AARP Eye Center
The next time you interview for a job, the conversation might happen online rather than in person, especially if you are applying for a job that lets you work from home.
According to a recent survey of hiring managers, recruiters and human resources professionals, one third of employers (33 percent) conduct their job interviews entirely through videoconferencing. An additional 21 percent say they begin the interview process online and only offer face-to-face interviews in the final rounds. Only 21 percent said that most of their company’s job interviews happen in person.
AARP Membership — $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal
Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP The Magazine.
The survey — conducted by TopResume, a resume-writing service that has partnered AARP for the Resume Advisor tool — suggests that video interviews are here to stay after becoming common during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. That means jobseekers should practice the skills necessary to succeed in a virtual interview.
“Although virtual interviews have become a ubiquitous part of the hiring process, even as more companies are requiring employees to return to the office, our data shows many job candidates have yet to master the art of the virtual interview — and it's sabotaging their candidacy,” said Amanda Augustine, a career expert for TopResume. “Fortunately, these mistakes can be easily avoided with modest preparation.”
The survey asked respondents to rank 11 types of mistakes applicants make in video interviews from most harmful to getting hired to least damaging. The good news is that technical glitches, such as inconsistent Wi-Fi, ranked low on the list, placing tenth. But several other common problems could get in the way of landing the job.
Here are the top five mistakes to avoid in a job interview, according to the survey.
1. Avoiding eye contact or staring into space
You may have had plenty of practice using Zoom and other videoconferencing apps in recent years, but it’s important to remember that a video job interview is not just another meeting or chat with friends. Employers want to see that you are focused on the conversation, so keep your eyes on the camera.
2. Sitting in a messy room
When you go to an in-person job interview, you get a peek at what the offices look like, who works there, and how you might feel there. Virtual interviews can be the exact opposite. If you don’t opt to blur or customize your background, the employer can see your workspace and judge what it says about you. That means that if you choose to do the interview in your home, make sure to tidy up your office with an eye for everything that will appear on camera. Alternatively, you might consider using a meeting room in your public library or similar community space that can be reserved free.