The New Normal: the job interview via video

Many new processes have found their way into professional life. This begins even before the first day at work: many job interviews are now held online.
Written on 8/4/20

Many new processes have found their way into professional life. This begins even before the first day at work: In the meantime, many job interviews take place online, via video chat in Skype, zoom, teams, etc. The situation is not only new and challenging for applicants, but employers and HR staff are also learning the right tone as they get to know each other on the screen.

Even if everything seems new, nothing has changed in the most important parameters: Good preparation, punctuality and a well-groomed appearance are still essential. Of course, the person opposite cannot theoretically see if there are any jogging trousers hidden under the neat blouse, but you can only guess at a complete outfit - after all, you want to concentrate fully on the conversation and not wonder whether the person you are talking to has caught a glimpse of the grey baggy look when the camera is last adjusted.

This brings us to the next point: Setting up the webcam determines the overall impression. It should be positioned so that you look upright into the picture so that you can literally talk at eye level. Also, make sure that your face is in the light - preferably not with your back to the window. Before the conversation, check the sound quality with a test call so that the conversation does not start with anxious seconds of "Can you hear me? This also includes keeping the software to be used up to date - it is best to run an update during the presentation.

Now you no longer present yourself only by your appearance, but also by the choice of background. Since the talks usually take place from home, you inevitably allow a glimpse into your private life. You are welcome to choose a neutral corner in the kitchen, office or living room, a completely white wall, on the other hand, does not look very flattering and sterile. In any case: no beach photos, teddy bears or motivating banners in the background. Of course, most video conferencing tools offer artificial backgrounds, but they look the same: artificial and impersonal. So if possible, a real environment is preferable. By the way, we advise against conversations in a park or café: the danger of distractions and noise is simply too great.

Disturbances should also be prevented within your own four walls: if possible, lock the door to your room. Although we have all laughed at children or cats bursting in on the keyboard during TV interviews in recent months, this would only lead to stressful moments in a job interview. Also, warn everyone in your household - so they don't hear "Honey, I brought toilet paper!"

So if they are perfectly furnished and - as in an interview on location - well prepared for the interview in terms of content, you should only make sure to sit upright and look straight into the camera. If there are any hangs in the transmission, don't panic. Just wait for the faltering moments and start again with your explanations if necessary. Basically, it is advisable not to speak too quickly and to use a little more pauses to give the other person opportunities to participate if there is a delay of a few seconds.
However, for all tips and tricks, the following still applies: It is and remains a job interview. What counts at the core is what experience and skills you bring with you, how you perform and what you would like to know from your potential future employer. Technology serves you and not the other way around.