It seems just as soon as we adapted to the remote way of working, most, if not all of us, already have a plan in place to start filtering back into an office environment.
Personally, I couldn’t be happier about it. I didn’t adapt as well as some, and as luxurious as it once sounded from the outside, WFH isn’t something I’d choose to do again. I am a people person and I have always worked in people facing roles. Having said that, I am incredibly fortunate to be working in an industry that can function from home if a global pandemic prevents us from going to the office. But in my opinion, a global pandemic, or living interstate are almost the only reasons to not attend a job interview face to face.
Times are changing, that is for sure. Many of my clients are revisiting their strategic plans, avoiding an upsize or even considering a downsize as a direct result of implementing a work from home policy and reducing the numbers in their physical office. Sure, I don’t want to do it, but I’m not against it by any means, I can see the value and cost saving it can provide for certain organisations.
The one thing I believe is not the same, be it with recruiter or hiring manager, is interviewing over video. It was a lifesaving tool to have when we needed it, but now that we are heading back to the world of face to face conversations, my advice to you is to brush up on your contactless greeting options (elbowing, heel tap etc) get out of your track pants and go meet your potential new boss, in your potential new office. Not only will you have a far better chance of building rapport with your interviewer and leaving a lasting first impression, but you will also get a better feel for the office environment, location, potentially meet some of the team and be confident that you want to move forward because interviews should always go both ways.
Another thing to take into consideration, is the high volume of quality candidates in the market right now, who wouldn’t have otherwise been available, and these people are your competition. If you’re given the option for video or face to face, and the recruiter/hiring manager genuinely doesn’t have a preference, the person who shows up in the flesh could end up with a significant advantage over you.
- It’s easier to make conversation and look for indicators of shared humanity when you’re in the same environment.
- You can’t be expressive with your body language over video, or mirror and match the mannerisms of your interviewer.
- It’s easy for a video call to slip into a transaction rather than a conversation. If either party take the time saving opportunity to only cover the interview questions, you could be missing out on some critical rapport building time.
- Showing up in person shows a higher level of commitment.
- I think getting into the mindset of attending an interview is also really important. If you have to get dressed, manage your time and physically show up, you are likely to flip to that mindset very naturally.
Of course, we aren’t out of the woods yet, and some companies still have no choice but to utilise our wonderful video platforms and onboard remotely, or they may be using video as a first stage to determine who they would like to see face to face. If this is the case for your next interview, here are some helpful tips to avoid managers and recruiters being distracted by the inside of your nostrils.
- First and foremost, treat your video interview exactly as an interview, this includes dressing in business attire.
- Always prop your phone up in an upright and stable position – don’t ever walk around your house holding your phone in your hand.
- Preview your own video and be aware of how your interviewer will see you on their screen and if necessary, adjust the height of your device so that it shows a professional and flattering view.
- Make sure the area of your home that you choose to set up in, has a good signal from your internet connection.
- Avoid sitting outside or anywhere with too much background noise.
- Check your background! Do your best to remove any distractions or clutters from the screen and have a plain and professional backdrop. If you’re unable to avoid this, then blur the screen.