There’s no such thing as being too prepared when it comes to job interviews. And with more and more companies conducting interviews virtually, it’s important to be aware of the unique considerations that come with interviewing online.
Just because a job interview takes place virtually doesn’t mean the stakes are any lower. In fact, you may even have to work a little harder to make a good impression since you’re not meeting in person. In addition to the nerves that come with any interview, you also have to contend with the added pressure of appearing professional and composed on camera.
There are certain mistakes that can be the difference between getting hired or not. In this blog, I’m going to share the top 5 mistakes that candidates make in interviews. These are very common errors and could cost you an opportunity at your dream job. Keep reading for more information.
#1 Not dressing professionally
It’s important to remember that first impressions still count in a virtual interview, even though you’re not meeting in person. That means dressing the part. Dressing professionally shows that you’re taking the interview seriously and are respectful of the company’s time. It also conveys that you would be a professional employee if they were to hire you.
On the other hand, not dressing professionally can send the message that you don’t take the interview or the company seriously. It can also make it tougher for the interviewer to take you seriously. So, even though you’re not meeting in person, remember to dress for success in your virtual interview.
#2 Being unprepared
Being unprepared for a virtual interview is a recipe for disaster. You’ll not only come across as disorganized and unprofessional, but you also won’t be able to take advantage of the many edges that virtual interviews have to offer.
Virtual interviews provide an opportunity to do some serious research on your interviewer. Take advantage of this by looking up their LinkedIn profile, reading their blog or watching interviews they’ve given in the past. When the time for the interview comes, you’ll have a good sense of their style and what they’re likely to ask.
This also includes checking your device beforehand. Be certain you have a strong and stable internet connection and that your camera and microphone are working properly. Use an online webcam test tool to check your setup in advance. There’s nothing worse than technical difficulties getting in the way of a good interview.
#3 Talking too much or not enough
In a traditional job interview, it’s important to strike a balance between talking too much and not saying enough. The same is true for virtual interviews.
If you talk too much, you risk coming across as nervous or unprepared. Worse, you might end up saying something that damages your candidacy. On the other hand, if you don’t say enough, the interviewer might think you’re not interested in the job or that you don’t have enough to contribute.
The key is to strike a balance. Prepare ahead of time by brainstorming a few talking points that you want to make sure you hit during the interview. Then, practice delivering these points naturally and conversationally.
Remember, the goal is to have a back-and-forth conversation, not to give a one-sided monologue.
#4 Distractions in the background
The last thing you wish is for your interviewer to be distracted by something in your background. It could be a messy room, loud noise or even something as innocuous as a picture on the wall.
To avoid this, take a look around your room and identify anything that might be a potential distraction. If possible, move it out of frame or eliminate it entirely. You should also close any windows or doors to minimize noise from outside.
It’s also a great idea to let anyone else in your household know that you’re going to be interviewed so they can avoid making noise during the call. If you have young children, this might mean hiring a babysitter for the interview duration.
#5 Not paying attention to body language
Body language is a crucial part of the equation in a traditional job interview. It can convey confidence, interest and engagement in a way that words alone can’t. The same is true for virtual interviews, even though you’re not in the same room as your interviewer. Pay attention to your body language and use it to convey confidence, interest and engagement.
Sit up straight, make eye contact and avoid fidgeting. These are all basic body language cues that will help you come across as confident and engaged. You should also be aware of your facial expressions. Smile when appropriate, and avoid crossing your arms or looking away from the camera.
Just as every job is different, every interview will require its own unique strategy. However, you can make a few mistakes in a virtual job interview that you’ll want to avoid, no matter what. First, make sure you’re well-prepared. This means doing your research, testing your setup and reviewing the job description. Second, strike a balance between talking too much and not saying enough. Third, eliminate distractions in your background. And finally, don’t forget to pay attention to your body language.
By avoiding these mistakes, you’ll be sure to put your best foot forward and increase your chances of landing the job!