COVID-19 has forced almost all business activities in the Philippines to be conducted virtually. Given the current situation, virtual job interviews are becoming a part of the new normal in the recruitment process. Employers will probably not require candidates to report to offices anymore to conduct a face-to-face interview. With the rise of electronic mail and video conferencing applications (e.g. Zoom and Google Meet), applicants looking for jobs, especially remote workers, will probably be interviewed online. Convenient, less effort and easy, right? Wrong.

There are still plenty of things to keep in mind and avoid when you are at an online job interview and here are some tips:

1. Failing to prepare a decent background

In virtual job interviews, people could be at the comfort of their homes, in a coffee shop or even in an open area. Regardless of the location, you should be mindful of what the camera can see behind you. Make sure that your background looks clean and professional. Avoid showing inappropriate backgrounds as it may be distracting. You want the recruiters to to focus less on your background and more on you. If you cannot find a decent background within the area, consider enabling an artificial virtual background.

2. Wearing inappropriate attire

 Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can wear whatever you want during the interview. Virtual interviews are as professional as face-to-face interviews which is why you should still dress professionally. It is inappropriate to wear your pajamas or other eye-catching clothes as it may distract the person on the other end of the call. Not to mention, it will make you look unprofessional. Make sure to put on a decent and professional casual or business attire.

3. Not checking your technology and equipment

Before the actual interview, it’s important to check, test and place your gadgets and equipment in the right place to ensure they are working properly. This includes your microphone, camera, and everything else you need in the interview. It is also important to familiarize yourself with the software and platforms that you will be using for the interview. Learn the basic online call etiquette: turn on your microphone, open your camera, and smile!

4. Showing up late

In the Philippines, there is a thing called “Filipino Time” which means people can actually show up later than an agreed meeting time. This is a no-no for virtual job interviews because making your recruiter wait for you will leave a bad impression. Enter the session 5-10 minutes earlier than the agreed time if possible. It’s better that you’re the one waiting rather than them.

5. Too many distractions

Distractions can interrupt the interview process and divert your attention elsewhere if not dealt with properly. Make sure your phone is on silent mode, stay away from noisy family members or loud music, and keep your desk clutter-free. You must also close any unnecessary web browsers that will make you lose focus in the interview.

6. Connectivity Issues

Having a stable internet connection is important in having a smooth-flowing, uninterrupted conversation in remote interviews. The Philippines is known to have one of the slowest internet connections worldwide so ensure that you have no internet issues by testing the speed of your connection beforehand. Also, close or pause any programs or downloads that will limit your bandwidth.

7. Being preoccupied during the interview

Avoid doing other things during the interview such as eating or drinking. Doing other things while in the interview will not give them the impression that you’re good at multitasking. It will only make you seem unprofessional and disinterested.

8. Bad posture and mannerisms

 Your posture and mannerisms say a lot about you. Slouching, stooping or making unnecessary movements might give people the impression that you are bored or not confident. Always remember to sit up straight and avoid unnecessary movement that will make you seem unprofessional and uninterested.

9. Showing signs of inactivity

It is important to show your interviewer that you are actively listening and participating in the conversation. During discussions, show your engagement by slightly nodding your head from time to time or saying verbal affirmation such as “I see” or “I understand.” Avoid looking elsewhere and never leave your device during the interview nor ignore the recruiter’s questions.

Virtual job interviews are not as easy as you think. Some even think that it is more challenging than traditional face-to-face interviews. You should not forget the appropriate job interview etiquette even if it is done virtually. Make sure to follow these tips to increase your chances of getting hired!

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By: X. Borja
Worky Online Contributor

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