The coronavirus pandemic has made employers switch from interviewing in-person to conducting them completely online. Virtual interviews are also being used increasingly as they’re known to eliminate the need to travel while being able to get in touch with a wider talent pool much more easily.
This also means that your competition is tough, and if you’re not prepared, you could slip up. Here’s what you should be watching out for if you’re prepping for your upcoming interview. Think of these tips as virtual etiquette guidelines. They’ll surely impress your hiring manager and create a good first impression.
Table of Contents
1. Prepare A Video Resume
A video resume is like your virtual portfolio and introduction. It highlights your strengths and weakness and showcases your achievements. When you’re organizing your portfolio, be sure to include moments where you’ve faced challenges and show how you’ve overcome them.
Hiring managers look for candidates who are creative and possess good problem-solving skills. If you’re not sure how to get started with making a professional video resume, you can use a free video maker like Hippo Video. It has a huge library of templates that you can make use of for your resume, and you can take examples from their website.
Use soundtracks that match the theme of your content. You want to draw the attention of your viewers to the content and not away. Soft-sounding and light music are often the best in this regard. Note the whitespace and placeholder texts used throughout the video and keep the focus on the content, not special effects.
2. Use A Neutral Background & Good Lighting
When you’re setting the backdrop for your virtual interview, you want to keep it clean and simple. Make it look professional by using a neutral background and go with lighter colors like white or cream tones. Clear out the clutter and make your workspace organized in case the interview involves taking notes or showing any papers.
Point-lighting is a good option, but if you don’t have the money to invest in a good lighting setup, then use natural lighting. Place your laptop camera close to the window and make sure you do the interview at a time when your environment isn’t noisy. This will work just as fine.
3. Dress Appropriately
The way you dress matters! Although it’s true that companies are relaxed and open-minded about dressing etiquette, it never hurts to pay a bit of extra attention to the way how you look. Formal attire would be good, but avoid showing up in your pajamas. The best advice would be to dress according to the company’s work culture and brand image.
Please do some research by looking at their website and see what it’s like because you want to appear well-informed before showing up for the interview, not looking like you don’t know a thing about them.
4. Practice, Practice, & Practice
If you’re planning to make videos for sales interviews or any type of interview that involves showing a resume, be prepared to practice – a lot. Watch your body language and notice the way you sit. See if you stiffen up and relax your breathing. It’s a good idea to have a friend conduct mock interviews and help you out with this. When you watch yourself on-screen, discover those mannerisms that make you seem less confident, and rectify those, you will appear more confident.
Another pro tip is to not look at the person who is interviewing you but at the webcam instead. This will establish face-to-face eye contact. Those who are able to hold eye-contact during interviews are trusted a lot more than those who can’t. It’s just life.
5. Be Natural
At the end of the day, no matter how much you practice, you don’t want to end up sounding robotic. Think about why you want the job and if it assigns with your core values. Try to portray those qualities during the interview and create an emotional connection with the job role. If the interviewer is able to relate to your enthusiasm and finds that you genuinely mean what you say, you’re going to be off on a good start.
People trust their gut and do this “vibe” test after having interviewed thousands of candidates. They’ll immediately be able to tell if you’re faking your emotions to impress, so be genuine and don’t try to hide it. This is why we suggest researching the job role you’re applying for thoroughly and the company too, before appearing for the virtual interview.
6. Follow Up Afterwards
Just 24 hours after the virtual interview, send a short follow-up email to the interviewer, thanking them and the team for their time. If possible, mention a few possible solutions for solving their current ongoing challenges briefly in the email, mentioning that you’d like to discuss these ideas later whenever that’s possible. This will not only show your professionalism but indicate that you’re really interested in the job role.
Plus, interviewers are more likely to remember you when you send a follow-up email. It helps you differentiate yourself from the other candidates since there are literally thousands of them, and very few actually bother sending follow-up emails. It’s a real-life hack!
A virtual job interview is so much more than just talking to someone on-screen. It’s just as professional and real as appearing for an offline interview. If you’re applying for a job online, freelance opportunities, or a full-time job that involves working from home, it’s good to practice and prepare appropriately for these interviews.
A little bit of prep will go a long way, and you won’t regret it. If you need help with editing your videos for your resume, you can always use Hippo’s free video maker and ask your friends to review the content. It’s good to get feedback, and since the editor is easy to use, you can quickly make the necessary changes and fix them.