Emanating from the onset of COVID-19, thousands of companies continue to operate under the work-from-home order. Unemployment remains at a high volume, and many organizations rely heavily on phone and on-screen meetings for their hiring efforts. If you are active in the job search, you can anticipate the use of Zoom, or another video conferencing platform, for the beginning stages of your interview process. While your content preparation remains unchanged in terms of having examples, answers, and questions readily available, your interview’s virtual aspect brings new challenges you may not expect.
1. Fidgeting and glancing at your phone
Haynes advises: “With an in-person interview, you’d never sneak a look at your phone. It’s simply not a behavior you would exhibit in real life. So, we remind people: a video interview is still a face-to-face interview.” Don’t forget to smile – your face is still taking up most of your interviewer’s screen.
If you know yourself to be easily distracted by technology and phone applications such as social media, sports updates, or a need to know who texted you, try muting your notifications. If you fear this won’t stop you, turn your device off or keep it in a different room. In the brief 15-45-minute conversation, there is unlikely to be an update worth more than your shot at a new job.
2. Darting eyes across the screen
In a virtual interview, maintaining steady eye contact is even more critical than the typical in-person interview. Hiring managers often measure your level of eye contact to gauge your interest in joining their organization. Always looking around will make you appear disinterested or inattentive. One great tip you can quickly implement is to hide the ‘self-view’ feature during meetings. Removing the view will ensure you do not get caught staring at yourself and worrying about your appearance rather than actively listening.
3. Visibly worried and distracted
Every job seeker fears the uncontrollable aspects of their interview, such as a child entering the room and screaming or a pet demanding attention. Since COVID-19 began shutting down offices, Haynes affirms, “the human element is just pouring through.” In many ways, the pandemic has defaulted a more real, human experience for both sides of the webcam.
What can you do to limit your home office-related distractions? Find a private space and request an hour of quiet from your family members or roommates. If this is not plausible for your current situation, consider completing your interview outside your home.
4. Boring, unenthusiastic answers
If you offer weak, lackluster answers, you will leave your interviewer with nothing of note. Be sure to have questions prepared for the end of your interview and answers for these commonly asked questions. What indicates a weak and ‘boring’ answer? You share too many details and focus on what you did in your previous role, rather than why you did it and the impact you had. However, you must not come off as too rehearsed or scripted in your replies.
Comparable to how you must keep your body language engaged in conversation, your answers must keep your evaluator engaged. Think back to an obstacle you faced in your career and how you overcame it. Practice telling your story and speaking confidently about your qualifications.
For more great insight and tips to review before your next interview, check out Bowe’s full article here.
If you join the millions operating under the work-from-home order, check out these essential tips for Setting Up An Effective Workspace at Home.