While there are more video online meetings during the coronavirus outbreak, video job interviews are increasingly common as well.
“Video interviews are incredibly useful ways to keep your job hunt going without disruption, particularly in challenging times like these,” said Grant Torrens, regional director at Hays Singapore. “Moreover, they can also give candidates a ‘home’ advantage, as they say in the world of sport.”
However, the perceived lack of real interpersonal interaction during a video interview can be a cause for anxiety for some people, he noted.
To help people overcome their anxiety during video job interviews, Grants has the following tips.
Prepare everything in good time
“Make sure you avoid any embarrassing technical difficulties by installing the necessary programs and software in good time and that you also know what to do if it goes wrong”, Grant advised.
In addition, interviewees need to test their connections and video software plenty of times beforehand by making some practice calls to check sound and picture quality, he added.
“Your interviewer will likely have a busy schedule and won’t be very impressed if you have to keep redialling in,” Grant said. “A good recruitment consultant will help you prepare for the interview and advise you on the kind of questions you are likely to be asked, but it’s really up to you to make sure the technology doesn’t falter.”
Get comfortable over video
According to Grant, people need to avoid the temptation of looking at their own images on the screen, and instead look into the camera to make eye contact with interviewers.
“Don’t forget to smile too. It goes a long way to building rapport,” he said.
Grant also recommends making the interview format suit you.
“If you get stuck on a question, ask if you can move on and come back to this when you have gathered your thoughts,” he noted. “Silences can be difficult when you aren’t in the same room, so try rehearsing with a family member or friend to minimise awkward pauses when you are delivering your response.”
Project confidence, stay calm
It’s important for interviewees to remain professional, stay relaxed, and keep calm, Grant said.
“Where video interviews may cause a delay in the flow of conversation, it’s best to wait and ensure your interviewer has finished their question to stop any confusion and keep your interview on track,” he advised.
When it comes to confidence, body language is key, according to Grant. “Confidence is even more of a decisive factor in video interviews than it is during regular face-to-face interviews,” he pointed out. “Without the encouragement of your self-assured body language, the interviewer might have difficulty reading you. Leave them in no doubt by trying to communicate confidently at all times.”
Finally, Grant advised jobseekers not to panic if a video interview is disrupted or the signal breaks up or the connection is lost. “In this instance, it’s usually best to restart the call,” he said. “Quickly contact your interviewer to update them. They’ll understand it is out of your control, so try not to worry and keep your composure.”