The in-person job interviews seem so distant in the past from this point of view. The last in-person interview at our company was more than 8 months ago. The coronavirus pandemic simply changed that scenario as well. Although in the beginning the traditional interviewing process was completely new for us and according to several testimonials, to some candidates as well, the new reality was inevitable and the safety and health of all the parties involved was the absolute priority.
On the plus side, there was no planning and checking the online maps several times to make sure you will not miss the time and the office address, calculating the traffic conditions into the equations, opting for the dress code to be comfortable but yet not to be ruined by travelling in the public transport or sitting in the car, and be aligned with the dress code of the company you are visiting. On the downside, one of the biggest worries was the lack of body language clues, especially at the very beginning of the pandemics when video call etiquette was not widespread and more clear.
This article is to provide some best interviewing tips we gathered from our experience (Hint: technical interviews will be discussed in a separate article.) So, let’s jump in and see how to make the transition from a virtual job seeker to a new team member, nail some classic interview steps and upgrade them to the online version.
Research, research and some more research
As with many things, the preparation for the interview itself starts way before the interview happens.
Do the homework and spend some time finding the key information about company you have been invited to and you will be more confident at the interview itself. Start with basic leads such as the company’s website, deep diver into social media area, and employee reviews on relevant platforms.
Use other resources available to you, such as the LinkedIn profile of your interviewer to check their background. Also, make sure you have regularly updated your LinkedIn profile in case the interviewer decides to have a quick look at that too.
Lights, camera, action!
Preparing the steps and the set up so that you look neat and comfortable at the same time is still on. However, this time instead of jeans and shoes, there are some other factors to take into consideration.
In video job interviews, lighting, camera angle, the visible outfit and the background all in all can help you look neat, prepared and organized.
The best option for a background would be an uncluttered space with as less things behind you as possible.
(Note: Speaking of virtual background, although most of video calling platforms have more and more of them to choose from, don’t go too far. It is rarely a good idea to experiment with the different types of background options in the tool while presenting yourself for the first time. A blurred one will do just fine. The point is that the focus is on you, not the summer or outer space scenery in the back.)
Not many of us planned a year or so ago that our living space will become our working space
And it is totally all right if you do not have an office lighting in your working area. Yet, still, you could do some tweaks as to have enough light. Best choice is if there is a chance to sit across the window that is facing you. Light of a lamp reflecting off a wall is usually a good choice too.
Have your camera at eye level or somewhat above. If you are using a laptop, a couple of books beneath it can do the trick when it comes to the right height.
Of course, no matter how hard you prepared there is a chance of someone entering the viewport or running with a ball behind you, or something similar. Don’t worry about that. Chances are the interviewer is facing the same challenges.
Let me double-check it
No matter how well prepared is your environment, technical difficulties can come out of nowhere. Major breakdown of your Internet provider, plumbers accidentally cut off the Internet cable, your cat tripped of a router and switched it off, you name it.
What you can do is to check if your computer has stable power supply. Some people say it is a good practice to keep your phone close by (in silent mode, naturally), so you could ring the interviewer if anything unexpected comes up.
If an interviewer set up a meeting in a video call platform you do not usually use, it would be a good idea to go through it a day or two before. Check out where are basic funtionalities, how they crop web camera view, and if all audio and video settings are in place. You could even try a call with a friend or a family member and check it in action and spare yourself any additional stress when the scheduled interview comes.
A bit of practicing
It is no brainer that there will be some standard questions on the interviewr’s part. Some Googling may give you the answer about the common ones. While questions like Where do you see yourself in five years? How many engineers are needed to switch a light bulb? can be heard sporadically, they are not that common.
What is to be expected though are popular behavioral questions. They focus on the examples from your experience when you faced a problem and, of course, how you solved it and what you learned from it.
Also think about the answer to the question what you are bringing to the table and why they should consider you among other applicants. Flexibility and self-management are some of the qualities that will be highly valued, especially in the remote mode of working. Don’t be surprised if they ask you for an example or two for this too.
And yes, don’t fall into the trap of speaking ill of your current or previous employers. Sure, things do not always end nice, but everybody wants a problem solver who found a way to overcome a tough situation.
Do you have any questions for us?
This is how most interviewers are going to conclude the interview. No matter if it is in-person or online interview, this is still considered as one of the hints how interested you are in the position. Yet, beware of the questions to which the answers are obvious in the job description or are easily found on the website.
Some of the handy ones may be:
– What would be my day-to-day responsibilities?
– How many members are there in a team I would be working with?
– What methodology the team is using in their work?
– What does the further process look like?
– What do you like best about working at this company?
So, do you have any questions for us?
P.S. For more information about open positions at ProDevs, follow this link to our Careers page.
Business Development Manager
Njegoseva 45, 5th floor 11000 Belgrade