Still under lockdown? Don’t worry, the whole nation is.
In case you were about to attend a panel interview which got postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, it will be conducted over a video call pretty soon.
Now that you are already working from home, you should already know that video conferencing is the new meeting space.
So, the idea of a video panel interview should not startle you.
Yet, in order to ensure that you make the cut successfully and land this job offer, we have gathered some tried and tested tips in this article.
Read and act as advised to ace a remote panel interview, just as smoothly as you would in a face-to-face one.
Know your interview panelists
Interview panelists do not always expect that you would have checked them out on professional networking sites before.
So, please do not make it evident and try to keep your research work as discreet as possible.
Still, it is okay to ask who will be interviewing you. Once you know the names, find out all you can about them.
Once you have visited their professional network profile, also do a healthy google search on them. (No stalking on Facebook, please!)
You might discover a common professional link or even some common interests. These points can be great conversation starters.
On the side, you can also research and learn about the company.
Check the company’s background, major news and read up about the founder(s).
Keep the noise level down
Since you will be addressing a group of interviewers on call, try to keep the noise level in your interview setup down.
Please make arrangements for someone to watch your children, pets, guests etc. at home for a little while.
Turn off all distractions like the television, stereo, mobile, land phone ringer etc.
You don’t want anything that might distract either you or the interview panel from concentrating.
Prep the interview area or room
Reserve a neat and tidy set up for your panel interview.
A messy room with children’s toys and other personal items lying around can make you appear unprofessional.
Also, while you speak to one panelist, the others who are idle shouldn’t be seeing the way you live, as this is unnecessary information that does not pertain to the job.
You do not want them to be drawing any unnecessary conclusions.
Before the panel video call, look around to see what the interviewers will be seeing in your background.
Keep your background businesslike, clean and preferably neutral.
Also, organize your desk neatly and get rid of clutter for your own convenience.
Have a backup plan
What if the video conferencing app or platform does not work? What if your internet connection calls it quits?
Make sure you have the email and phone number of your HR spoc handy to connect instantly.
You might end up having a conference phone conversation instead of a video panel interview in this case.
Bandwidth is another common issue, especially while working from home.
If two or more people are online in an apartment or house at the same time, the network can cause delays, glitches and other issues with video conferencing tools.
In such a case, turn off the video function on the application during the panel interview.
You’ll still be able to talk to each other on whatever platform you’re using, minus visuals.
Or, you can schedule the interview at a later time if things go really awry.
Interviewing from home does not mean you shouldn't be dressing professionally for it.
Still, since you are at home and everyone knows that, it would be odd if you showed up on video in full formals!
The idea is to strike a delicate balance.
Think of what you would actually wear for this interview if it was in person, and tone it down by about 20%.
For instance, instead of a business coat, wear a smart shirt. Ladies can put on some light makeup too.
Log in a few minutes early to check if all the technology is working fine.
This will stop you from rushing when the interview begins.
Pay attention to facial expressions and voices
While answering the questions of your panelists, address their queries chronologically.
Also, keep your voice calm and speak clearly.
Remember to smile and laugh when appropriate, just like you would in person.
You want to demonstrate to your interview panelists that you’re engaged in the conversation.
Also leave a few seconds at the end of sentences to avoid talking over someone else.
Remember to look into the camera while speaking, and not at your own image or the other person’s image.
Have a strong close
When your remote panel interview is about to conclude, you will be asked “Do you have any questions?” by one of the panelists.
Ask your interviewers what’s going to happen next in the process. Also, thank them for their time as well.
Ultimately, you are representing yourself as a future employee of their company during an online panel interview.
Knowing how to effectively communicate on a video conference will help you leave a positive impression on the minds of your panelists.
Follow the above panel interview tips and say YES to the job opportunity and not just to the video interview invite on mail!
All the best!