They say that the third time’s a charm, but we’re not so sure…
Unless you’ve spent the last few weeks huddled in a duvet in complete silence, then by now you will know that Boris has launched us back into another lockdown. Third time around and we’re certainly navigating it a little better than the first, and it seems that employers are too.
Unlike the first lockdown things haven’t fallen off a cliff. We are still seeing employers actively adding to their team and successfully onboarding new starters from home. It’s certainly not as impossible as it seemed back in March. However, the interview process has changed and, more often than not, we are spending our time arranging video interviews rather than meeting in person.
Video interviews were never really part of our day-to-day before 2020 and they have posed a challenge for some, so we are sharing our five tips to help you if you have one arranged.
- Location: Choose a location that’s quiet, somewhere that you won’t be disturbed. We know that this can be difficult if you have children who are meant to be focusing on school work but are instead nagging you constantly about being bored or hungry, or even if you have a cat that constantly wants to be on your keyboard and enjoys watching the mouse move around on screen. Prospective employers are aware that unexpected things can happen while at home, and they won’t judge you harshly for it, but if you can find a nice space where you can lend all your focus to the interviewer, it will help.
- Tech: This is the one that trips most people up. A few days before your interview, check that everything is working as it should. Make sure that you’re signed up to Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, or any other site that you’ve agreed to meet on. Maybe even set up a call with a friend or your recruiter to make sure that you can be seen and heard clearly – you could even do a mock interview. Test it again on the day of the interview, if for some reason you run into technical difficulty, then call your interviewer to let them know – it’s likely that they will happily change the interview to be over the phone. If all is working as it should, then you’re heading in the right direction, just make sure that everything else on your computer or tablet is closed, and make sure everything is well charged.
- Prepare: It may sound obvious, but we have found that some people tend to feel more relaxed with an interview being from home and don’t feel as though it’s a ‘proper’ interview and, as such, don’t prepare as much as they would do if they were going to meet with a prospective employer. We understand, you don’t have to think about getting dressed up, how you’re going to get there, and making sure you show up in time – but it’s still so important. If anything, not having to worry about getting ready and travelling gives you even more time to prepare! Read through the job description, take a look at their website and social media accounts, have a snoop on your interviewers LinkedIn, and get some questions prepared!
- Dress to impress: Before we go any further, you can stay in your trackie or PJ bottoms if your bottom half isn’t on show! Dress from the waist up and dress as you would if you were going to an in-person interview – not only will it make a good impression, it’ll make you feel a bit more professional, and it’s actually a nice change to put your fancy clothes on! Also, test your outfit out on camera, double-check what is and isn’t in the frame.
- During the interview: Show up a little early. Like at an in-person interview, it looks great if your interviewer can see that you’re already waiting to join when they log in. Also, acknowledge the situation we find ourselves in, let them know that you’re not 100% comfortable with the format if you aren’t, and ask what you should do if there are technical difficulties during the interview. Sometimes you can have everything prepped, charged, and look the part, but the signal isn’t the best at their end, or yours, and can end up cutting important parts of the interview – it’s worthwhile asking for a phone number in case there are difficulties. During the interview, body language is incredibly important too as it can be difficult to have a naturally flowing conversation if there is a delay – so make sure you maintain good eye contact, look engaged, and nod to show that you hear and understand what is being said or asked of you.
They may seem incredibly simple tips, but they’re important ones to keep to. As always, if you have any questions or would like to talk through interview techniques, we are always here to help! Just press the contact button.