Thursday, March 8, 2012

Strategies for Success in Non-traditional Interviews, Part 2

Earlier in the week, I discussed the strategy for success in the non-traditional interview settings of the panel and phone interviews in another blog post. Today, I would like to address two other growing trends, the video interview and the lunch or dinner meeting interview.

The video interview - With Skype being used by more people, video interviewing has become popular. This tool is especially useful when you are interviewing with a company in another state or country.

Challenge: The video interview comes with all sorts of challenges, especially if you have never used the technology before the interview. You don't want to be late because you can't get your technology working.

Another challenge that you face is controlling how you will be perceived on the video. Unlike the phone interview, you have the opportunity to use non-verbal communication tool such as appearance, body language, and facial expressions. However, if not managed correctly these tools can work against you.

Strategy: Be sure to do a test run on your equipment well in advance of the interview. Try using your internet video teleconferencing for a few test runs before the day of the interview. The day of the interview, get yourself set up at least 15 to 30 minutes in advance so you have plenty of time to deal with any issues. Some other tips:
  • Dress for the video interview as you would for a traditional in-person interview from head to toe. Consider that you might have to step away from the camera for some reason and you don't want the interviewer to see you are wearing a suit coat with your pajama pants on the bottom!
  • Consider your surroundings that will be seen in the background. You don't want dirty dishes, a messy desk, or your kids and dogs running by behind you. Remember, you want to create a professional impression.
  • If your internet connection is unreliable or slow, you need to consider alternatives. You may need to borrow a friend's connection or even rent one of those virtual offices by the hour in which to conduct your interview.
  • Don't forget to look at the camera, not the computer monitor. Think of the video camera as the interviewer's eyes. If you are constantly looking down at the monitor, it will be as though you made no eye contact during the interview.
The lunch or dinner interview - Meeting for an interview over lunch or dinner is often mistaken for a casual meeting by interviewees. There are certainly times where someone may invite you to lunch or dinner just to discuss a potential opportunity, but you should never take the casual approach to these types of meetings.

Challenge: The biggest challenge for the lunch or dinner interview is knowing how to approach the session. These interviews demand the use of social graces that are not usually used in the traditional job interview such as table manners, etiquette, and your treatment of the restaurant staff.

Strategy: Brush up on your table manners and dinner etiquette before the meal. You certainly don't want to use your interviewer's silverware or drink out of their glass of water, simply because you don't know the rules of etiquette. Some additional considerations:
  • Be wary of what you order. Ensure that you avoid hard to eat or messy foods such as spaghetti or barbecued items.
  • Take small bites so you can quickly and easily clear your mouth before answering questions.
  • Don't order alcohol. If your host insists, and is drinking something themselves, take small, slow sips of your drink.
  • Treat the staff with courtesy and respect. Never send your food back and don't be "fussy" about how your food is prepared.
  • Ladies, consider what the meal will do to your makeup. However, never reapply lipstick at the table.

No comments:

Post a Comment