Virtual Interview Tips
By: Madeleine Quinn, Senior Executive Search Consultant
As the world of recruitment is adapting to the challenges presented by COVID-19, and in person interviews are being quickly replaced with Zoom, the 3P team thought we’d help by assembling some quick tips to better navigate these virtual platforms.
1) Download and practice Zoom before the interview. This might seem obvious but candidates tend to do more traditional research and preparation, forgetting to practice logging into the platform until the last minute. We’ve received a lot of feedback about the discomfort that candidates feel looking at themselves and talking about themselves at the same time. The path to resolving this discomfort is practice, so be sure to download Zoom at the beginning of your prep, not the end.
2) Lighting. Whenever possible, face a natural light source (a big window) when using Zoom. If it’s a cloudy day, you may have to add a lamp to brighten your face. If it’s a sunny day, you may have to use a light window covering to dull the brightness. Practicing for both scenarios is a good idea. Bonus: Zoom has some very specific lighting information on their own blog that we find helpful.
3) Background. We recommend finding a neutral wall in your house or uploading a simple background so that it doesn’t distract from your interview. Don’t have any neutral photos fitting for a Zoom background? Try this free site.
4) Framing. One of the first things taught in photography is how to frame a photo. Position your computer camera so that it is either directly in front of your face, or slightly above for a better angle. For interviews, open your laptop to a 90-degree angle, and prop the laptop up on thick books until you are in the center of the screen.
5) Sound. Practice is important for finding the right sound on Zoom. If you are in a room with hard floors, put a blanket under your chair to reduce the echo. If you find there is a lot of “static” when you practice, plug in headphones. Otherwise, you should be good to go with your computer’s built-in microphone. Oh—and don’t forget your mute button if it’s not your turn to speak, hit: Cmd+Shift+A (PC: Alt+A) to mute/unmute your audio.
6) Wardrobe. The usual rules apply for wardrobe. Approach your appearance as you would with any other interview. You may be at home but the interviewer can still see you – at least from the shoulders up.
7) Background Apps. Close down other apps so your interview isn’t interrupted by email notifications. Having too many windows open will slow down your operating system and affect the video and audio feed. Note: If you haven’t restarted your computer in a while, you might be unaware that an app is running in the background. We recommend a computer restart a day before the interview to keep Zoom running smoothly.
If you are a senior level professional in the food and agribusiness industry looking for your next career step, please contact us.