As we head into a whole new world order, things will certainly be changing in recruitment and work life. This is all in the hope that companies and businesses can still thrive after what we’ve aptly called at Harvey John; ‘a small Blip’. Remote working and working from home has already started to become a trend that many employers have embraced and will be more widely implemented by most companies for the next couple of weeks or (more likely, sorry!) months.
So, while you may be stuck indoors and despairing, take a deep breath and have a chat with one of a recruitment consultant. There are jobs that companies will have which you can do from the comfort of your own home. This is when the internet and phones are a godsend (thank you Tim Berners-Lee and Alexander Graham Bell for your wonderful inventions!). Interviews will be reliant on these forms of communication to see whether you might be the right fit for their company. You might be worrying how exactly do you stand out when you aren’t face to face? Hopefully this blog will help ease any anxiety around that.
1. Interruptions and surroundings
We’ve all seen the clip of the BBC News interview, interrupted by a child wandering into the home office and, as funny as it is, it’s not what you want to present to a future employer. However, with schools closed for the foreseeable future, you may be stuck at home with your children. The best thing is trying to get your children distracted for the time of your interview, with the help of your partner/adults in the house or, if you’re a single parent, it might be the perfect time to crack out the ipad! Pop yourself somewhere quiet with a good wifi signal.
Something parents and non parents alike need to think about is the backdrop of your video interview. Make sure to have nothing too distracting in the background, good lighting so you can be seen properly and, though it sounds obvious, make sure TVs, radios, and music are off.
2. Still do your research
Just because it’s not your typical interview setting, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare like it is - you don’t want to pretend the camera is frozen because you can’t answer a question! Research is still key and the bonus of a video interview is you can have your notes with you. The real challenge is making sure you are still making eye contact and not constantly looking down at your notes. For help with gathering your research take a look at Interview tips from an Actor: Part 2.
3. Be presentable
Being stuck at home for a while, you may get used to a certain attire of jogging bottoms and comfy pyjamas, you don’t have to dress up for anything so why should you? With a video interview, they can still see a lot of you! So make sure you dress accordingly as it’ll make you look like you’re willing to make an effort, are professional, and will also boost your self esteem, making you still feel part of the real world. Although it’s not necessary, I’d advise you to wear a complete outfit, just in case you have to get up at all during your interview, you don’t want to be business at the top and superhero jammies on the bottom!
Good lighting always helps. Firstly, so you can be seen and secondly, it can help you look better on camera. Natural light is always the best to not make you look washed out, so try sitting opposite a window before you get on that video call.
4. Facial expressions and body language
Much of what was covered in Interview tips with an Actor: Part 1 can still apply to a video interview, just concentrating on the upper half of your body! You still want to appear engaged, interested, and listening. Keeping your body posture upright, shoulders relaxed, and with slight lean towards the camera (not too close!) all gives a positive impression to the interviewer. Avoid slouching, crossing your arms, and fidgeting (you can do that off camera). The bonus of being on camera is you can turn your webcam on before the interview takes place and watch how you come across. Also, you’ll need to factor in that it’ll probably (depending on your set up) be an up close shot of your face, so just be aware of that.
This might be ‘old hat’ to some of you who have worked remotely previously but for a lot of us this is brand new territory so I hope these tips help you feel confident and ready!
Alex Louise is a member of the Operations team at Harvey John.
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