When you’re going for a job these days, it’s the norm for companies to conduct interviews remotely by video link. Comfort Keepers is no exception and has organised lots of virtual interviews for many of our homecare jobs and office jobs.
These kinds of interviews help to keep us all safe and mitigate risk. So, what are the top tips you need to make sure you put your best foot forward and bag your dream carer job as a result? Read on to find out!
The Major Video Services
There are lots of online platforms that enable video-conferencing for virtual interviews. The most popular are:
- Microsoft Teams
It’s also possible for employers to use the video functions of apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. There’s not much difference in how these services work but some features, especially the login procedures to hook you up with your new potential employer, will differ.
Some employers offering homecare jobs may provide you with pre-recorded questions for you to answer. Others will want to interview you live by using a company representative to engage with you and ask you about your experience.
As with any kind of job interview, part of the secret of success lies in the preparation you carry out beforehand.
Practise, Practise and Practise Again!
Make sure you read the instructions that the company interviewing you has sent. Get familiar with the online service they plan to use. If you feel a little unconfident about the technical side of things, have a dummy run.
Find a friend or relative who can act as a potential employer. Get them to email you a meeting request using the same online service that you’ll be using for the interview.
Practice is invaluable and will definitely help whether you’re going for office or carer jobs. Take the mock interview seriously. Give the person who’s helping you a list of questions you expect you might have to answer in an interview for a homecare job, for example.
Saying your answers out loud to someone else can be worth its weight in gold. That’s because, in a mock interview, you’ll find turns of phrase that work better than others. You’ll then be far more confident when you have a real interview.
If you can’t find a friend to ask you the questions, say your answers out loud in front of a mirror for practice.
How You and Your Location Look
For virtual interviews, it’s always a good idea to make yourself look your best. That starts with what you wear. Choose clothes that are smart and professional but not necessarily formal.
Avoid bright colours and heavily patterned or striped clothing. These can be distracting when you’re on camera. Researching the company a little can also give you a steer on what sort of culture and style they’re likely to think is most appropriate.
Make sure your hair is neat and tidy and choose a backdrop that is free of clutter. Sitting at a desk with a neutral background in a quiet place where there is plenty of natural light is a good place to start.
Choose a seat you feel comfortable in and use a cushion, if necessary to make sure you’re going to appear at the correct height.
Technical Hitches and Interruptions
Check your internet connection well in advance. Make yourself comfortable 5-10 minutes before the start of the interview. If possible, log in to the call a few minutes before it’s due to start to make sure that everything’s working at your end.
Sound or video problems happen and shouldn’t be a cause for panic. Make sure you know how to turn your camera and the audio from your computer on and off. You should ensure your face is in the middle of the screen.
Keep the telephone number of the person who’s going to be interviewing you to hand. If you lose contact before the interview starts or once it’s begun, a phone call can be a useful backup Plan B.
If there are other people in the home or where you’re going to be for your interview, warn them in advance so that they know to keep quiet and not disturb you.
During the Interview Itself
Once you’re all set, turn your mobile phone to silent before you establish contact. Virtual interviews are actually very similar in feel to those you might have in person. You should treat them in exactly the same way and always prepare thoroughly.
Sit up straight and look directly at the camera during the interview, staying upbeat and positive at all times.
Always give the impression that you want the job more than anything. Nothing puts employers off more than interviewing candidates who don’t appear to really want the job at all!
Listen carefully to the questions and pay close attention to anything the person interviewing might be saying to you. Do not allow yourself to get distracted by messages appearing on your computer or mobile phone.
Interruptions happen. The best advice is to sort them quickly and move on. When you’re nervous, there’s a tendency for your mouth to become dry. Have a glass of water handy and keep a pen and paper at your side as well as a copy of your CV.
Having an interview via video limits the ability to communicate using body language. Clearly, you can’t shake hands at first sight but you can greet warmly by smiling or waving politely.
A Final Checklist
- Prepare thoroughly and practise your answers out loud
- Research the company that’s interviewing you
- Check your wifi/internet service and video/audio connections
- Familiarise yourself with the online video-conferencing service
- Choose a quiet, well-lit place to sit and test the video shot
- Look professional and make yourself comfortable
- Look directly at the camera and engage warmly with the interviewer
You Have Your Dream Job!
If you’re looking for a job in the care sector, Comfort Keepers would love to hear from you! We have a wide range of roles available for carers who’ll work with our clients in the community as well as office jobs too.
Make a positive impact on the lives of others in need of homecare. Give your career the boost it needs and become a Comfort Keepers carer.