Whether it’s on Zoom, Skype or MS Teams, many employers now prefer to conduct job interviews digitally.
These are more efficient for businesses, letting them see a higher number of candidates per day, but they can also help you get ahead of the competition and click with the person asking the questions, if you follow this guide for your screen performance!
First, test your technology in advance, to make sure there are no mic or camera hiccups on the day. It’s a good idea to do a practice run with a friend to ensure you can be seen and heard clearly. They’ll tell you if you’re coming through loud and clear, or if you need to adjust for echo and better lighting. For the interview itself, it’s recommended you plug into the internet of a home or business, as it’ll be a lot more reliable than connecting with your mobile phone.
Next, check your background. The backdrop will frame you and create a powerful first impression. It should be professional and uncluttered, without any distracting items that may take the hiring manager’s attention away from what you’re saying. Obviously, make sure there’s no mess, and try to find a well-lit space in front of a wall with muted colours. Make sure there are no inappropriate joke items or posters in the frame. If this is tricky in your home, make use of one of the digital backgrounds available in most programs.
The online interview usually means the employer won’t see anything from the waist down, but this doesn’t mean you should only dress the upper half of your body smartly! Dressing in full office attire – including shoes – will help mentally prepare you for the interview experience and help get you in the right headspace.
Once you’re logged on, the most important thing is to speak slowly and clearly. Despite all your extensive testing, video technology frequently comes with lags, delays or static. As you’ll have to slow down your speech rhythm, make sure you keep smiling to project positive vibes and a warm personality!
It might not be a traditional interview, but that doesn’t mean you can phone it in! Correct use of body language is arguably even more important in a digital interview.
Place both feet on the ground and sit up straight with good posture. Avoid slouching and don’t touch you face or squirm, as these send visual messages that you’re not at ease. Also consider where you’re looking, as following at the interviewer’s face on screen won’t give the impression of eye contact. Instead, look into the camera often, especially when speaking. It will help give the sense that you’re engaged and not distracted.
Remember these tips and you should shine through any screening process!