News & Insights
8 Shocking Mistakes to Avoid in Virtual Interviews
How Tech Jobs Opportunities Are Wasted
You’re progressing well in your applications for jobs in technology. You have received several invitations for virtual interviews. You should be excited at the prospect of coming closer to landing your dream tech job. Instead, you’re overcome with nerves. You haven’t yet been invited for a second interview.
In a survey conducted by Small Business Trends asking people what makes them most nervous, job interviews came in higher than a visit to the dentist.
According to Handshake, 89% of organizations are now conducting interviews virtually.
Whether you’re a confident interviewee or riddled with nerves, you’re at risk of blowing a successful outcome if you make the mistakes we commonly see in virtual interviews.
Read on to discover all you need to know to exhibit the promising candidate you are in virtual interviews.
Mistake #1: Being Unprepared
Being unprepared is a risky business in any interview, but more so when they’re virtual and technology is thrown in the mix. Don’t make the mistake of not giving a virtual interview the same preparation you would an in-person interview.
Here’s how best to prepare:
- Research the company, the role, and the interviewer and have a strong understanding for each
- Prepare your answers – consider who they need for the role, and how your skills will help you support your answers
- Think of some questions – you will be expected to ask questions about the role and the next steps in the hiring process
- Check your technology – make sure your audio, camera, and speakers are all working beforehand and on the day
Mistake #2: Wrong Dress Code
You’ve dodged the pressure of dressing for HQ, but don’t be laid back about your attire. Attending the virtual interview in casual gear will lead the interviewer to believe you don’t care much for the role.
Another mistake we’ve seen otherwise great candidates make is dressing smartly down to the waist – then being caught wearing pajamas below the waist when they stand up.
Even if your skills are exceptional, you’ll be the standout candidate for all the wrong reasons.
Turnaround for virtual interviews is often quick. Before you’re invited, have a smart yet comfortable suit ready and pressed. Avoid flashy accessories that may cause lighting issues on-screen. And dress from head to toe!
Mistake #3: A Damaging Backdrop
Your resume says you’re organized and a meticulous worker, but behind you there’s piles of dirty dishes, and a very questionable photo of your party days. Everything else you claim on your resume will be questioned.
Tidy up. Sit down in your chosen interview spot, and look at the screen – what will the interviewer see? Make sure your background supports your claims of organization and pride.
Mistake #4: Fidgeting and Looking at Your Phone
You’re clicking away at your pen, agitating the interviewer. You’re half-way through answering how you’re committed to the task in hand and achieving results, and your phone pings. You pause to check it – and immediately kiss goodbye to your dream job.
Switch your phone off. Nothing is as important as this small window to prove your commitment to a role.
Practice keeping your hands on your lap when listening, and using your hands for gentle body language when talking.
Mistake #5: Lack of Eye Contact
A common problem for virtual interviews. You’re looking at the screen when you’re talking, as opposed to the camera. The interviewer needs eye contact to connect with you, but instead you’re distracted with your image or think you are looking at the interviewer.
When you’re listening, look at the interviewer on-screen. When you’re talking, look into the camera. And minimize your on-screen image.
Mistake #6: Reacting to Disturbances
You eliminated the disturbances you could, but someone knocks on the door, or your child escapes childcare and enters the room. You panic, appear agitated and flustered, and the scene escalates.
These things happen in the world of remote working. How you deal with them is what matters. Excuse yourself, react calmly, resolve the situation, and return with a courteous thank you for their patience.
Mistake #7: Inappropriate Username
‘OK, who is our next candidate, let’s see… firstname.lastname@example.org.’
Change inappropriate usernames long before your job search commences.
Mistake #8: Being Late
You didn’t check your technology, and now you’re struggling to sign on. Or you’re just chilled about it all because you’re interviewing from home. The interviewer won’t wait. They’ve got other candidates who were prepared and committed.
On the morning of your interview, check that your connectivity is fine. Have a back-up contact in case there are problems, and sign on to the invite 10 minutes before your slot.
Virtual Interviews Are a Gateway to Your Tech Career
Technology has been the hero in keeping the world spinning throughout the pandemic, and the future has been hot-stepped to change and connect faster. Virtual interviews allow businesses to grow, and careers to progress. Make sure you avoid these common virtual interview mistakes by adopting the easy solutions we suggest, and land the tech job you’ve always wanted.
At NexTech we’ve matched thousands of applicants to their ideal job opportunities in tech. Contact us today and we’ll get your career fast-tracked, as well as providing invaluable help before, during, and after your job search.
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