While it's not in any way a novelty, so far video interviewing has not been a mainstream thing, especially when there was an option to have face to face interviews. Now, due to unforeseen circumstances, most of us are moving to video interviewing. Chances are that hiring and even onboarding will happen without ever meeting each other face to face. Articles and shares of best practices for video interviewing are also not an original idea. So naturally one may ask what else is there to be said about this topic? Well, plenty!
So buckle up while I take you through my view on what is working and not working in this OH SO WELL-KNOWN video conversing world.
The Actual Video
Would you say that turning your camera on when on a video call/video interview is a no brainer? Well, you would be wrong!:( In the past, we still had an "excuse" that our camera is not properly working, we are joining from our phones and the app is not supporting video, calling-in instead of using the link and so on. We tolerated this because usually, it was only one part of our hiring steps, so we still had a face to face meeting to look forward to. Now there can't be any excuses, because this is the only face to face you and I/you and your future manager are going to have. This goes for the manager/interviewer as well. If you are in a situation where your interviewer is not turning on their video, there should be a damn good explanation for that. This is no longer a discussion, let's see each other!
Now, when we agreed on clicking one button and turning our cameras ON, let's agree on how we should be seen through that camera ;) By now we all know how to look/present ourselves when going to the office for an interview. Some learned it through trial and error, some read on it, basically, we are fine. But there are multiple viral videos and pictures on what is probably happening in the background of the video interview. The chaos, the mess, the "no pants" thing.... honestly, no one cares what is around you or behind you, as long as you are being cool about it. All that matters is your facial reactions, emotions and upper body language (unless you chose to stand, which is also up to you and probably fine, you might have reasons!). But on a more serious note, the less you have to hide the better, because usually, some tension, uneasiness, distractedness can be seen on your face. Strive for less to hide around you and less to hide in general!!! More honesty will lead to better hiring :) And if not, just use background wallpaper or blur-out effect, most programs now have it.
Also, stop looking at yourself in the corner of your screen! If you feel that urge try looking in the mirror for 15 min before the interview and 15 min after, I don't know, maybe it will help... Eye contact is always very important, just because there is a camera between you and another person that does not give you a free pass. Although it will not be actual eye contact and if you stare into the camera that might be even weirder, so just try looking at the persons face in the screen :)
Know your gadgets
"Can you hear me now?!" Do I need to say more? Just make sure all gadgets are working properly. Your earphones might glitch and you might need to use a speaker and chances are that when you unplug your earphones the sound or the microphone will stop working. I've seen that happen multiple times and I had that happen to me, so just spend some time on setting correct parameters for all possible situations and experiment a bit beforehand. In addition, if your interview will require you to present something, utilize the program beyond simple talking, please make sure that you are not learning to do that on the spot. If you are learning to do that on the spot than be chill about it and do not look like you have no idea what is happening and how to do things.
So I covered almost everything you could prepare for, but there is one thing you can never be prepared for: The randomness of life! You can close any application that is not needed for the interview, or turn sounds off. You can go to a quiet room, close the door and all the windows. You can lock yourself in a Panic Room for all that matters. The chances are something that might still go wrong.
It's simply Murphy's law: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong" and I always found that to be true. And to be honest it's the best thing that could happen to you in an interview. This is the perfect time for you to shine! No manager will pass on a candidate that managed to handle a stressful and unsure situation in a confident manner and showed a strong presence. And if he/she did then let me talk to that person... some bad choice was made.
We do tend to focus a lot on what we should do, how we are expected to behave and how we are perceived. I understand that in interviews this is especially important and actually the main point of it. But don't forget, this is the time for you to be yourself! It's two, three or more people meeting and trying to get to know each other and to see what potential there could be. So if you focus too much on what you should do and how you want to be perceived you might miss out on a position that is tailored for someone just like you. Do yourself a favour and be as truthful to yourself as you possibly can!
So, if we apply some basic common sense (although common sense usually is not that common) we might just get through this and come out on top!
Best of luck to You and let me know how it went!
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Do you think interviewing for grit is important while hiring? How to interview for grit?
Asked by Mangirdas Adomaitis
There are different definitions of grit, so let me give you mine. I define grit as "passionate perseverance despite failure".
Research shows that grit is associated with career success, along with high consciousness (personality trait) and particularly high IQ (general intelligence).
Contrary to consciousness and IQ that are "programmed" by our genes and developed through proper parenting/schooling, grit is one of the few abilities that can be actually taught or learned, even in later stages of life.
So, if you are a hiring manager and you want to identify grit in your candidates, here is what you can do at every recruitment stage:
1. Employer branding. Share the success stories of your employees that you consider gritty. Make sure that gritty candidates could identify with your gritty colleagues. A good example will always attract good people.
2. Pre-screening. Look in the CV or LinkedIn for hints of projects that required a lot of time and effort and had a high risk of failure. If the candidate managed to surf through the project and feels proud about it, whether the project succeeded or failed, the person might be gritty.
3. Interviewing. While listening to the person's story, look for hints of perseverance and passion. People who are considered gritty do not give up easily, maintain focus, and are able to postpone pleasure, e.g. product shipment, high revenues, etc. You can also ask to provide specific examples.
4. Psychological assessment. If you have the resources, you can always test people using personality tests. Here is an example of a valid and reliable one: https://angeladuckworth.com/grit-scale/. However, do not trust only in the test results, see the bigger picture.
Here is a list of red flags that may indicate a lack of grit:
- Tendency to switch between jobs or projects without no particular reason (however, do not jump to conclusions without hearing the candidate's story first)
- Tendency to drop out of the university or college, especially during the last years of study (however, make sure that the person just did not choose an interesting job over boring studies)
- Difficulty keeping attention on a single task, especially if the task is supposed to be interesting and engaging (this is more visible during hands-on technical interviews)
- Lack of passion or excitement about one's job, area of interest, or field of expertise (gritty people are usually "geeks" in their own unique way and they will let you know about their nerdiness during the interview)
Hope I answered!
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