In a world without borders, where companies are getting more global by the second and job opportunities overseas are no longer the exception to the rule, it’s increasingly common for initial job interviews to take place remotely.
How? By using video technology which bring candidates and hirers together from afar.
It might be a Skype call, where the interviewer and candidate have a conversation via a webcam, or a pre-recorded interview where the candidate responds to pre-set questions in the form of a monologue.
In both cases, it’s vital that you’re not caught unprepared. If you’re not used to speaking to a camera, now is the time to get into the habit. You can practice either on your own, recording your performance, or with someone on the other end of the line, to recreate the real-life video interview experience. This will help you to perfect the technical side of things and make sure everything will run smoothly for the main event.
Before your interview, take care to choose a good location, positioning yourself in front of a clean, neutral background. Choose suitable clothing, making sure you don’t look too informal, despite the fact that it’s a remote interview. Remove all forms of outside distractions (i.e. turn off your mobile phone and close any social networks) and keep notes and useful documents close by, but out of sight of the webcam.
During the video interview, it’s vital that you pay great attention to your choice of words, as well as to your posture, hand movements, gestures and the way you look on camera. And finally, don’t forget to maintain eye contact with the interviewer. This is no easy task when using a webcam, but it’s something that really does make all the difference.
Once you’ve memorised these simple tips, it’s important that you don’t overlook the fact that while hiring specialists at companies are experts at analysing the finer details of your CV, they also increasingly use online profiles to garner valuable information about their candidates.
Therefore, it’s fundamental that you take care to closely manage your online presence. In the digital era, our reputation, image and the way others view us is no longer just down to the way we behave in everyday life – our online behaviour is an increasingly important factor too.
We’ve identified some practical advice to help you avoid falling into the many traps concealed on the world wide web.
1. Take care of your professional profile
Almost all companies now say that one of their favourite social networks is LinkedIn, with almost 90% of company having selected at least one candidate via the business-only platform. So what are the golden rules when creating an attractive LinkedIn page? First up is to use your real name and surname (no nicknames!), to accurately outline your background, to list your skills in a succinct manner (preferably a simply list of key words) and to use a suitable profile picture (doing this alone will increase your chances of getting noticed and selected 14 times over). You should also regularly – at least twice a week – publish business content linked to your sector. Existing articles you’ve found on the internet are absolutely fine – it just shows that you’re on the ball.
2. Protect your private life
Did you know that 75% of hirers will do online searches into the private lives of their candidates during the recruitment process? And that 70% of them have crossed names off their lists based on nothing more than what they’ve found on the web?
You simply can’t afford to mix your business profile with your private life – which is quite rightly an informal domain. For this reason, make sure that your personal social media pages are private and only accessible by friends. Don’t mix work and play on the web, and keep a close eye on any inappropriate content that crops up.