There is no doubt that the world has had to face unprecedented times due to the Covid-19 outbreak, and this has resulted in a ‘new normal’ that involves significant changes to the way that people work and even how people get hired.
In the education industry, many schools have been forced to explore virtual hiring options and say goodbye to the traditional in-person method of interviewing and hiring. However, schools hiring foreign teachers all over the world were already prepared for this, as many of those interviews were happening virtually pre-covid-19.
The largest impact is on schools hiring teachers that live nearby that are typically able to come in for an in-person meeting.
To teachers, virtual interviews may sound even more intimidating, considering the technology requirements and potential lack of a good virtual interviewing environment at home. Check out these online interview tips and see which ones you can implement during your job search process!
Virtual interview best practices
1. Technological preparation is key
Whether you are using WeChat, Zoom, Skype, or any other tool, technical glitches are common — and sometimes, they’re out of our hands. Test your technological equipment and interview platform before the interview.
Preparation is key, so make sure your internet (Wifi/Lan) has sufficient speed to conduct a seamless interview online without lagging or any interruptions.
Test the quality of your earphones, and we suggest earphones simply because they can help minimize sounds coming from external sources.
Make sure your device has sufficient battery to avoid any panic or rush when you receive the message that your device will shut down in 30 seconds.
Despite the frustrations they cause, technological challenges can also be a great opportunity to show potential employers how you respond to problems. When glitches occur, try to remain calm and take the lead, and avoid becoming flustered in the moment.
2. Dress as you would for an in-person interview
Just because the interview is online and you can do it from your living room does not mean the dress code is relaxed. You should still dress professionally for a virtual hiring event or interview —the same way you would for an in-person interview. If you’re unsure, you can also ask the interviewer what they expect as part of the company dress code, so you have a good idea of what’s appropriate to wear for your interview.
Also, in most cases, the interviewer will only see your upper body and face, but it’s still a good idea to wear pants that match your outfit (not pajama pants or shorts with a button-down shirt). Plus, getting fully dressed for the role you want to get makes you feel great and helps alleviate some of your imposter syndrome.
3. Choose the correct background
After researching your potential employer, you should have an idea of the company culture, and your video background should be styled in a way that is appropriate for the company’s version of professionalism. Some companies might be far more strict than others regarding background noise, what the area behind you looks like, and lighting.
For a successful video interview, you should start by making sure that you’re in a well-lit environment and that there aren’t any glares that could distract the interviewer. Try to find a source of good natural light, and make sure it is positioned in front of you.
If you have any artwork, books, or other decorations on the wall behind you, then also remember to make sure your interview area is not too cluttered and distracting for the interviewer.
You can easily hop on a test call using any video chatting platform to see what the background looks like and how the lighting is ahead of time.
4. Be aware of your body language
According to The New York Times, anthropologist Ray Birdwhistell found that face-to-face conversation is less than 35 percent verbal, while more than 65 percent of communication is done nonverbally. This means that you need to change up your communication strategy a bit while participating in virtual interviews.
Some tips to follow:
- Look at the camera, not yourself
- Avoid slouching and maintain good posture in your chair
- Smile genuinely and nod when necessary
- Make sure your motions are kept to a minimum
Start interviewing virtually!
These are simple tips that can help you ace that interview for your next teaching job abroad.