How do you make a lasting positive impression during an interview when you don’t get to interact in person with the hiring manager? It seems it’s now all done remotely. You have no sense of a special connection, a meaningful relationship nor get a sense of the work environment. You could be leaving a good but unexciting job for a disaster.
Should you take the risk? How do you get answers to question that will help lower your apprehension? If I ask myself would I accept a promotion without personally meeting with my new boss and peers, the answer is no. The unknowns of expectations, performance standards, compatibility with the work group and management styles are all issues that need to be considered. It may all work out. But it may not.
So how can you eliminate your concerns? You can’t. You can only diminish the issues that can cause a misstep. Here are some actions to take to minimize a bad decision.
RESEARCH – Take a close look at the industry, company, competitors, and comments from past employees. All can be done on-line. If you know the name of your potential boss or peers, Google them to get a look at their backgrounds and experiences.
IMPRESSIONS: Yours and theirs – Smile as you only have about 5 seconds to make a good first impression. Dress as if you were in their office. Maintain eye contact: Look at the camera, not the computer screen as your eyes will look half closed and sleepy. Place the computer so the camera is at eye level.
COMPATABILITY: Demonstrate energy and enthusiasm for the job and with the people you are interviewing. Amplify your interest as the interviewers will reciprocate. It’s harder to demonstrate energy and passion through the screen, but find a way verbally.
QUESTIONS THAT NEED ANSWERS – Ask targeted questions that will increase your comfort level with the hiring manager and peer group. Save the less important question until later: Benefits, vacation time, and so on. Find out about the work itself; expectations; performance standards; management style; anticipated impediments or issues; the culture of the organization, department and function; concerns they may have about you; results of the organization over the past 2 to 3 years (growth or decline?); strategy for change; future goals; and opportunities for you and the organization. You need practical knowledge and insight as to the issues and potential of current and future work.
TAKE NOTES – Occasionally take a few notes on key items, but not many. It shows you’re paying attention, are interested in critical elements and will make you memorable.
AT THE END – Make sure you emphasize your strong interest in the job (if it’s true), ask what the next steps will be, and how long will the decision take.
Virtual interviews on-line are both easy and difficult. Easy to do, difficult to differentiate yourself from all other candidates. Your past results, pleasant personality and intelligent, insightful questions should do the trick.
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