With the growing accessibility of technology, it’s no surprise that employers are becoming more creative with how they interview candidates for administrative roles. One type of interview that is becoming more and more common? Video interviews.
“Over the past five years in particular, we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of clients and job seekers who have participated in video interviews,” says Shana Cohen, Managing Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Office Support and Human Resources divisions. “There are numerous benefits to interviewing with video technology. Not only can it make the hiring process more efficient, but it also allows both parties to interact before they commit to a more time-consuming interview.”
However, it’s important for administrative professionals to consider new challenges presented by a new type of interviewing format. Unlike an in-person interview, you have more control over how the interview goes than you normally would, which also means more room for error. The good news is that, this amount of independent decision-making can also give you an edge over your competition and put you in a better position to get the job!
As you prepare for your interview, consider the following best practices:
Check your environment
One of the unique features of a video interview is the amount of control you have over the interview environment. However, the amount of control you have in this situation is accompanied with greater responsibility. Once you have decided on where you will be having the interview, put some thought into the factors that could potentially disrupt the meeting. Before your scheduled interview time, consider the volume of the setting you’ve chosen, the lighting, and other distracting factors such as pets or people. Once you have accounted for every factor that could have a negative effect on your environment, you can focus on how the space you’ve chosen can ultimately work in your favor during the interview.
Do a trial run with your equipment
Before the interview, test out all of the equipment you will be using to make sure that everything is in working order. If you are using a computer, you’ll want to test your web cam, the video application you will be using, and any other equipment necessary before the scheduled time of your interview.
On the other hand, if you’re planning on using a phone, you’ll want to think about the best place to position your camera. “While you want the hiring manager to focus on your face, you should make sure the camera isn’t aimed at an awkward or unflattering angle,” notes Shana. “Test out the positioning of the camera ahead of time to ensure the other party gets a polished view of you from the chest up.”
Dress as you would for any interview
You may be tempted to dress down for the interview as you won’t be in an office setting, but it’s an ill-advised way to go about this process. Presentation is key in an administrative role and if the hiring manager sees that you chose to wear something too casual for the workplace, it could lead them to think that you are unprofessional or aren’t taking the interview seriously. So while the opportunity may be there, it’s best to ignore it in favor of dressing as you would if you were meeting the interviewer in person. Besides, it could give you the confidence you need to perform better during the interview!
Be extra conscious of your body posture
Since you’ll be doing this interview from home, you may feel more relaxed during the interview than you would be if you were in an office setting. While this may do you a world of good in terms of your stress levels, Shana warns that a more relaxed atmosphere can have its consequences. “If you’re doing an interview from home or in a non-stressful environment, you want to make sure that your body posture still reflects that you’re on an interview,” she says. Good body posture is extremely important for office support professionals, so this is something you will want to be extra mindful of over the course of your interview!
Anticipate technical difficulties
Technology is an invaluable and constantly improving tool, but it isn’t flawless. Because of this, it’s vital to consider the possibility of technical issues that could occur during the interview. For example, a slower internet connection on either yours or the interviewer’s end could lead to a delay between sound and image, which has the potential to disrupt the flow of the interview. If this is a problem you find yourself in over the course of the interview, it’s important to not stress out or let it get the better of you. In any office support role, you’ll put a large amount of focus on communicating with numerous individuals and potentially awkward situations. If you run into this scenario, view it as an opportunity to prove you can handle a difficult situation with grace and ease.
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