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From hangouts with friends, day-to-day work, and now interviews, safe social distancing has made our world more virtual than ever before. When it comes to hiring, businesses are getting creative to ensure they can still connect job seekers with great opportunities. This includes integrating video interviews into their hiring practices. If you’re a job seeker today, chances are you’ll be asked to participate in a video job interview. To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a quick list of tips and tricks. Check it out:


1.) Download all programs a day or two beforehand:


The moments right before an interview can send anyone’s nerve’s sky high – installing the required virtual meeting program to your computer a minute or two before your interview is set to begin will only amplify those nerves. Tech snafus happen to the best of us, so prepare ahead of time by downloading all necessary programs to your computer before the day of the interview. Unsure of what programs you’ll need to download? If you were sent a virtual calendar invitation, the link to the program can likely be found right in there. If you’re still unsure, ask your interview coordinator.


2.) Practice [interviews] make perfect:


During your next social distancing approved video chat with friends and family, bring a new activity to the table called, “Help <insert your name here> ace the video interview.” Hop on FaceTime with your group, or better yet the program you’ll actually be interviewing on, and run through a mock interview session with them. Have them prepare questions for you ahead of time and practice answering them while ensuring your body language is conveying confidence (more on this below).  While admittedly they can feel a little awkward, mock interviews are an excellent way to ensure you’re prepared for the real deal.


3.) Dress to impress (and don’t forget about the background):


Just because you don’t have to leave the house for a video interview, doesn’t mean pajamas are fair game. Get ready for the interview just as you would if it were in person – iron your outfit, spend a little extra time on your hair, etc. Not only will this convey that you’re serious about the position, but looking your best will give you an added boost of confidence throughout the interview. That said, even the snazziest outfit and hairdo will fall flat if your video interview background looks like World War III took place in your living room. While all of our homes look just like that more often than we’d like to admit, play it safe and choose a distraction-free background for your video interview. Any bare wall will do!


4.) Don’t overlook the interview body language basics:


Think back to your last in-person interview. You likely sat down and ran through a series of mental checks – posture, hand placement, eye contact, etc. These same basics are just as important during a video interview, and maybe even more so. Because you won’t have the opportunity to shake hands and make that in-person connection, you’ll need to be extra intentional about your body language on video. Eye contact is critical, and during a video interview, this means looking straight into the camera – not at the video of you or your interviewer. Outside of eye contact, make sure you’re sitting up straight and with confidence and that you’re not fidgeting with your hair, hands, pen, etc.

Pro tip: Don’t forget you’re on video. This point is particularly timely as employees across the country settle into the work-from-home life and web conferences are a daily occurrence. You may have seen a cautionary tale circulating social media recently about a woman forgetting her video was on during a meeting and then proceeding to use the restroom. Yikes.


5.) Let your personality and passion for the position shine through:


Once you’re all prepped with the necessary programs, have run through a couple mock interviews, and are more ready than ever to put your best foot forward, remember the most important part of any interview – be yourself. Outside of understanding your skill sets, companies want to get to know you – so don’t be afraid to show off that personality and to let them know how enthusiastic you are about the position at hand. You already have what it takes – believe in yourself and the rest will fall into place. You got this!


To help our candidates along their virtual job search journey during these times, Ethan Allen recruiters are now using Spark Hire! Spark Hire is a super simple way for people to virtually interview for our open positions by recording their responses to set questions.

Ethan Allen is sending positive thoughts your way during this challenging time. If you’re currently searching for a job opportunity, Ethan Allen is still hiring. Take a look at our open positions right here. Stay safe and healthy out there. We’ll get through this!