Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus earlier this year, we have experienced a surge in remote interviews and with the ongoing need to maintain social distancing, remote interviews are quickly becoming the norm.
At Danos we have been working hard to support our clients and candidates to adapt to this style of interviewing. Scientists have predicted that coronavirus is here for the long haul, so you may need to take practical steps to make sure your interviews run smoothly.
So how do you conduct effective remote interviews? If you are new to remote interviewing or want to improve your process, please read on, as our New York team share with you some practical tips.
Make the best impression:
- Dress professionally – even though you may be working from home, dress as if you are going into the office. A jacket and tie may be overkill in some instances, but all video interviews certainly warrant business attire. No T-shirts, hoodies, pajamas!
- Be early – make sure you are at your desk and 100% ready to go at least 10 minutes before the interview. This will give you time to settle-in and prepare.
- It may be tempting to have a lot of notes pulled up on a second screen or below you. Generally, it is smart to have a copy of your resume but try not to have much else. You do not want to be caught looking down or at a second screen for too long.
- Have a quiet and distraction free interview space – consider the quietest place in your home. A distraction free background is a good way to make an impression.
- Eye contact is key in video interviews. Try looking directly at or slightly to the side of the webcam when possible, and especially when addressing the interviewer. Body language is important, and it can be easy to sit there rigidly, but this runs the risk of not seeming engaged.
- Make sure you know the role and understand it to the best of your ability – Particularly show how your experience relates to the role.
- Ensure you know who you are meeting with and research them – where they are based, what was their career pathway.
- Best practice is to try a test call/video at least a day before with a colleague, family member, or friend so that you can ensure all issues are ironed out beforehand.
- Make sure you have good lighting in your room. Do not interview with a window behind you as the light will cast a shadow on your face, making it hard to see. Sit opposite a window to ensure this does not happen. Overhead lighting or desk lighting is recommended as well. If desk lamps are not available, turn the brightness up on your computer screen which will cast good light.
- Avoid distractions – Close doors, turn off your phone, tell your household that you are in do-not-disturb mode, and be sure to close all other windows on your web-browser to avoid distractions. Try to be in a quiet, visually neutral location for the duration of the interview.
Have the right technology:
- Make sure you have the link for the interview, or the call number well in advance.
- Test internet signal well before the start of the interview to avoid poor connections. Move your modem and router if necessary and if you are in a bigger space, consider investing in Wi-Fi extenders so you are fully covered wherever you plan to take the call.
- We recommend using headphones during your video/phone interview. This ensures that your voice will be picked up clearly and without interference from your external speaker playback.
- Internet speed plays the biggest factor in whether you have a smooth video connection. Most seem to agree that you need at least a 1 Mbps to ensure a good, HD Video connection. You can test your connection by following the link here at https://www.speedtest.net/. Another way to guarantee a smooth connection is by using a wired ethernet connection (if you are using a computer). If a wired connection is not an option, ensure that you are not using any streaming services on your computer or in your household. It is safest to close all programs until after your interview.
- Have a plan in case the technology fails. Ensure that the interviewer or coordinator of your interviews has your email and cell phone number. If you are in contact with the interviewer or coordinator directly, reach out to them as soon as you have issues to ensure no further delays in your interview.
- Most video conference services have an accompanying mobile app for iPhone or Android. Consider downloading and setting these up on your phone just in case, as cellular signal can sometimes be more reliable than Wi-Fi.
Remote interviews are proving to be an effective employee selection method. Many of these tips are applicable to both interviewee and interviewer. Like all interviews it is important to prepare yourself, the environment, and technology.
If you would like advise on remote interviewing please connect with one of our team members https://www.danosassociates.com/team/ and we will be happy to support you.
Danos Associates New York Team