Anyone who’s searched for a job knows making a good first impression during the job interview is key, but what if that first meet-and-greet happens via video conference? Connecting virtually to a potential employer—or potential employee—adds another complicating layer to the interview process that can potentially be the deciding factor in a successful hire.
Yes, the response to COVID-19 has pushed companies to do more online, but video job interviews are nothing new. The management consulting firm Korn Ferry discovered in a survey of 700 executives that 75% use real-time video to interview leading candidates, while 50% use it to narrow down their applicants.
Interviews via video conferencing tools like Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts are a normal part of business today. Being prepared to interview remotely will increase your chances of getting hired or recruiting a great candidate from across the country. Whether you’re conducting the interview or you are the interviewee, here are the three video interview edicts that matter most.
Be on Time
That means on camera with sound at the exact moment the meeting starts. There are few excuses for being late to an interview that people are willing to listen to. Now, while we are all at home, there is little to no tolerance for being late.
Same goes for those doing the hiring. Forcing a candidate to wait tells that person your company does not value their time and will make them less enthusiastic about your company. If you are hiring for a position that’s been difficult to fill, any conversation with top talent means they’re interviewing you just as much as you’re interviewing them.
Now that the interview is on video, the definition of being presentable has changed. Of course, personal physical presentation matters as it always will. Having professional clothing and hair is a no brainer. But now you also have to add to the definition of presentation the wall behind you, the sound around you, and those who may walk behind you. It should go without saying that the interview must be done in a professional environment, whether that’s at your home workspace or within your company’s HQ.
It’s essential to control your surroundings so that the interview isn’t interrupted and you are able to focus. Just because we are at home or on video doesn’t give the green light for controllable distractions to go unaddressed. Silence your cell phone, close the door, and check the background behind you for anything that might come across as unprofessional or a turn off. Use your environment as an advantage and put interesting things that can create conversation behind you :)
Eye Contact Matters
Look into the eyes of who you are speaking to. It’s just as important in a video interview as it is in person. Remember to also look forward. Looking sideways because you have two screens tells the person you’re speaking with that other work in front of you is more important. It’s also rude. Who wants to talk to someone who is isn't’ making eye contact, no one.
Our eyes talk. Not looking at each other means the conversation is wasted time. Eye contact means focus and being respectful of each other’s time.
A job interview sets the stage for the future working relationship. Whether you’re the interviewer or the interviewee, you want the person on the other end of the video conference to be professional, respectful, and interested in what you have to say. Heeding these three edicts is essential to taking the interview to the next step.
Additional virtual interview tips can be found in this article from Oriel Partners.