Because of social distancing you may be asked to conduct a virtual interview for a new job via a videoconferencing link or by telephone.
These interviews should be treated in the same manner as a face to face interview would be, and the same etiquette still applies.
However, the difference is that you will be conducting the interview from your home. You must remember that the employer is assessing you for your suitability for the potential job role and even though you are at home you must behave appropriately.
We have created a checklist of what you need to do to prepare yourself for the interview.
The invite to interview may come in the form of a letter, telephone call or email. Read the invite carefully, note dates and times and respond if you are asked to confirm attendance.
Ensure that you have access to a supported device with a functional camera and microphone such as a computer, tablet, laptop or mobile phone. Double check that they are in good working order and make sure you are familiar with the platform the interview will use.
Ensure other people in your house know to be quiet and make sure noise is kept to a minimum. If you can, do a practice run of the interview. You can ask a friend to help to make sure you have the right connections and apps. Have the details about how to join the call at hand and keep the contact number for the interviewers in case something goes wrong.
Check your equipment, make sure it’s charged and if you’re taking notes have the equipment you need.
The interview should be treated in the same way as if you were attending in person. Interview etiquette always needs to be followed and both parties should address each other in a professional manner.
Think about the way that you dress for the interview. Being at home is not an excuse not to make the same effort as if you were attending in person.
Make sure your interview room is set up prior to interview. Is the lighting right for you? Think about your background, make sure that this is clear and tidy. Think about any posters or artwork in the background. Is this appropriate to an interview setting. Does it reflect well on you?
Be aware of time keeping. You may not have to travel but it’s best to be ready for the call early. Remember you may not be able to access the call until the host arrives. Note the names of your interviewers and make sure you have everything you need close to hand.
It’s important to think about your posture. If you are slumped in a chair it doesn't project positivity you will not be able to project your voice. Don't forget that you are on camera and the panel can see your facial expressions and body language.
If you have any questions it is advisable to wait until the end of the call to ask these. Keep your questions clear and concise. At the end of the interview remember to thank the employer for their time and allow a few seconds pause before you end the call.
You have got this far and secured the interview, so the employer is obviously impressed by your skills and experience. Don’t let being interviewed at home deter you. See this as a positive. You have more time to prepare, you are creating a setting that is suitable to your needs and it should create a more comfortable environment.
We have put together a factsheet with a whole range of tips and hints about virtual interviews. This should prove a good starting point.