Just this week, it hit me. Virtual interviews are on the rise.
I’ve been in the recruitment industry for 5-ish years now. For four of those years almost every interview I’ve organised between candidates and potential employers have been the “traditional” in-person interview. In the last year however, I’ve noticed a considerable increase in the number of interviews organised where the meetings were conducted through the screen.
This is all thanks to platforms such as Google Hangouts, Skype, Zoom and FaceTime who have created a convenient and happy medium between a two-dimensional phone call and what can be a time-consuming in-person meeting, especially if it’s the initial stage of the interviewing process (think about the logistics – booking a few hours off work, organising travel and doing the travel itself).
So, given the rise of this mode of interview, which is here to stay, I thought to write up some practical tips to help candidates prepare for their next one:
Prepare for the virtual interview as if it is an in-person one
Take the interview seriously and prepare yourself the same way you would for an in-person meeting. Research the company, the role, remind yourself why you are interviewing for this role, what’s appealing about it? Have questions to ask the interviewer as well.
Familiarise yourself with the platform and technology you’ll be using
It’s 10 minutes before your interview starts and you’ve only just downloaded the app, haven’t signed up for an account or forgot your login details, your microphone is disabled and you’re unsure how to access the session. Obviously not an ideal situation to be in.
Download the app well before the interview, make sure you have an account or remember your login details and find out how to access the session – test it out to make sure it works. Don’t forget to also test the camera and microphone settings on your device.
Plan the location and connection method well in advance
As soon as you receive confirmation of your interview, start thinking of at least two locations (one for backup) from which you can perform the interview and then scope it out.
Make sure the locations are available, there are no distractions, somewhere you can focus and either have Wi-Fi or good mobile internet connectivity. Not only is a loud, distracting environment with bad connectivity a detriment to your chances, it’s also an inconvenience for the interviewer.
Dress appropriate for the occasion (your top half anyway)
Always be well presented and dress to the requirements of the company and industry you are interviewing for – well, your upper half anyway. Just hope you won’t need to stand up and reveal you’re wearing pyjama bottoms.
It’s okay to have your CV in front of you, just don’t rely on it
Ideally you won’t need to refer back to your CV, because after all, you are talking about yourself! In saying that, you may have your CV with you for support and guidance in case you ever need to refer to any part of your history.
Don’t rely on it and make it too obvious you’re referring to it though.
Just enjoy yourself!
Would you rather talk to your frowny self or your happy self?
I hope these tips will help you for your next virtual interview.
If you would like to discuss these points in more detail or you would like any assistance with your next career move in data science, data analytics or software engineering, feel free to get in touch with through LinkedIn or email firstname.lastname@example.org