Whether in-person on via video, a successful first interview comes down to engaging with the interviewer and recognising that these situations are not here as a ‘test.’ However, why do people feel slightly more comfortable with video?
Jaime Rana says, “From conversations with candidates over the past year, there is a feeling that online interviews do feel slightly more relaxed. For instance, the planning and anxiety of travel is taken away and all set in an informal and familiar environment. What you then have is concentration on the purpose of the interview, to get to know each other better. Remember, it is fact-finding for both sides.”
“Home environments have helped people to be open and comfortable. This can only be of benefit to candidates.”
However, remote interviews are not all plain sailing, Sally Bennett knows that people feel uneasy on screen. “There have been occasions where an interviewing team are in the same room as each other and wore facemasks. This presented a difficult situation for candidates who were unable to read the small facial hints of a smile which can prevent others feeling at ease.”
Sally continues, “It has been known for candidates to be rejected by being let down by the tech. I would say have a basic understanding of the platform being used and an adequate setup that provides a decent level of audio, visual and internet connection.”
Rob Bruce knows it is still possible to read the room, even for remote interviews and shares some advice. “Just because it is via video, take advantage of the space you can see and also the prep you need to do before. Some feedback I had is that during a candidate interview they could see rugby shirts on the employers' wall. They asked the question, ‘who is the rugby fan?’ they instantly found a common ground. Any interview is challenging but make it work to your advantage. As well as more info on the company, know the people who are interviewing you.”
Rob also highlights the importance of mirroring behaviour of the other person can still be achieved remotely. “I would say follow what the interviewer is doing, the lean into the screen, the hands that move, all provide cues. Both sides want to feel comfortable, this can still be achieved when we are sitting in different places.”
An interview is still an interview, no matter the preferred medium, there are drawbacks to any delivery, but the goal is still the same, to recognise the role being offered and how it ties in with your career goals.
When you find ways to make the whole experience engaging and use the screen to your advantage to put you in a positive position.