Virtual interviews are growing in popularity and even two years into this new existence, there are trivial things that interviewees do that irk interviewers. Gradlinc investigated this conundrum and learned that there are three main things that interviewees are still doing wrong.
In an organic interview, and if things are going well, conversation flows naturally, and one tends to use acknowledging sounds and words to keep the conversation flowing. This does not work in a virtual space because most software only recognises one voice at a time. So, if you are ‘umming’ and ‘ahhing’ to acknowledge comments from your interviewer, you are disrupting the process. The best solution is to keep yourself muted and unmute yourself to respond only after the interviewer has finished their sentence. Relating to this, studies have also shown that people struggle to keep focused during virtual meetings so ensure that you keep your responses short and to the point. Don’t break out into a long-winded story because you will lose your audience.
It is becoming more common for companies to expect a small presentation from the interviewee. This means that you may have to share your screen with your interviewer. There are numerous videos and memes on the internet of people who have accidentally shared personal screens online but as hilarious as this is, you don’t want this to happen in an interview because it makes you appear unprofessional and ill prepared. Make sure you have only the essential documents open and also that your desktop background is professional. Your interviewer does not need to see a picture of your pet, spouse, or child. Neither do they need to see a picture of you sipping margheritas on a beach with your friends, with the hashtag YOLO floating around.
An advantage of organic meetings is that the interviewer can read your body language a lot better. This is difficult to relay in a virtual environment. So, what do you do to still appear accommodating and forthcoming? It is common knowledge that everyone should sit in a quiet environment, appropriately dressed with no distracting backgrounds, but to give yourself an even greater advantage, you should place yourself centrally on the screen and look into the camera! Do not look at yourself or at the person who you are directing your response to. If you look straight into the camera, it appears that you are making direct eye contact.
These three suggestions may seem trivial or obvious, and you might be thinking that you have already mastered them, but you won’t know this for sure unless you record yourself in a mock interview. Any credible recruiter or career officer will tell you to practice being interviewed beforehand. Gradlinc fully supports this idea and is very excited to be able to provide you with tips and tools to practice with. Watch this space in the new year as we will provide you with more tools you to practice for interviews.