Thanks to the COVID-19 virus the world has gone home. Fortunately for technology, that doesn’t mean your career has to go on cruise control. Whether you’re partnering with a staffing firm like Blue Staffing Group or applying on your own, when you get an interview confirmation that means you’re one step closer to landing a new job opportunity. As a recruiter, I often see candidates stumble at the interview stage on things that could’ve been avoided. Here are my 10 tips for acing your video conference interview in the COVID age and beyond!
1. Download the technology 24 hours before the interview
Whether you’re using Zoom or another video conference tool, go on and download it the day before your interview. This gives you plenty of time to call in tech support before the interview starts. This also gives you a chance to do a test run with a buddy to make sure video and audio are working properly before the real thing.
2. Join the meeting 15 minutes before
You know the saying, “to be early is to be on time and to be on time is to be late.” You can’t blame traffic or a flat tire for being late to a video conference. There is literally no excuse. Get on 15 minutes before. You should be waiting for your interviewer – not the other way around.
3. Clean your camera lens
Candidates often forget this step. A dirty camera lens can be a distraction to the interviewer. Make sure you give yours a good wipe-down before your interview begins.
4. Pick a professional location in your home
Choose a room with either a neutral background (white wall preferred) or a professional setting in your home. Make sure no personal items can be seen including laundry, your bed and definitely not your bathroom! Be aware of your interview space. Any signs of your political affiliation should not be in camera range - if it's off-limits for an interview topic, make sure you can't see it in your video conference frame. If you have an office or reading nook that’s a perfect location. When you do a test run, be sure to check the lighting in the room. Are you able to see yourself clearly on screen or are there shadows? If you share your home, make sure to choose a space that’s far from highly used rooms. We don’t need to hear the dishwasher or your sister giving a Mariah Carey concert in the shower.
5. Check the internet connection
There are dead zones in most homes. We all know that room in our home where the internet isn’t as strong. Test your connection wherever you’re doing your video conference interview. Last thing you want is a dropped interview. If you’re conducting the interview from your smart phone, be sure you have a strong cell signal (and a full battery!)
6. Check the room acoustics
When you’re setting up your interview space, check the room acoustics. Be sure you have enough items in the room to soak up extra noise. I recommend taking the video conference in a room with carpet. You decrease the chances of an echo so the interviewer can understand you clearly.
7. Professional attire is required
It’s ok to rock your pajama pants and fuzzy bunny slippers but if it’s in camera view then keep it professional. And remember not to stand before you’ve ended the video conference interview. Your potential employer does not need to know you still sleep in superman pajamas.
8. Silence your phone and Alexa!
We don’t need any outside tech issues. Put your phone on silent and while you’re at it silence Alexa, Google Home and any other devices you talk to in your home. We don’t need a third person weighing in on your interview.
9. Ask about the onboarding experience
During your interview, ask what you should expect if you were onboarded. You want to make sure you have all the technology you would need to join the team successfully if the company can’t provide it to you. In these unprecedented times, companies are running low on technology now that their workforce is remote.
10. Sending a thank you note is still in style
We might be conducting virtual handshakes but a thank you note still goes a long way. Send a thank you email after your video conference interview reiterating your interest in the position and reminding your interviewer how your experience could have a positive impact on the team. If you want to jazz up your thank you email, try using a service like Paperless Post. A little something extra to help you stand out from your competition.