The Covid-19 situation comes with many challenges. Some of those being that many companies are shut down either temporarily or permanently and so many people being laid off or furloughed. Despite the uncertainty in the air, some companies are feeling optimistic about the future and hiring more and more people remotely! Google, Amazon and Facebook, and other fortune 500 and 100 companies have announced a move to online job interviews for the duration of the outbreak. And video conferencing apps, including WeChat Work, Zoom and Slack, have risen nearly fivefold since the start of the year! So, if you’re trying to land a job right now, it’s time to get ready for virtual interviews. Here are 5 tips to get you started.
1. Test your Tech
We’ve all been there – 5 minutes before the Skype call, we can’t find the link, our camera won’t connect and our mic is muted! When it comes to your virtual interview, you really don’t want to be fumbling around with your tech in the first few minutes – first impressions count – even online! So, as soon as you know which tool you will be using for the interview be sure to give yourself time to download any apps you need, check your camera and mic and ensure that your internet connection is strong enough.
Pro Tip: You could even set up a ‘test’ call with a friend or family member and practise using the tool and what you want to say in the interview!
2. Do your Homework
Prepare for your remote interview just like you would for an interview that you would do face-to-face. Research the company as much as you can and look them up on our site so you can see what current and former employees have to say about the workplace culture and expectations. You can use these common phone interview questions to help you prepare.
Pro Tip: Prepare some questions that you want to ask about the company’s culture by using this culture test. Even if you will be working remotely, this will show your hiring manager that you’re interested in the company and that you want to make sure that you’re a good fit.
3. Prepare your interview space
Set up your desk or interview area so you have everything you need at hand. Put a copy of your resume out, along with any notes you have for answering or asking questions during the interview. 15 minutes before your interview make sure that you’ve got something to drink, some notepaper, a pen and that there’s enough light in the room for your camera to display you clearly.
Pro Tip: Check the wall behind you so you know what your interviewer will see during the interview. Remove or cover up anything that you think might be distracting or, use the blurred background feature on Skype!
4. Remove Distractions
You might think that your kids are cute, chances are your interviewer will too! However, if you feel like they will throw you off during the interview – like in this viral video – then you need to make sure that someone else looks after them for the duration of your interview. The same goes for your dog or cat – shut them out of the room so they don’t distract you, or your interviewer by chasing their tails or bothering you. You might also want to think about whether you want to keep your phone on your desk. If you feel like that might distract you, then put it in the other room and come back for it afterwards.
5. Keep it Professional
We all love to keep it cosy in our home office. But you should definitely dress the part for your interview – and no, pyjama pants don’t count! Dress as you would for a normal interview and keep it as professional as possible.
6. Be genuine and personable
The best way to win over your interviewer is to be yourself. If you really want this job, then make sure to tell them and take every opportunity to show how much it means to you. You could also take a look at the traits that hiring managers look for in new hires and try to emulate these. Whatever you do, make eye contact, smile and engage with your interviewer as much as you can.
7. Follow Up
Given the current situation, it may take longer than normal for your interviewer to get back to you. The best thing that you can do is to follow up with them by sending a ‘thank you’ email to thank them for their time. In this email you should also ensure them that you’re aware that it may take longer for them to get back to you, but that you’re looking forward to hearing their decision.