Virtual interviewing may be here for the long haul. And hiring companies and jobseekers should be applauded for adapting from a historically in-person practice to a virtual one so quickly. As we continue to move forward with this style of interviewing, potentially even post-vaccine, here are a few best practices to keep in mind.
1) Keep interview rounds tight.
Virtual interviewing shouldn’t mean more interviews. In fact, the online environment presents an opportunity for efficiencies. Some hiring companies now invite multiple team members to a single interview. The benefits are two-fold—the candidate can interview with more people in less time and the hiring team is hearing candidate responses verbatim.
2) Keep it professional.
Has remote work impacted my wardrobe choices? Of course, it has. But a virtual interview is still an interview. Whether you’re an employer or jobseeker, appearance matters. Your background matters. How you present yourself matters. So, check what’s behind you, put on dress pants, and do whatever it takes to psych yourself up for a professional engagement.
3) Use a ubiquitous virtual platform.
While most of us are now adept at video, some platforms are more prevalent than others. Most people have Zoom. Not everyone has the latest version of Teams. Many organizations are now investing in platforms like WebEx and providing candidates with a link. The most important factor is to find one interface and then commit to it over the course of interviewing.
4) Have a technology “plan b.”
Maybe your kids are home. Maybe your spouse is home. Maybe you have three roommates. With everyone zooming for work and school, tech snafus happen. You must have a plan b. If your WIFI is spotty or internet connection is weak, know how to switch over to a hot spot. Nobody said tech-from-home is seamless but do your best to show that you can interview from home, because it sends the signal that you can also WFH.
5) Strive for calm confidence.
Interview nerves have not dissipated with virtual. The good news is, we’ve had nearly a year of practice with video chats and meetings and are growing more accustomed to communicating this way. Your cat may stroll in. A child may knock on the door. Over-apologizing or frantically trying to shuffle someone or something out of the room doesn’t read as solicitous; it reads as frazzled. Handle interruptions politely, but calmly. It shows a grace under pressure that any company would want in a new employee.