Acing Virtual Job Interviews

After weeks of non-essential business closures, some states and provinces are eyeing lifting shelter-in-place orders for residents, allowing businesses to start resuming operations.

The new reality of social distancing has changed the landscape for business operations in almost every aspect, including the interview process, which is why job seekers need to be prepared for the possibility of video interviews through platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Skype.

Here are a few tips to make sure a video interview is just as effective, and professional, as an in-person one:

  1. Dress the Part – Choose professional attire for your video interviews. Aim to make a positive and powerful first impression with the recruiter by dressing for the part.
  2. Set the Stage – While different virtual backgrounds are fun for chatting with friends, choose a neutral background and a clean space for interviews that are free of dramatic or bold art and distracting household appliances. Ultimately, you want the interview to focus on you, not your surroundings.
  3. Lighting is Important – Make sure to sit facing a light source so your face is illuminated during the interview. If the light source is behind your head, this will cast a shadow over the front of your body, preventing the recruiter from clearly seeing your face.
  4. Proper Posture – Just like your mother always said, don’t slouch. Body language should convey confidence.
  5. Avoid Background Noise – Find a quiet space where your interview will be free from noise disruptions, such as children or animals. The focus of the interview should be on you and your skills.

Express experts say video interviews could be the way of the future and some offices are even helping facilitate calls during the pandemic for companies that aren’t entirely comfortable with the technology aspect.

“Acting as a facilitator for video interviews allows us to coordinate with all parties involved and be on the call for any sort of troubleshooting,” said Jan Riggins, general manager of two Express offices in Fort Worth, Texas. “This has been an amazing way to ensure the hiring process continues smoothly and in a timely manner.”

In Grand Rapids, Michigan, Express marketing director David Robb says they also have several clients transitioning to video interviews and one client even requested instructions for the process.

“More companies will be doing this, and I think it’s going to stick around even after this crisis because it is so convenient,” he said.

Riggins agrees that virtual interviews will be crucial from a safety standpoint as businesses reopen, allowing job seekers who implement key tips and tricks to stand out from the competition.

“Much has changed for businesses and job seekers in the past few months, but as the economy begins to safely reopen, put yourself ahead of the competition with professional interview skills, no matter the location,” Express CEO Bill Stoller said.

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