How to Prepare for a Virtual Job Interview
Carecor has hired many new employees during the pandemic – but instead of meeting job candidates in person, we interview them online using videoconferencing technology. To help you prepare for a virtual interview, we asked Chelsea MacDuff, a Talent Acquisition Supervisor at Carecor’s Ottawa branch, to share her top tips.
Q: Chelsea, how has recruitment changed during the pandemic?
A: We’ve moved online! Pre-pandemic, we met a lot of candidates at job fairs. I miss that face-to-face interaction, but now we attend virtual job fairs, which have been really successful. I chat with groups and answer questions. I also gather resumés and set up interviews, which we can do right away, using Zoom. We couldn’t do that at in-person job fairs, so the process is actually faster now. It’s also more convenient for the candidates, since they don’t need to visit our office.
Q: How can job candidates prepare for a virtual interview?
A: In many ways, it’s similar to preparing for an in-person interview. The most important thing is to be prepared for the job you’re applying for: research the position and have questions ready. Show up early – for virtual interviews, that means logging in to the website five to 10 minutes before your appointment time.
Q: What technology do candidates need for a virtual interview?
A: A computer, a smartphone or a tablet – they all work! If you’re using a phone or tablet, I’d suggest propping it up on something so that you can focus on being engaged or taking notes, instead of holding your device and keeping it steady. Earphones will help cancel out background noise. A secure Internet connection is important, and we use Zoom for virtual interviews, so candidates would need to download that app – it’s free.
Q: What should candidates wear for the interview?
A: Be presentable, at least from the waist up! You want to come across as professional. Also check your surroundings – make sure you’re in a clean, quiet space with no background noise. Have a pen and paper ready to write notes.
Q: What about body language?
A: Be engaged. Make sure your camera is on and that you’re facing it, so I can tell you’re looking at me. Nod, shake your head and ask questions. Take notes. During the interview, I’ll provide a lot of information about the position you’re applying for. I want you to understand it as well as possible, so please take notes if that’s how you learn. And don’t slouch – if you feel confident, you look confident.
Q: Any other dos and don’ts?
A: The biggest don’t: putting me on hold. If we’ve arranged a time to speak, please set that time aside. We understand that unavoidable interruptions sometimes come up because you’re at home – this is true for recruiters, too! – but try to reserve the time and be present.
Q: Do you have any tips for after the interview?
A: As a courtesy, send the recruiter an email, thanking them for their time and including any questions you have. Even if you don’t get the job, we can consider you for another position. We keep candidates’ information in our database for two years.
Q: Do you have any words of encouragement or thoughts about working at Carecor?
A: Definitely apply if you think you have the skills. Carecor is really a great organization to work for. It’s also such a good opportunity to gain experience and maybe make new friends. I know I’m biased, but I really think we have the best people in the office and in the field. It’s always such a pleasure to work with our team.