With the world staying indoors for a year, it has reshaped the way in which organizations function. During this time, the hiring process has also been restructured to a more virtual setting. According to a survey conducted by Gartner in 2020 (Gartner, Inc. poll of 334 HR leaders), 89% or organizations are shifting towards Virtual interviews

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Source: Gartner, Inc. poll of 334 HR leaders

When an individual applies for a job, their interview is the most important factor that decides their fate with the company. One may have the most impressive resume and portfolio, but if their personality doesn’t sell their credentials, one may not get the position!

This article is a guide to what stands out when we conduct interviews.

Your surroundings matter and so does your technology!
For years, interviews were conducted face to face. However, this has shifted to virtual interviews from one’s home. Interview rooms in the office are often silent and without distraction. It is ideal for the same etiquette to be maintained when in the comfort of your home.

Try to find a room where you will be left undisturbed and will have the best internet connection. According to survey conducted by ResumeGo in 2020, 36% job seekers cited problems with the videoconferencing software as one of their most common issues. Do a test run with video and audio before taking the calls. Technical errors are not always under our control but ensure that you have done your best to avoid them. Lastly, always be punctual!

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Also ensure that you’re wearing the right attire. Although virtual, your grooming dictates a large part of the impression you make on your interviewer. Jobvite’s 2020 Recruiter Nation Survey showed that 25% of virtual interview candidates lose points on attire. ResumeGo indicated that 52% job seekers expect the candidate to be dressed in business casuals.

Brush up on confidence

The confidence you exude is of the utmost importance. It shows your faith in yourself and your ability to troubleshoot. Often at times, the interviewer will ask you a question, provide you with two options and once you answer, will test your confidence by hinting that your chosen option is wrong. In situations such as this, it is wise to stick to your answer and provide a justification for why you are right rather than try to change it to appease the interviewer.

Be mindful of your method of conviction. Study your resume thoroughly and be prepared to be questioned about it, but do not show overconfidence. Remember to be humble and honest. Interviewers may not appreciate you trying too hard to impress them with just words of unnecessary praise, or an ‘agree to everything’ style!

Did you know this secret to give the best spontaneous answers? 

Interviewers often conduct ‘behavioral’ interviews. You are asked a situational question that requires an impromptu response that you could not have rehearsed beforehand. Your expertise and spontaneity are tested through these types of questions.

The best way to tackle them is by answering the question in 4 parts.

  1. Repeat the situation to the interviewer to ensure that both of you are on the same page.
  2. Quote examples of a time you tackled a similar situation and mention the tasks you completed.
  3. Explain your outcome.
  4. State the impact it had on your peers and/or your organization.

This structured response is sure to impress your interviewer!

Think on your feet!

If you’re unsure or do not know the answer to a question, be smart about your response. Do not let the interviewer doubt your learning agility. It is wise to use phrases such as, “I haven’t dabbled in that area yet, but I’m a quick and enthusiastic learner.” or “That’s an interesting question. Am I required to know this for my job role? I’ll be happy to expand my pool of knowledge!”

Another great tip is to be very concise with your answers. Telling long stories and beating around the bush are all interpreted as signs of nervousness and being unsure of the right answer by your interviewer. Keep it short and crisp!

Your interviewer can study your body language, from anywhere!

Interviewers are immediately able to tell when a candidate is nervous. Yes, through a screen as well! They note unusually long pauses or when candidates keep looking off the screen to read from notes. Keep your gaze fixed at the interviewer and be quick and confident with your responses, even if you are unsure about them.

According to The Future of Work Survey by Cielo, the world’s leading Recruitment Process Outsourcing provider, 82% of organizations aim to continue conducting their hiring process virtually. 41% of recruiters stated that they were able to hire candidates virtually and 32% felt confident about offering jobs without having met the individuals face to face. 

So, it’s best that individuals stay prepared! The easiest way to be mindful of the tips shared above is by memorizing the acronym CABS which stands for:

  • Confidence
  • Answer Smart & Spontaneous
  • Body Language
  • Surroundings

Always remember – a strong and confident voice along with a steady gaze and settled body language. If you have faith in your abilities, you can convince anybody to have faith in you!

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