If there is one business that’s grown in 2020, it’s virtual conferencing technology. We’ve all been using Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts and so on to stay in touch with friends and family, and to keep our businesses running. With travel and meetings restricted, it’s not surprising that there has been an increase in the number of companies now holding virtual job interviews as well.
If you’ve been invited to a virtual job interview in the health sector, here are our top tips for preparing in advance to make sure you’re relaxed and ready on the day.
Check your technology is working
You can be certain that no matter how well your computer is running the day before, when it’s time for your call something will play up. Before your interview is due to start check your laptop is plugged in or fully charged, your webcam is working and your wi-fi is running well.
If there are other people in the house it would be an idea to ask them all to stop playing online, downloading or live streaming TV or anything else that could reduce your WiFi to an intermittent crawl.
Prepare your position and your background
Although most people will be at home during their interview for a health job, you should still present a professional image. After all, first impressions count.
Try to position your camera so that you have a plain background, such as a wall. If that’s not so easy, tidy up the room behind you so that the piles of laundry are hidden and the sink is empty of dirty plates. Close any doors, so that wandering housemates or family members are not visible as they move about the house.
Your own presentation matters as well. Dress up professionally, just as you would if you were heading to an interview at the company office. And, as we’ve all seen the comedy videos on social media, remember to dress your bottom half as well even if it should be hidden below the table. You never know when you’ll have to jump up.
Make sure your camera is positioned so that your face is visible, and the lighting is good. If you are using a mobile phone, find a stand rather than holding it in your wobbly hands. Place it on a pile of books or something that raises the camera to be in line with your face – and not too close - the interviewer doesn’t want to spend the time looking up your nostrils!
Don’t interrupt and keep the conversation flowing
Talking on video conferencing has a different feel from an in-person interview. It’s easy to talk over the interviewer and then miss what they are saying. Always wait for the interviewer to finish before you start your response rather than interrupting.
At the same time, it’s important to keep the conversation flowing, showing that you are engaged in the conversation. Long silences will be uncomfortable.
Just as you would for a face-to-face interview, prepare in advance. Make sure you know all about the health company you are joining, their products or services, and read the full job description so you understand the skills and attributes they are looking for. This will help you to keep chatting, rather than reading from a sheet that will sound awkward and rehearsed.
Listen carefully to the questions
It might sound obvious that you should listen carefully to the questions employers ask during interviews, as you need to answer well. But there is another reason.
The interview is a chance for you to learn about the job and the health business you are joining. The questions they ask will tell you about the business culture. If they focus on how you handle stress, it may be that the job is highly pressured. When questions are about how well you work in a team or handle difficult colleagues, it may be that they know there are strong personalities already in the group. At the end of the interview when you come to ask questions of your own, you can go back to these subjects and do a little digging for yourself.
Review your experience and qualities
There are usually some fairly standard questions in an interview which will ask about your previous experience and the qualities you have shown in situations. So, spend some time reviewing your past work history and think of some situations where you’ve shone, so that you have some ready answers.
When you’re facing a virtual health interview, the key word is preparation. The more homework you’ve done in advance, the more confident and relaxed you’ll feel during the interview itself. And once you’ve finished, remember to follow up with an email, thanking the interviewer for their time.
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