Due to the coronavirus crisis, BuenaVida is not in kiosks. Download it free here
The big day has come. You finally have that interview for the job you want so much and it is, by grace (or misfortune) of fate, through a video conference. From your house. You prepare yourself mentally, review your speech and place yourself in front of the screen. Everything is going well, you argue calmly and fluently, you are convinced of being the perfect candidate and you notice that your interlocutor begins to realize it. So your cats decide to steal your limelight. Like domestic guerrillas, they take over the living room, climb the bookshelf behind your image of a committed worker, and wipe out titles, framed photos, and decorations. Touch. Game over.
The anecdote, straddling the comedy and the chill, is real. It happened a few days ago to one of the candidates interviewed by the head of Talent at the International School for Leadership and Talent Development, Juanjo Marle. “The boy became super nervous, asked for forgiveness a thousand times and I told him not to worry. In the end we are all human and these things can happen, although there are a number of elements that we must try to control when facing a videoconference interview “, the expert advances. So that neither your cats nor any other spontaneous factor ruin a job interview in times of confinement, Marle has developed a decalogue with five recommendations to get out of a trance gracefully. Hopefully if you follow him you will also leave the meeting with a payroll under his arm.
Build a perfect, but formal background
“The fundamental nuance is that now in a job interview the environment does depend on you, not like when you went to an office and it was given to you. So the stage has to be set,” says the talent recruiter. Not taking care of everything the interviewer will see during the conversation is one of the main mistakes of the candidates. It is an art in which Carolina, a 37-year-old biologist, is on her way to becoming an expert. As it takes a lot of personnel from your area of knowledge to practice the PCR diagnostic tests, which are used to detect the presence of the coronavirus that causes covid-19, has done two job video interviews only as far as confinement is concerned. “I choose my room,” he says, taking care that my bed does not come out, or a room that I have as a living room, also quiet. And always with the light on so that it does not look dark to me.
The talent recruiter defines the ideal place to do a job video interview as quiet and enjoyable, two characteristics that can be difficult to combine. Especially the first one; a clueless roommate can have a far more deadly effect than a cat perching on a shelf. For those who do not live alone, it is absolutely crucial to advise that the room where the interview will be held will be closed while the camera is on. That includes avoiding noise, starting with your own phone. “It is essential to remember to turn off the phone,” says Marle.
Once the background is under control, it is time to intervene in the first term of the image. In other words, in oneself. Don’t think, for example, that meeting by video call will save your makeup; Carolina usa blush and some mascara to combat the paleness that the screen sometimes gives us. Nor will it free you from dressing with the deference due to your interlocutors, who, remember, will open or close the door to their company. Although there are certain licenses that one can afford. “I wear a blouse and some earrings for clothes, but at the bottom I go in my pajamas or tracksuits,” confesses the biologist. In any case, beware of exceptions because, what would have happened if, when the candidate stood up, in the midst of a feline persecution, it emerged that all the arguments about commitment and seriousness at work had come out of the mouth of someone who does the interviews in pajamas?
“Even if it’s online, it’s a job interview and there’s a lot at stake, from extra money to your life’s job. Do not take it lightly just to see a little screen and not the company logo“warns the specialist. And ensures that our staging gives us or takes away credibility, and that is our main guarantee when it comes to negotiating important points, such as conditions and salary.
Don’t look into the eyes, look into the camera
The fever of video calls has shown that posing in front of the lens is not an easy job: there are people who look down and approach the screen as if they wanted to scare away a fly (and getting too close guarantees a completely deformed face, due to the optics used by these devices), who get so far away that they seem to want to camouflage themselves with the background (and they are not even heard when they speak)… In an informal conversation it is not very important, but things change when there is a job At stake, at that time the face must be located at the right point. But the most important thing is where you look.
“We cannot forget to look into the eyes of our interviewer [que, en este caso, son la cámara del ordenador] Although it is uncomfortable, because he needs to know that he is with you and that you are attentive to what is happening, “says Marle, who ensures that eye contact is still the best way to reach our interlocutor, no matter how many computers there are in between. Taking notes is also a good idea because it will convey that we are attentive and focused on the conversation, Add. And, without trying to exert pressure, as job applicants there is something that reveals to us about employers: they are very attentive to our body language.
We may believe that some of our attitudes or gestures go unnoticed, but this is not the case at all. “If I am asking you during an interview about your previous job and you walk away in the chair or change your posture, you give me clues to know that you are not comfortable. Nonverbal language is not an exact science, but it gives us valuable information about the interviewee “explains the sensor. By analogy, Marle explains that something similar would happen to us if we had been together with our partner for ten years and, suddenly, he began to change his behavior: to get better, to start going to the gym, to put a password on his mobile phone when not before. He had it … “All these factors, by themselves, do not indicate anything, but when there is an accumulation they can put us on alert that something is hiding. The same thing happens with non-verbal communication in an interview.”
Master technology, and never use it as an excuse
So far, everything that is strictly in our hands to help the video interview run smoothly, but what about the imponderable technology? “One of the interviews I did was completely surreal, at first everything worked very well but, suddenly, my interviewer couldn’t hear me and he was beckoning me to tell me: ‘I can’t hear you’, he was saying very agitatedly with his hands. I started to beckon him too and that’s how we were, trying to understand each other, in vain, for ten minutes. I had a horrible tension, and I hadn’t realized that he had written to me through the application asking for my phone number to communicate through a call, “says the biologist.
Yes the technology We can rebel and play a trick on us, but that does not mean that we should not check technical details beforehand to avoid being harmed by avoidable problems. These are aspects such as the internet connection, which has to be good enough so that communication is not interrupted. Above all, it is important to become familiar with the platform with which we are going to hold the job interview. Not spending some time on it is a major mistake because who is going to hire someone who hasn’t bothered to control the tool they will use to get the job?
For the consolation of humble applicants, it is worth underlining that not all mishaps are borne by the candidate. For example, spontaneous people also cross the screen in front of us, as happened to Carlos Sánchez, who has done several interviews lately as product manager for technology companies, until he recently accepted an offer. “During the confinement in all the interviews one of the interviewer’s children appeared, I saw them on the camera asking or asking something, but speaking very quietly and very polite to them. Everyone warned me, in fact, they told me ‘don’t be surprised when my son appears through the door’. And we take it in a natural, funny and stress-free way. “A good strategy to warn, when it is more than likely that the threat will materialize sooner or later …
Finally, there is no more important advice than to avoid falling into temptations such as using technological failures as an excuse. “It is essential to value the time of our interlocutor in the same way that we would if we went to his workplace,” concludes the expert. And being late when you haven’t even had to leave home … That doesn’t fit the profile of any job or telecommuting.
You can follow Buenavida on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or subscribe here to the Newsletter.