Focus on Interviews – Video Conferencing Best Practices
Today’s technology is evolving and allowing jobseekers to interview with prospective employers remotely rather than in person. This can be a time saver for both parties but, to be done well, the jobseeker needs to make sure they are fully prepared and have a setup worthy of a good interview and be prepared to answer the questions an interviewer will ask.
To have a successful remote interview:
- Choose the spot you will be sitting at carefully. Make sure the background is clean and with very little distraction.
- Use a high-quality web cam and microphone. If you are using the camera on your monitor or laptop, make sure it is wiped well so it’s clean and the interviewer sees a clear image of you. A good camera that has good clarity will give you a professional look. Even more important, make sure you have a good microphone that is clear and easily heard without being muffled so your interviewer does not have to ask you to repeat yourself.
- Test your equipment before doing the interview and practice so you will be less nervous. Have a friend be the “interviewer” to test out your equipment and view your background so you can adjust your equipment and background before the actual interview. Have your friend ask you questions that may come up and answer them just as you would if this was the actual interview. You can make a list of questions for your friend to ask you so you can feel more prepared when you give your answers in the interview. You have one chance to make a good impression as they say.
- Dress appropriately. Even though you are doing your interview via the web, you want to look properly dressed for the meeting and want to dress according to what the company you are interviewing for uses as a dress code. If the company dresses in “business casual,” wear button-down shirt and slacks. If it is a company where the dress is suit and tie, wear a suit and tie. Make sure your clothes are clean, crisp, and appropriate for the interview.
- How to stand out in an interview: Have a strong introduction and begin on a “high” note by answering questions promptly, but concisely. Do not “over answer.” Make sure you understand the business strategy and profile of the company you are interviewing for. Be enthusiastic, express that you are easy to work with and be clear on why you want the job. Ask thoughtful questions and demonstrate relevant experiences.
- If the interviewer says, “tell me about yourself,” what should you say? If you are currently working, let the interviewer know what your current role is, the scope of it and a recent accomplishment. If you have done something great in the past, tell the interviewer how you got where you were in that job and some previous experience that is relevant to the job and company you’re applying for. The hiring manager or interviewer wants to hear what you can bring to the position, how you envision yourself in the role you are applying for and how you will contribute.
- An employer looks for various qualities in an employee so, when interviewing, understand the company and what they do. Be prepared for the interview and listen to the questions and answer them thoroughly. Know your goals and direction and express your ambition and passion for the job. Understand your strengths and give examples of accomplishments you have made on the job or in your personal life.
- Salary questions can be answered with a broad answer such as “My salary expectations are in line with my experience and qualifications so if this is the right job for me, I’m sure we can come to an agreement on salary.” This will show you are willing to negotiate. If you are specifically asked what salary you are looking for, you can provide a range if you do not feel comfortable providing a single number. Have some negotiation options ready if asked.
Now that you know what to expect, how can you prepare yourself, so you feel comfortable with the interview? Go for a walk and clear your head. Eat a small snack so you are not hungry. Make a “cheat sheet” of topics you want to cover. Then, when it is over, do something you enjoy.