An interview is an important process which becomes successful when a recruiter maps a suitable candidate and a candidate grabs the best opportunity. Traditionally, this was a very compact process involving travelling to the venue and long waiting hours but the upcoming trend of the virtual interview has ended this tiring, time taking practice.
A virtual interview, also known by the name video interview, is a job interview that employs video technology to allow the discussion to take place remotely. Rather than face-to-face meetings, the interviewer and candidate connect online using video software.
There are various reasons why this is becoming a trend these days and some prominent reasons are; Virtual interviews enable managers to get a sense of intangible qualities like professionalism and body language better than the telephonic interview. Hiring officials can look over the pre-recorded interviews of the applicant whenever they get some time instead of taking out time according to the interviewees. It is also a cheaper way to interview a remote candidate otherwise earlier the candidates were paid for the travel. As said, "Time is money", this way of interviewing saves the time and this is a big factor for both, the company and the candidate.
We can achieve success in any field if we start by understanding it.
Understanding virtual interviews
Virtual interviews can be broadly classified into two categories- live and on-demand interviews.
Live virtual interviews are two-way interactions conducted online in real-time using virtual meeting or video conferencing software. These interviews are scheduled in advance. It enables employers and applicants to communicate in real-time without being in the same location. Platforms which can be used are like Skype, Zoom, Blue Jeans, Google Meet, WebEx, etc.
Another kind of virtual interview process is on-demand interviews. It is more user-friendly and automates the pre-screening process as it allows the candidates to respond by recording the predetermined interview questions according to their comfort. And this is also extended to the employer by giving them the privilege to evaluate the responses as per their schedule.
Because of the above-mentioned reasons and its ability to reach a great number of applicants in just moments in a short time frame, these virtual interviews are better in every way.
Things to remember
- A virtual interview is completely dependent on technology so it is very important to check a few related things:
- Check internet connectivity, camera and proper working of the microphone.
- Find a spot which has proper light and minimum distractions so that it does not give a shabby appearance and create no disturbances while the interview was conducted.
- In a virtual interview, one should dress in exactly the same way as in a face-to-face interview. Doing this will not only make you look professional but will also give you immense confidence which will help you crack the interview. Even though the interview is from a remote place it should be taken as formal as a traditional one.
- Let it be an exam or an interview, they all demand just one thing and that is practice. Anyone can achieve success if proper time is given for preparation. Even when the candidate has a computer with him/her, doesn't mean that they should rely on some script or find answers on the system. Prepare so that a healthy, natural conversation can be maintained and the interviewer can know your actual qualities.
- Building rapport is essential in any industry as it lets you separate yourself from other candidates and also helps in building a personal connection with the interviewer. During a face-to-face interview, your spirit, body language, handshake and early introduction, helps you create that connection with your potential manager. But during virtual communication, it is important to find ways to maintain this rapport, this can be done by finding common interests and having a small conversation on it, asking the interviewer's experience in the industry and finding a chance to talk about some ongoing topics of the industry.
Acing an interview- tips and tricks
- Research- You must know your stuff when it comes to the interview day. By understanding what products and services the company deals with, the market it trades in and also getting an idea of its overall plan, you are already showing that you are interested in working with the company and have the enthusiasm to learn. This research can start by having a look at the company's website and its profiles on different platforms like LinkedIn etc. This will prepare you with a very important and one of the most asked questions of an interview. "What do you know about this company?" and will also give you a better understanding of the firm you are applying for and the position and roles you probably can have.
- Maintaining social media profiles- Make sure your professional profiles like that on LinkedIn should be properly maintained and updated while personal profiles like that on Instagram should have a proper privacy to avoid any visit from employers.
- Answering- An interview is a time to sell yourself. It may appear wrong but it needs an understanding. Any company or brand will employ you only if they will find you the best among a huge number of aspirants. The competition is tougher and to ace at this, it is important to make employers realise what an opportunity they will miss if they don't hire you. For this to happen you have to make sure that you reflect some very important qualities which are in great demand and have an upper hand to the hard skills and they are:
- Show that you are a learner. Employers are eager to work with people who are learner and are adaptable as any industry you work in, each and every industry is ever evolving which demands great understanding, will to learn and change.
- Employers love to work with people who are a pleasure to be around as in a work environment which has deadlines there is already very much stress so an individual who can reduce stress by his/her presence is always favourable.
- Be confident and maintain eye contact (during live interview) with each interviewer.
- While answering any competency-based-questions (e.g. describe a situation where you demonstrated managerial qualities etc.), follow the STAR technique. The STAR technique (Situation, Task, Action and Result) helps you with a basic format as to how you should answer these questions without missing any important part.
Every interview has a common question i.e., "Tell us about your experience in your last job or during ABC project." While answering these types of questions the main focus should always be on the impact that you had on the project/job as the employer's motive behind this question is not to know about your previous job or project but it is just to know what skills you have and how those skills can work for them.
So, for instance, they asked you about the last project you were doing so reply with mentioning the time/ money that was saved due to your hard work or skills and remember to mention the awards that were given to you for the appreciation of the effort you have shown.
“An interview is nothing more than a conversation to decide the profits a company can have if they hire you.”