The global pandemic we are currently in has moved everything online. We are now really living in the 'digital age' with meetings, interviews, family calls, conferences, concerts and everything else in between being conducted online.
With this change in how we interact, the way we job search and carry out interviews has also changed significantly. No longer are we able to meet with a handshake, break the ice over a cup of coffee, or be 'wow'-ed by the place of business. Things have changed and we're now making our own cup of tea / coffee, doing the typical "can you hear me" greetings and then getting down to the business end of things.
Instead of being intimated by the prospect of meeting someone online (and potentially having your meeting interrupted by poor internet service, a howling pet, a sniffling kid), rather follow these short guidelines and ace your interview:
Check your connectivity before clicking the meeting link
As mentioned above, avoid the typical start of an online call, and ensure that you are sitting in the room in your house with the best connectivity. While accidents happen, and as with all technology, things can be unpredictable. Don't let your interview flow and confidence be interrupted by the screen freezing or being cut off from the call. Katrin Mantay, one of our top recruitment coaches, offers a pearl of wisdom: “I recommend to all my clients that they close the tabs on their computer, restart their laptop and update any software they need to before the interview.” Doing a sound and video quality check beforehand will help ensure that your internet connection is ready to withstand a video interview.
Your background can speak 1000 words
Instead of sitting in front of your favourite family photo, or showing off your latest macrame collection, settle for a quiet background where there will be no distractions for the interviewer. Preferably choose a room with a door you can close to people, pets, unexpected noises. Natural light behind you is a no-go. Rather sit with the light falling on your face to highlight your features and to share your emotion and excitement.
Try different spots in your house, use lampshades or windows to disperse light evenly on your face.
Eye contact is everything
A natural reaction to a video call is to focus on your own face on video. It's also easy to have your laptop / computer or monitor at an awkward angle which means your eye-contact is out of wack. Katrin suggests propping your laptop onto an ironing board which allows you to easily adjust the height. “If the camera on your laptop is too low and you’re looking down into the camera, you risk looking condescending. If the camera is too high, and it’s above your eye-level, you can look dismissive.”
Another key thing to remember: posture - make sure you're sitting upright and aren't slouched in your chair, or over your desk. Look alert, look interested, look into the camera and stay focused throughout.
Choose your outfit wisely
Whatever you'd have chosen to wear to your in-person interview, wear that on your Zoom / Skype / Google Hangout call. Research the culture of the organisation you're being interviewed by and try to mimic the dress-code.
Wearing business attire and 'dressing up' can increase your confidence and abstract thinking according to research done by Social Psychological and Personality Science. Avoid that temptation to wear business attire on top and stay comfy out of the camera's line of sight!
Don't overdo the notes
When you're being interviewed and are constantly looking down at your notes, or reading off a 'script', you sound unnatural, look nervous and aren't maintaining eye contact with the interviewer.
Katrin suggests the following nifty trick: “Stick your notes on top of your screen near your camera, write down three bullet points of your specific achievements or past successes that you want to communicate.” If you're wanting to jot down any notes during the call, let the interviewer know.
Energy and passion
“Often people can come across flatter on video calls than they would in real life, which makes them seem less excited about the opportunity,” says Katrin. It might be time to really turn on the passion and energy to get the message through the camera. Even if it feels unnatural, add hand movements, head nods, lots of smiles as a way to show enthusiasm.
If you're new to online interviews or calls, a nifty trick is to record yourself beforehand. Answer any typical interview questions and see what your body language does when playing the recording back.
Read the full article here.