TOP 10 most unprofessional virtual interview mistakes
Are you really nervous for an upcoming online interview? Have you never done a virtual interview before? Or it has just been a while since you’ve had a job interview?
Well, you are in the right place.
Preparing for an interview is not easy, and the wait can bring in a lot of stress.
Don’t panic, cause in this article I am gonna reveal 10 mistakes that you need to avoid during your virtual job interview.
If you manage to avoid all these mistakes, you are gonna leave a great impression to the interviewer.
#1 Mistake: You did not test the platform
Your online interview will be held on one platform or another. The most common ones are Skype or Zoom.
Surely the employer will have let you know which platform you are gonna be using.
Before the interview, you NEED to try if the platform works. Just make a test call with a friend or family member and check if your internet connection is stable and if the platform performs correctly.
#2 Mistake: The camera focus is not adjusted correctly
A few minutes before the interview starts, you should be ready in front of your laptop, logged into the platform.
Open up your camera and adjust it in order to achieve a professional focus of your face.
There is nothing more unprofessional than answering the employer’s call and all they can see is your hand trying to adjust the camera’s focus.
This might take you some time and might involve placing your laptop on a higher level, to avoid looking like this:
I normally place a few books under the laptop to achieve a direct focus.
#3 Mistake: Miss the employer’s call
This is pretty obvious. Not answering the call of the interviewer is very unprofessional.
So be in front of your laptop ready 5 or 10 minutes before the set time, to avoid missing their call.
It might happen that some employer calls you a few minutes before the agreed time, so try not to be late.
#4 Mistake: Your background is unprofessional
This is sooo important!! Check your background!
You wanna avoid:
Weird -childish posters on the wall
Your bed (especially if it's undone)
Anything that can take the focus off of you (ex. A tv on)
What your background should be ideally:
A white plain wall 🌟🌟🌟
A well organized office🌟🌟🌟
I know it’s not easy to find the perfect spot, especially if you are at home, not everyone has their own office...
So just try to find a simple white wall, or clean background and test how it looks on the screen before starting the interview!
#5 Mistake: Your dress-code is unprofessional
It doesn’t matter, wear a suit!
A study conducted in the US revealed that 65% of hiring managers say that a dress code can be a deciding factor between two similar candidates.
The silver lining is that you don’t have to wear pants - unless the interview involves you standing up. ;)
But a shirt and a professional jacket, or just a shirt and a tie (for boys) is the rule.
For girls, not too much makeup, clean hair and if possible collect them in a ponytail or a bun.
This is mandatory, regardless of the kind of job you are interviewing for, you’re never too elegant, and you will always leave a good impression if you dress accordingly.
#6 Mistake: You are Looking at yourself!
I know, it’s tempting. You just wanna see how you look!
The employer will notice if you keep looking at the little “box” with the reflection of yourself.
They will see your eyes looking elsewhere, and this is enough to communicate that you cannot focus on one thing for more than 2 minutes.
So, keep your eyes stuck to the camera, “like if you were looking at them directly in the eyes”.
Studies show that 65% of candidates that don’t make eye contact don’t get hired.
This will give them the impression that you have great listening skills and you are invested in the conversation.
#7 Mistake: You get distracted during the interview
This is a very common issue, especially when it comes to virtual interviews.
In the same way that the employer will notice when you are looking at yourself, they will notice when you get distracted, and it does not look good.
It gives the impression that you are not 100% motivated to get the job, and you don't really care for what they are saying.
So try to stay focused for the whole duration of the interview - it’s not that hard, most interviews last around 15-20 minutes - you can do it!
#8 Mistake: You are not smiling
Smiling is so easy. However, many people forget to do it during interviews.
I know, you are so stressed and you want to die inside, so why smile?
Smiling can induce the idea that you are an easy going and positive person, and will automatically make the employer feel at ease too.
Smiling during the first seconds of the interview will help creating a great first impression of you. According to a study conducted in the US, 33% of recruiters know whether they’ll hire someone within the first 90 seconds of the interview.
However, there is a limit to everything, so don’t overdo it. Smiling too much can be creepy and make you look detached from the interview.
To conclude, a balanced smile during the interview, especially during the greetings part, can definitely help you.
#9 Mistake: Your environment is interrupting the interview
If you haven’t watched this video of this BBC reporter, it is THE FUNNIEST thing I have even seen. However, you don’t want this to happen during your interview.
So make sure that you choose a quiet room, and if you live with other people, tell them about your interview and ask to not disturb or keep it quiet.
Also, remember to put your phone in silence mode and keep it away from you, to avoid any possible distractions.
If your living conditions don’t allow for a quiet space, you could always go to a library in your town, or ask a friend to “borrow” their room for a bit, etc…
#10 Mistake: You are not ready
This applies for any kind of interview: online and in person, but it is worth to be mentioned.
For a recruiter, it’s very frustrating to interview someone who has no clue about the company.
According to a study, 47% of interviewers in the US don’t give jobs to interviewees with no company knowledge.
Do your research. Check the company’s website. See what projects they are working on. What sustainability issues are they trying to solve. How many employees they have. What kind of clients they serve. Check their history. Etc, Etc...
The good thing about virtual interviews, is that you can have your notes with you to help.
If the employer doesn’t ask you anything about their company, ask questions at the end of the interview.
It shows that you have researched about them and you are genuinely curious about their operations.
There are many things that can go wrong during an online interview, but being prepared can help avoid many useless mistakes.
First and foremost, check the platform and test the camera focus of your laptop. Make sure to dress appropriately and choose a clean background in your home.
When the interview starts, smile politely and keep smiling on and off for the whole interview, however, don’t overdo it.
Try to stay 100% focused on the interview and avoid distractions from your environment by choosing a quiet spot and informing your relatives.
To nail the interview, do your research about the company and ask relevant questions at the end of the chat.
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