By Michael Clarke
Job interviews can be intimidating.
Walking into a new building, dressed in your smartest clothes and trying your hardest to display the best possible image of yourself. Do you have a good handshake? You have never really thought about it before this moment but now you are obsessing about it.
With only your CV in your hand as a shield and a simple desire to do well, you try your best to make small talk with the person who will be asking most of the questions today.
Look, let's face it. This is a moment that makes everyone nervous. The interview is one of the biggest hurdles on the way to finding a new job. Improving your job interview skills takes research and practice.
But what changes when a company offers you a virtual interview? Well, actually it can be an advantage.
The Home advantage
So, the idea of doing an interview from the comfort of your own home should be a benefit, right?
According to Indeed, 82 percent of employers use virtual interviews today.
The pandemic forced the hand of technology and in some areas changes were made that will never be reversed. To prove this point, 93 percent of the companies that do virtual interviews said they would continue to do them into the future.
So it is here to stay. And it is time you turn this twist in business culture into an opportunity for you.
The biggest benefit of this trend is that now you have a home advantage. In soccer, the home team raises their chances of winning purely because they are playing in their stadium. One analysis found that home teams win approximately 64 percent of games played in the English Football League.
And with the job interview, you can try to replicate the same odds. The home advantage gives you more control over what you show. You are inviting the interviewer into your home rather than the other way around. And you feel comfortable because you know your environment.
It is your home and you can decide the lighting, the backdrop and which books you can casually dot around the background that might just catch their eye.
From a recent Linkedin survey on virtual interviews, 65 percent of professionals agree that the impression you make online is just as important as the one you make in person.
It is crucial to treat virtual meetings as you would treat meetings in real-life. The setting is different but the core values of the situation remain the same.
As we know, anxiety is inevitably linked with job interviews. And by bringing it home with you there may be a few new worries you may have to consider.Taken from the same Linkedin study, 43 percent of candidates think video interviews cause more stress than in-person interviews.
There are some things you can’t control. Building works next door, flatmates hogging your wi-fi and cats jumping into the frame during the interview.
But here is a simple Do’s and Don’t guide to doing a virtual interview
So turning up on time still applies. This should be an easy one from the comfort of your own home. Make sure you are ready in plenty of time and arrive in your virtual meeting place with at least 5 minutes to spare
Dress as you would for a normal interview. Just because you are only meters from your cozy bed doesn’t give you an excuse to keep your pajamas on for the interview. One of the easiest ways to show that you are right for the role is to present a smart and formal image of yourself.
Check that everything works and you’re in a well-lit and quiet corner of your house. Fumbling around half-way through to find your laptop charger will not be a good look. Neither will sitting in an almost pitch-black room with the noise of the tv in the background.
And finally, make ‘eye-contact’ with the camera. Trying to connect with your interviewer is one of the most crucial aspects of conducting a successful interview.
Don’t be distracted. It takes longer when meeting someone virtually to start to build a connection with them. One of the easiest mistakes to make during a virtual interview is to be distant and distracted from the interviewer.
Don’t read prepared answers. From research carried out by the Harvard business Review, 80 percent of unsuccessful candidates from their study seemed to be reading from a script. The temptation to give yourself extensive notes to refer to on your screen may be strong but it is very easy to spot.
Don’t be too casual. It is easy to slip into your home state if you are at home but you have to remember you are still in a job interview situation. Don’t host the meeting from your sofa just because it is there.
Don’t get the interview time wrong. Just like an interview in-person, making a good first impression is key. Make sure you know when the interview is and turn up on time.
How can Doodle help? With Doodle, you will always know when your next meeting is. By connecting your calendar, Doodle will automatically place your meetings and give you easy access to the meeting link. Find out more about Doodle and how we can help you become a planning expert.