Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s likely that remote job interviews may become the norm for businesses screening applicants. Not only are job interviews over Skype or Zoom safer for all involved, but they can also be conducted more efficiently.
Remote interviews also take hassles such as geography and traffic out of the equation. This means if you’re trying to find jobs in Mandaluyong or anywhere else, you can be in Cebu or a totally different part of the world when you do the first interview. This also benefits the business, as they can widen the pool of applicants well beyond their immediate location.
If you have a Skype or Zoom interview coming up, here are a few tips that will maximize your chances of making a great impression.
1. Prepare the space around you.
Roosters, tricycles, and construction noises seem to be the bane of every other remote interview in the Philippines. While these issues couldn’t always be avoided, they should be minimized as much as possible. Try to have the interview in a quiet space. Make sure family members and housemates understand that you need the place to be quiet when the interview is ongoing.
You should also try to make sure that the space behind you isn’t distracting. Try to make sure that the area behind looks presentable enough in a professional setting. This means any questionable artwork or hanging laundry should be absent.
2. Wear headphones.
Your speakers might be good enough but headphones will ensure that outside noises are far less of a problem than they would otherwise be. They will also help you keep you from getting distracted and help you focus solely on the interview.
3. Use the best equipment available to you.
If you have an older laptop, your webcam might look a bit blurry and the sound quality might not be as good as it could be. This can make it hard for your interviewer to understand you. If you have access to a better computer or webcam, try to see if you could use those instead. You can even try using a newer smartphone as an external camera to improve video quality.
4. Do a test call.
Make sure there are no technical issues by doing a test call well before the scheduled interview. This will help you fine-tune your setup and help reduce the possibility of miscommunication during the call.
5. Dress up for the interview.
At this point, everyone knows that you should dress up for a job interview over Skype or Zoom. What some people don’t realize is that you will want to do more than just have a nice shirt or blouse on. There may be unexpected situations where you’d have to stand up and the interviewer might see something you don’t want them to see. Thankfully, while you generally want to have a nice pair of pants on, being barefoot is completely acceptable.
6. Look at the camera.
This might be one of the trickier things to do. We instinctively look at the interviewer’s video feed in the middle of our screen. Unfortunately, looking at the screen will make it seem you’re looking past the interviewer from their perspective. This can make you appear to be distant and uninterested.
As with a real-world interview, you can connect better with most people by looking at them in the eye. You can do this by looking right in the camera. This will give the interviewer the illusion that you are looking into their eyes, which can signal warmth and interest in the position.
7. Prepare for frequently asked interview questions.
As with any regular job interview, you want to prepare for questions that the HR manager or business owner is likely to throw your way. Thankfully on an online interview, you can prepare by having a document open or a notebook at your side with your possible response.
With a few minor differences, a remote interview through a video app like Skype or Zoom is not that much different from a traditional meeting. However, the subtle differences are big enough that they can potentially determine the success or failure of your application. Do your best to prepare, follow these tips, and you’ll soon find the job you deserve. Good luck and good hunting!