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5 Tips On Acing Those Important Video Interviews In This Time Of Lockdown

Posted: March 27, 2020

While in lockdown, companies that are hiring are planning and conducting video interviews. If you have one of those scheduled, here are 5 tips to ace it!

Most of us plan and prepare for achieving our goals. These could be goals around scoring the best marks in the exams, or choice of companies that we want to get placed in during college placement. Or even goals around the courses and colleges to join.

The planning and preparation for these goals is usually done based on how it was done in the past. Tips from students who aced their exams, researching about the universities, their courses and admission procedures are ways people prepare for universities. Or observing company trends of the ones that come for campus placements is another way to prep.

It’s not often that local and global emergencies come in the way of our plans, like the Coronavirus which throws all our plans out of gear. While there is uncertainty about how things will pan out in the coming days, there are opportunities that one can look out for.

One such opportunity available to candidates looking for jobs are online interviews. While there were telephonic and video interviews being conducted in the past those were far and few. Especially the ones conducted for experienced professionals.

Students looking for internships and freshers looking for placement would mostly attend face to face interviews. To cope with the corona virus pandemic, organisations are changing their recruitment strategy by shifting to virtual platforms.

Interviews are not being cancelled. Some are being postponed while a lot of them are being conducted over video calls. In fact, there have been some new job openings to cater to the demands that have come through due to this virus.

How does one plan and prepare for a video interview? It is similar in many ways to how one would prep for a face to face interview. So here are some tips to help you ace those interviews!

Commute… to your laptop

You would understand the route map to reach the location for interview, assess the time required to reach and plan upfront the commute. Similarly, the commute to the video interview is just as important too.

Please ensure you have the internet connection and a backup for the same. You could ask the recruiter to have a prior test call to check the platform of their choice works as desired. Ensure that you check both the audio and video settings too.

If you want, you may want to use an external speaker too. Make sure you test the backup internet connection as well. And ensure you have installed the video calling software/app on another device if your original device doesn’t work.

Do not wear pajamas!

If you’re debating on getting out of your pajamas or not, stop thinking and get into your formal wear! Provided that the interviewer may only be able to see your face, dressing up will allow you to control your attitude. And isn’t that the bare minimum the hiring manager will be looking for?

Before your interview, depending on the profile and company you’re applying to.

Prepare- yourself and your space

Continue to research about the organisation and the role that you are being interviewed for. Rehearse your responses by speaking to your device camera. Then play it back to check how your eye contact, smile and engagement with the listener has been.

Usually we do not look into the device camera as we would see the face of the interviewer on the screen below and respond by looking at the screen. A better way would be to look into the camera and respond.

Sometimes, people also look up (beyond the screen and camera), especially when they are collecting their thoughts before responding. This does not give a good impression. Hence, before your interview, it is good to rehearse a few times by recording and reviewing it so you can correct the obvious mistakes you may make.

You may even want to ask someone in your house to play the role of an interviewer from another device so that you get it to perfection. All said and done, do not read from a script!

Have no distractions around you!

Please ensure that you do not have any other websites or applications running on your device when you are on video call. No social media should be in the background as notifications could distract you and the tone could bother the interviewer. Keep your phone on silent and face down next to you, in case that is your backup device.

Follow up but don’t chase them

A good practice for any interview is to follow up with a thank you note for having been given the opportunity to present yourself. If you have mentioned any of your assets, send those to the interviewer after the interview.

Not only does it give a good impression, but adds to your credibility about the subject matter expertise that you carry.

The silver lining with video interviews is that they are becoming faster and more convenient. Do some additional research about how the current pandemic is impacting the industry where you are looking for a job. And how you would like to contribute and make a positive impact if offered the role. Display some empathy but do not ever play being a victim!

Good luck!

Picture credits: Pexels

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My professional experience of 25 years has been in the Information Technology industry managing large

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