Candidates: Are you interviewing and need support?
The pandemic has certainly shifted the hiring landscape. More employers have been forced to adopt fully remote or hybrid hiring practices–including virtual interviews.
Virtual interviews are changing the interview landscape allowing for increased flexibility on both the candidate and recruiter side. Candidates can interview where and when they want–which might not be during traditional work hours. Flexible interviewing, without the demands of rushing from work or school, allows candidates to present their best selves during the interview.
Video interviews also offer DEI benefits. Technology like HireVue offers structured interviews, which helps ensure all candidates are asked the same questions and rated and reviewed against the same criteria–helping lower inconsistency that can arise from idle chatter that can lead to unconscious bias.
So if you find yourself scheduled for a virtual interview, here are four tips to ensure you put your best put forward–and one step closer to an offer.
Create a distraction-free background.
Try to find a quiet place, and if you can, set yourself up with a background free of distractions. But if you don’t have a spot like that, there are technical solutions. Technology like HireVue offers a background blur, so you can blur out anything in the background that might pull the employer’s attention away from you.
According to the Harvard Business Journal, backgrounds free of clutter allow for less unconscious bias in the hiring process. You want the employer focusing on you–not your home and decor. While a background should certainly not impact the way you’re evaluated, it, unfortunately, can. Lean into the technology and take advantage of the background blur.
Also, make sure you aren’t sitting in front of a window. You’ll be backlit, making it harder to see your face clearly.
The point of your interview is to share your skills and experience, so you should be the focus.
Test your equipment.
Make sure to check your wifi connection, audio, and video capabilities. If your interview is a HireVue interview, you’ll be able to follow the simple on-screen steps to ensure your system is running at peak performance.
Give yourself a few extra minutes, in case you need to make any adjustments. If you do experience a glitch with your tech, don’t panic – technical hiccups happen. If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that we’re all doing the best we can–a disruption in your audio or a cameo from a roommate isn’t going to ruin your shot at a place that you want to work.
Practice your answers.
If you’re doing an OnDemand interview, take advantage of the practice questions, so you can answer efficiently once recording. You don’t know how many interviews the employer will be reviewing, so you want to make sure your answers stand out from the rest. Plus, be sure to have any relevant notes in front of you, so you can feel prepared.
A virtual interview isn’t a screen test, so don’t feel pressured to stare directly into the camera during your interview. It is far more important to maximize your comfort level and share your experiences and skills as naturally as possible. This is an opportunity to share your story as a candidate.
Most importantly, just relax. If your dog barks or kid runs across the screen–relax. It’s okay. Your employer will understand, and if they don’t, perhaps it’s not the right culture fit for you. And that’s okay.
This is your time to showcase who you are and what you can add to an organization.
Prepare, take a deep breath, and be yourself.