The Times Are Changing, From In-Person To Video Job Interviews

With many people working from home in order to help stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, it stands to reason that job interviews are also going virtual.

Some would argue that an employer gets a better feel for a candidate during an in-person interview. But in this case, there simply isn’t another option other than conducting them via the Internet. Businesses are starting to come back and must fast-track hiring.

Some big companies have already set the baseline for video interviews. Among them are Amazon and Google, which already have their own portals.

Google told job candidates that interviews were to be conducted in Google Hangouts or using videoconferencing service BlueJeans. Amazon pivoted from in-person interviews to using Amazon Chime, its videoconferencing software. Amazon set up virtual interview portals for candidates to connect with recruiters and complete necessary documents.

LinkedIn told has told job seekers that interviews can be conducted virtually via BlueJeans or reschedule until in-person interviews become possible again.

Many companies are switching from in-person interviews to using Zoom, which has blossomed in popularity since stay-at-home orders were implemented, or the old standby, Skype.

Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing service used to virtually meet with others. Sessions can be recorded to be viewed later. More than half of Fortune 500 companies used Zoom in 2019 and that number is sure to skyrocket this year.

You might hear the terms Zoom Meeting and Zoom Room. A Zoom Meeting is a video conferencing meeting that’s hosted using Zoom, with participants joining via a webcam or phone. A Zoom Room is the physical hardware setup that lets companies schedule and launch Zoom Meetings from their conference rooms.

There is also GoToMeeting, which is a web-hosted service created and marketed by LogMeIn. It is an online meeting, desktop sharing and video conferencing software package that enables the user to meet with others.

Skype remains popular for making free video calls. It can be used on your laptop, tablet or mobile phone.

There are many technical aspects of a video interview you must address, such as finding an appropriate background, dressing appropriately and making sure your Internet connection works.

Beyond that, you’ll need to approach a video interview just as you would an in-person interview. There’s no winging it just because you are not physically sitting across the table from the interviewer.

If you’ve had some downtime or are unemployed, use that time to prepare for an interview. You need to research the company you want to work for and practice your responses to anticipated questions. You also need to consider the new reality of possibly working from home for some time, and how you would perform your duties from home rather that at the company’s headquarters.

You should also think about any questions you have for the potential employer.

For starters, you should practice your responses to these questions:

1. Why should I hire you?

You need to be able to hit this one out of the ballpark. Before the interview, you should have studied the job posting, researched the company and tied your career accomplishments to that job posting.

You need to demonstrate that you believe in the company’s mission, feel a sense of connection to its culture and can elevate its current capabilities. You’ll need to explain how your experience and skills are different from other candidates and have the determination and drive to succeed.

How you answer this question will set the tone for the rest of the interview, because the employer has just a small window to decide if you are going to be a good fit for the job.

2. What are your best strengths?

This might be among the most uncomfortable questions in an interview. You don’t want to be boastful, but you don’t want to undersell yourself, either. You need to be ready with specific examples from your current job and how they can immediately transfer over to a new job. Be specific, such as if you are great at customer service, organizing projects, marketing or communications.

Give specifics. Perhaps you saved your current company millions of dollars by streamlining production and distribution, or you increased sales by 20 percent by shifting resources to put your team members in the best position to succeed.

3. How do you solve problems with staff?

Your potential employer will want to know how you resolved issues and dealt with conflicts. Use an example that will showcase your abilities and how they can be applied to a new position. Again, use numbers and metrics that are impressive.

Perhaps you were forced to reshuffle an underperforming sales team in order to give the more-motivated employees a chance to handle the biggest client, which then drove sales to new heights.

Describe how big of a problem it was and how you assessed the situation. Emphasize the skills you used to solve the problem and the results you attained. Rather than complain about or speak negatively about others, emphasize the positives of how you solved the problem and brought about change that benefited the company.

4. What would you immediately improve if hired?

This can be a tough one, which will force you to think on your feet. It’s also where you need to know as much about the company as you can. For instance, imagine being asked what you’d change about the company’s website, marking plan or sales strategy. Take a deep breath. This isn’t necessarily a trick question. The interviewer is simply looking for a thoughtful answer.

Begin with a compliment, and be sure to highlight the positives that you see. Then offer some suggestions based on your current situation and what you might have done in a similar situation. That way, it doesn’t seem like you’re stepping on anyone’s toes and it will illustrate your value. Be sure to explain why you’d make the change. Offer any specifics you have, such as increased sales at your current or former company, or any awards and recognition you received.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation quote on how we can help you in all aspects of your job search.

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