture and values.
You can also discover information about their history, mission statements, and current products and services. That way, you know what they do, and why they do it! Remember, every business has something that sets them apart from the competition. By knowing the company’s unique value, you can better explain to them why you bring that exact type of value to the table.
You can even go a step further and, instead of just researching the overall company, you can get to know your specific interviewers and recruiters! If you know who will be present at your interview, look them up on LinkedIn or the company directory. Maybe you’ll find something you have in common, like a school or previous employer, that can help you build rapport more rapidly once you’re face to (virtual) face.
Special Mention: Pre-Recorded Interviews
Another phenomenon that some recruiters have adopted is the use of pre-recorded interviews.
Most often used as a first-wave interview, recruiters enjoy being able to collect recordings from many candidates and review them on their own time without the need to schedule and organize live video calls.
Many job seekers find these to be more unnerving than live video interviews, because you don’t receive the instant feedback you would when you can see the interviewer’s expression, and hear their tone.
That said, you and all other candidates will be on even footing when it comes to this challenging format, so don’t let it stress you out!
The most important thing to do in a pre-recorded interview is to remind yourself to smile, speak directly to the camera, and use gestures and body language just like it was a real person you were speaking to.
Treat it like a live interview, and you’ll be more likely to move on to the live interview wave!
Pro Tip: Just like some recruiters use Applicant Tracking Software to automatically scan and filter resumes, some companies have tools that will scan your pre-recorded video interview. The software automatically provides feedback on certain things like your expression, amount of eye contact, number of words-per-minute, or simply transcribes what you’ve said. So be sure your camera and microphone allow you to be clearly seen and heard to avoid errors with the program.
They say practice makes perfect — so treat every online interview as a chance to flex your digital skills! As with any part of your job search, it’s important to not let slip-ups or missed opportunities keep you from looking to the future. Your best is yet to come!
Plus, ReStart can help you with 1-on-1 interview coaching for a variety of different interview settings you might encounter on your way to a better career! We even have an soundproofed interview pod to help you ace your interview in a professional space!
Get free help with virtual interviews, online job searches, and digital literacy skills today — find us online at https://restartnow.ca/contact/ !