Useful tips to ace your virtual interview
Remote interview – whether on call or via video – is not a new concept, particularly for companies that have built remote, international teams. But for some companies, it has become a latest trend. The Covid-19 lockdown has completely reshaped how the companies operate – even the lockdown has been lifted, yet many companies are continuing work from home.
Some companies recruited employees online during the shutdown. Some others might prefer to continue to avoid direct contact with new people.
Muhammad Rubayet recently gave an interview on Skype for a private job. "The interview was formal. They scheduled it a week before and shared the link and password on the very morning of the interview day," he said.
"Check your app, internet connection, and room where you will sit before the interview starts. Try to wear formal dress and take it as seriously as you do face-to-face interview. What you need to have is confidence. Try to read expression of the interviewers and prepare your answers accordingly. Listen to them actively and then answer," added Rubayet.
Another candidate Wasfia, on the other hand, faced the worst. Halfway through her interview, she lost her internet connection. "During my interview, I had a call drop. So, I got a bit nervous and lost track. Check your internet connection before starting the interview."
Online interviews are way different than the ones up front. You might miss an important question, or any mishap may happen so better be prepared from now.
How can you impress a potential new boss from home?
Technology Strategist at Microsoft Bangladesh Jannatul Fardous Popy shares some hacks to follow while giving an online interview with The Business Standard.
Be in semi-formal attire
It is not necessary to be in a complete formal attire that you may wear during an in-person interview but be presentable in decent cloths and combed hair. Your impression depends on your presentation; there is very low scope of showing good gestures in online meeting so it is important to look good and decent.
Show some good gestures
You do not have the flexibility of showing gestures online. Still, try to show some body responses such as nodding and moving hands while talking to make the conversation more lively.
Camera set up and other preparation
Set the camera in a position that shows half of your body including your hands. The most important thing is to be prepared ahead. That means when you know it is an online meeting and the interviewer will give you a link or access to join the interview, you should be prepared by installing the app and acquire some knowledge on how to use it.
Make sure your internet connectivity is good. If you use Wi-Fi connection, buy mobile data as emergency aid and try to join the interview from a laptop or computer instead of a mobile. Take precautions for surrounding and background noise.
Tips to answer to interviewer's questions
If two or more people ask questions at the same time, listen to them carefully. Then, ask for permission to answer. You should answer by saying their names like, let me answer "A"s question first. In this case, pick the one that is easier and short first.
Prepare for both audio and video
Meem, an online interview candidate, was asked to keep her camera on while her interviewers turned their cameras off. So, she had to talk to a blank screen. They asked her several questions and she had to answer by tracing the voice. So, better be prepared.
Select a formal background
Background is important. Your potential employee must not see what is going around your house. And as you will be working from home for days until everything goes back to normal, your employer may want to make sure they have the employee who has an interruption-free workstation at home.
What international CEOs faced while taking interviews online
"When people are working from home, because it is their personal space, a lot of candidates completely overlook the fact that it is still a first formal meeting," Stone, the founder of MRL Consulting Group, says to The Guardian. "It is amazing what you see going on in the background."
Ellie Wilson, the co-founder and operations director of Virtalent, has run hundreds of remote interviews since launching her virtual assistant service six years ago. She found the recruitment process much more efficient when it is all online.
While recruiters may prefer to do the first round of remote interviews over the phone, Wilson says to the Guardian that it is important to see the person you are speaking to at some stage in the process.
That does not have to be via a bespoke HR platform – video conference tools such as Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams work just as well.
"If they are going to be working remotely, you also need to be reassured they have the right set-up at home," she adds. "I check that they have a dedicated desk area, they have an appropriate seat, and it looks free from distraction."