Saturday, August 15

Preparing for a virtual interview


IN your job search during the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a likelihood that you would be asked to attend job interviews virtually.

This is not a recent scenario. In a survey conducted by organisational consulting firm Korn Ferry in June 2015, almost 75 per cent out of 700 employers used real-time video platforms to interview leading candidates.

Given the present situation that demands businesses to be highly adaptable, virtual interviews might become part of the new normal for employers to expand their talent pool, reduce costs, and ensure the health and safety of themselves and potential employees.

Preparing for a virtual interview is similar to an in-person interview: you need to dress appropriately, practise your answers to potential questions, establish rapport with your interviewer, and follow up after every session.

However, there are some key considerations to remember in order to achieve a successful one.

Test your technology

Being technologically-savvy is one of the most important skills that employers are searching for in a potential employee. Therefore, you must be able to prepare the necessary technology before you can attend a virtual interview.

Set things up at least several days in advance. Check that your Internet connection is reliable, your camera and microphone are functioning, and the right video conferencing software (Zoom, Skype, etc) is installed.

Most importantly, test things regularly until the day before the interview to ensure that they can be used to communicate effectively.

Set your environment

For a virtual interview, an employer’s first impression on you might depend on the environment you choose for the session.

Thus, you should find a quiet location with the least distractions if you want to do it at home. The space you opt for should be well-lit, professional-looking and kept clean to keep the interviewer’s focus on you.

You should also limit any distractions before your interview. Turn off the TV, put your smartphone on silent mode, and inform the people in your home that you need a quiet space for the interview.

Watch your body language

Due to lack of physical connection, your body language is important in expressing your enthusiasm towards getting the job during a virtual interview.

Learn how to communicate through your body language clearly and professionally. Show confidence by sitting up straight, smiling, and refraining from fidgeting.

Looking at the camera is especially helpful – studies have shown that employers tend to remember candidates who maintain eye contact throughout an interview.

Be yourself

When convincing the interviewer why you’re the best person for the job virtually, it is vital to show him or her your authentic self because the interviewer needs to gauge your suitability for the position and the company.

Therefore, leverage your body language, facial expressions, interview preparation, and interpersonal skills effectively to convey your enthusiasm, confidence, and personality across the virtual divide.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.