Virtual interviews are significantly rising over the last few years, especially after the covid pandemic. They are simple, cost-friendly, and save recruiter from scheduling and rescheduling troubles. Around sixty percent of hiring managers have migrated from in-person interviews to video interviews.
There are two types of interviews commonly conducted over virtual space: two-way interview and one-way interview. In the former, candidates have to give the interview via a video call. In one way interviews, candidates have to make a video answering pre-scripted interview questions. Both types of video interviews carry the same pattern as in-person interviews, but they also come with some unique challenges. In the last 6 months I have gone through two video interviews, one was sent via Ducknowl and other was conducted via Zoom. I have learnt a lot in terms of how to prepare for a video interview and I am summarizing my understanding so that you can be better prepared for a video interview scenario.
Check out these ten video interview mistakes you need to avoid at any cost
1.Bad camera angle
Position the camera angle properly in a way that perfectly captures your face and at least half of your torso. The last thing you need is a cropped-up and out-of-focus camera angle focused on your chip more than your face. Place the camera online to the top part of your head. Sitting a little farther away will give your screen more room to breathe.
2. Looking upward or downward
Not maintaining eye contact can make you look lack confidence and unprepared. Try to maintain clear eye contact with your interviewer by looking directly at the camera. This basic rule of engagement is the same for both in-office and virtual interviews.
3. Interviewing at a distracted surrounding
Leave aside all your work or essential calls and stay focused on your interview. This shows discipline and determination for the job. Since you are interviewing via home, it’s a high chance your phone will ring, or someone arrives at your door unannounced. Keep your phone in silent mode as long as the interview lasts. Check your calendar, ensuring you don’t have any guests or delivery coming. Posting a ‘don’t disturb’ on your door can also help.
4. Bad internet connection
As convenient as it may sound, interviewing at the comfort of your home has its limitations, and one of them is a bad internet connection. Check your broadband connection, ensuring it runs at full speed. Update your mobile data plan and keep it as a backup. Test the connection by calling your friends or family before the interview starts. Ask them whether they can listen and see you clearly over the connection.
5. Assembling everything at the last minute
Make sure to turn on the system device at least 30 minutes before the interview and check the internet connection, mouse, and keyboard. Always keep a backup of components to avoid last-minute trouble. As discussed above, try to open the software and call a friend to check the video call quality.
Keep your operating software updates the last time you turn off your device. Turn off the auto-update feature or restart the device after the update process is completed.
Note for Windows 10 users: Never choose the ‘update and turn off’ option as windows will update the remaining files once you restart the system next, which will consume more than 30 minutes of your time.
6. Not wearing proper attire
Dressing code is something not to be toyed with. Even though you are at home doesn’t mean your interviewer won’t judge your personality and appearance. Well, that also doesn’t mean you have to wear a blazer on a hot day. Avoid clothes with patterns and stripes as they can appear distorted on video calls. Keep everything safe by sticking with block colors with solid patterns, such as mixing black or navy blue with beige trousers.
7. Lack of tidiness
The surrounding a person tells a lot about them. An unkempt room with flash posters or a wet towel on the floor may make you an unorganized person. First, clean up your surroundings, and choose a place where your interviews cannot notice much except a plain background.
8. Improper lighting
It goes both ways but starting an interview where your interviewer can’t see your face can leave a wrong impression. Make sure to select a place with ample natural light. Otherwise, you can sit by facing towards a light source.Warm lights, recessed lights, or ring lights make your face look brighter and sharper.
9. Trying to get over with it
Interviews are often stressful and overwhelming. As a result, most candidates try to answer as much as possible in a small time frame, expecting it to end as soon as possible.
An interviewer can easily detect your state of mind through your facial expression and body language. Instead, you need to relax and take things slowly. Think of the interview as an opportunity to impress your interviewer through your domain knowledge, soft skills, and social skills. Always listen to the interview questions completely before answering them. Take a few seconds to draft a perfect answer and make sure your opening statement is catchy enough to grab your interviewer’s attention.
10.Picking a bad location
Always conduct a virtual interview in a closed and noiseless environment like your home or office. Attending the interview inside a transport vehicle or having pets nearby shows that you are disinterested in the job.
11.Don’t wear distracting colors and white
You want the interviewer to focus on what you’re saying. You should avoid white colors because they are super bright and very distracting.
12. Send a thank you note
Just because it is a video interview doesn’t mean we can ignore the basics. It still matters and while most people dont reply back, they still expect it.
Have a backup internet source and device in case something happens. If you have a phone internet, you can tether to your laptop if your internet stops working.
Don’t use cue cards or, even worse, full documents on the screen. It will be evident to the interviewer. Do you go to interviews with cue cards? NO. That’d be super weird. You can have some general topics to remind yourself about what you need to cover. If they are questions for after the interview, you can write those down. You can do that in regular discussions as well.
15. Time Zone
This is important to Triple-check the time zones with whoever is setting up the interview. I once got a call at 4 am, even though I had double-checked. If it happens, it’s not a big deal, but it’s better to avoid it because waking up at 3 am sucks. If it is the recruiter’s fault, send an email to explain what happened.
Because the internet causes delays, wait two-three seconds after the person is done to avoid talking over them. You can let them know about this in the beginning.
Many companies are switching to or have entirely switched to the video interview model, making many people extremely nervous. While the core concepts of interviewing remain the same, there are many things that you need to prepare for when you are doing a video interview because most of the companies doing the hiring process through recruitment softwares.
Nothing impresses an interviewer more than being confident and well-prepared. Like in-person interviews, you must come prepared by doing proper research about the job profile, company name, mission vision, and information about the owner. Take your time to memorize the information, and above all, avoid reading the answer from your computer screen because an interviewer can figure it out in a second.