The ‘Dos, Don’ts, And Don’t Worry Abouts’ Of The Virtual Interview, According To An EY Recruiting Leader
Virtual interviewing is more than just a
passing trend. More and more companies are utilizing video calls, screen
sharing, and voice chat to transform all aspects of their business, and
interviewing is no exception. Meeting virtually is becoming synonymous with
“meeting in person,” and that’s actually a good thing.
And that’s especially true for client-focused,
global companies like Ernst & Young LLP (EY). With thousands of employees and
clients collaborating around the world, EY teams have to be nimble and ready to
work with anyone, anywhere, across time zones.
So, to better prepare yourself for an
interview that will mirror the new way of the working world, we spoke to Paige
Sacks, an EY recruiting leader. She shared her tips with us for mastering the
virtual interview—which she called “the dos, don’ts, and don’t worry abouts.”
The Dos Of The Virtual Interview
“Remember that this is an opportunity to tell
your story,” Paige says.
Video interviews can either be live—with the
interviewer on the screen—or short clips recorded in response to predetermined
questions, and many of the best tips she had remained the same for both types
of interviews. With that in mind, she had some must-dos for future virtual
prepare, prepare. Whether you’re conducting an
in-person interview or a virtual one, it’s still a formal assessment of you,
your qualifications, and your interest in the company. That’s why doing your
homework is equally important for a virtual interview.
“Know the company and know your résumé,” Paige
tells us. “Be ready to share an experience you’re proud of. Think about what
you would want a future employer to know about you. Practice articulating why
you want to work for that firm and what interests you about the role.”
Even if you’re sitting in your bedroom or an
empty classroom, this is a business meeting, and you need to come as prepared
as you would for any other.
on the content of your responses. “We know the video
interviewing experience can be awkward or nerve-racking,” Paige says. “We’ve
done it, too, and we agree.”
However, given the prevalence of the
technology and its key role in the EY business model, this form of interview is
an assessment not only of your qualification for the role but your ability to
function professionally in a virtual environment. Demonstrating that you can
handle that, and do so with gusto, is essential.
your natural energy and enthusiasm. “It’s hard even
with a live video interview to get the kind of energy an in-person conversation
would give you, so be sure to show that you’re engaged,” Paige says.
That means nodding, paying attention to the
other person when they’re talking, and asking questions when appropriate.
The Don’ts Of The Virtual Interview
Despite their similarities, virtual and
in-person interviews differ in crucial ways, creating certain pitfalls you must
be careful to avoid.
be too rehearsed. While you do want to think about
your answers to common interview questions beforehand—like why you want this job at this firm—you also need to avoid sounding too scripted. While this
is usually more common in the prerecorded video interviews, if you sound like
someone reciting a rehearsed answer, then your answers won’t sound authentic,
no matter how much truth they have to them.
mess with the tech. Figure out your technology setup
ahead of time. Make sure you have the latest version of the applications you’ll
need. Test your mic and camera setup by doing a Skype call with a friend or
family member. Make sure the space you are in doesn’t echo. Fumbling and
fidgeting with mics, updates, and settings during the call could throw you off
But know that, no matter how much you prepare,
technology can be tricky, so you don’t have to worry about it too much.
“Technology is great, until it doesn’t work,”
Paige says. “There are a few things that can go wrong when using video
technology. We don’t care if they happen, but we do care about how you react.”
If something goes wrong, stay calm and address
the issue to get back to business as soon as possible. Any company utilizing
video interviewing knows these things can happen.
The Don’t Worry Abouts Of The Virtual Interview
Interviews are stressful situations. And there
are plenty of things worth worrying about. Here are a few things Paige told us
not to lose any sleep over.
You don’t need to rearrange the room or paint your
walls white. You’re not being assessed on your taste in decorations or what
kind of books you have on your shelf. As long as things are relatively neat and
there’s nothing obscene in plain view, you’re all set.
“You need to have an awareness of what’s
behind you,” Paige says. “But we’re not going to be paying attention to a movie
poster or artwork on the wall.”
stuff that makes you a person. Sneezing, coughing,
noises outside your window—these are just a part of life. If you’re recording a
great response and you happen to sneeze, don’t delete it. If you’re talking and
an ambulance siren echoes from the road, don’t sweat it.
questions. There are no wrong answers to a question.
The reason you were selected for an interview is because they wanted to learn
more about you, which means they found you interesting. Don’t squander the
opportunity by looking for tricks and traps.
“We’re not asking our candidates ‘gotcha
questions,’” Paige explains. “We want our candidates to succeed.”
And if you follow her advice, there’s a good chance you’ll both get what you want: a great interview.
Want to put these tips to the test? Check out open opportunities at EY on WayUp!
The views expressed by the presenters are their own and not necessarily those of Ernst & Young LLP or other members of the global EY organization.
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