Author: Frederick Ezekiel Pasco
Gone are the days when interviews are conducted consistently in one physical place. The interview process is still a huge part of any job search, but with the rise of remote work and COVID-19 the remote interview model is starting to gain significant traction in the job searching scene. There’s not a lot of differences between a classic interview and a video interview but there are some key differences that are more than enough to make a distinction with.
1. Time Zones
If you’re in California and looking to work remotely for a company in New York, you should be well aware of the exact time your interview will take place. If the time zone is not shown in the schedule they gave you, always ask. It’s better to be extra prepared than risk looking unprofessional because you didn’t show up on time to a scheduled interview. This happens more often than you’d think, and it's one of the easiest interview gaffes to prevent.
2. Tech Check
As much as we’d all wish we had flying cars and hoverboards by now, we’re still left with modern technology that sometimes seems like it decides to just stop working for no reason. One of the best ways to prevent this is 30 minutes to an hour before your interview, fire up your device and make sure it’s working, your internet is stable, your camera is clear and working, and your mic can receive sound. Video interviews are fantastically convenient and a great way to continue a job search in the era of social distancing, but if your device stops working properly during your interview they can quickly become a nightmare. Ask a friend to have a video call using whatever platform you'll be using for your interview to make sure everything is in good working order. You’ll save yourself from stress and heartache later.
3. Body Language
70% of communication is non-verbal and this includes the facial expressions and body language that can be seen on a video call. Though both you and your interviewer are not in the same room, the person on the other side of the screen can still see you via your camera. Remember to still use hand gestures and facial expressions to overcome the physical limitations of the platform. You want to still come across as human and not a robot.
4. Background Distractions
Since you’ll be in your home during the interview, you have full control of whatever the interviewer sees on their screen. You don’t want them to see your dog walking around or your TV playing the news in the background. In general, the best practice is to find a place with good natural light (if you don’t have an artificial ringlight) and a plain-colored wall. The less designs or distractions behind you, the more focus your interviewer will have on you and rightfully so!
In sports parlance, video interviews are your home games which means you have the homefield advantage. Better not waste every chance you have.