As more people find themselves working from home, some job roles have adjusted to coincide with the environment, but the primary responsibilities haven’t changed, and this includes hiring. Virtual meetings are something many professionals have become accustomed to, but conducting a job interview virtually is different, and hiring managers and job candidates alike are navigating this new online experience. So what do interviewers and interviewees need to do differently when being part of a remote interview?
Prepare for Technology Challenges – As with anything done remotely, technology can make or break the experience. Before the actual interview takes place, organize a dry run of the video conferencing software you plan to use and check the strength of your Wi-Fi connection in the location the interview will be taking place. Give yourself enough time beforehand to troubleshoot or reach out for help if needed.
Don’t Wing it – Not only is it unprofessional to be unprepared, it’s going to make the interview process clunky. As the interviewer, take charge of the preparation process for the interview. Determine who will call who, the meeting platform of choice for all parties involved, the people who will be on the call, and a backup plan in case things don’t go exactly as planned. Also, look the part. You might be working from home, but dress as though you are in the office.
Read Facial Experience and Tone of Voice – Be observant of the interviewee’s reactions and demeanor throughout the interview. It will help guide the discussion and allow you to keep it engaging. In return, speak clearly, make eye contact by looking at the camera, and smile or laugh when the conversation presents itself to that.
Bonus Tip: Minimize distractions by switching off phone or laptop notifications. If applicable, let others in your home office know you are getting on a work call to avoid interruptions.
Choose Appropriate Location – Depending on the type of job you’re interviewing for, “appropriate” might mean different things to different people. Still, one universal thing is that the interview must take place somewhere free of distractions. You don’t need a barking dog or a neighborhood lawnmower to interrupt. If the interview is on video, set up a home office. Having a designated “work” area shows your dedication to work and professionalism.
Test Your Equipment – There’s nothing worse than an interview where you can’t answer questions or clearly communicate to the interviewer. Avoid technical challenges within your control by testing your Wi-Fi connection and the platforms you’ll use beforehand. Make sure your laptop and phone are fully charged.
Keep Resume with Reach – Having a hard copy of your resume on hand during the interview will be more seamless than having your eyes dart from screen to screen or you trying to manage multiple tabs on one screen. A hard copy is one way to avoid the awkwardness that might come with not being able to speak directly to something being asked of on your resume if there’s a technical issue.
Look at Your Camera – As much as you might want to look directly at the interviewer on the screen, make sure that you look at the camera when you’re talking. This way, you will be looking into the interviewer’s eyes when you speak, engaging them more in the conversation. One trick is to put a sticky note near the camera, reminding you to look there during your interview.