4 tips to ace a virtual interview with Buildertrend

Sean Robinson / Buildertrend

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the world of work has changed. The hiring and job-seeking process serves as proof.

For many businesses, the days of firm handshakes, office tours and large group interviews in tiny cramped rooms are put on pause. But that doesn’t mean team growth should be put on pause, too. That’s why Buildertrend has embraced this new normal. We’re still looking for the most ambitious and dependable candidates out there – we’ve just taken the search virtual.

But we get it. Just because a job interview is done from the comfort of your home, that doesn’t make the experience any more comfortable. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. What if there’s tech issues? What do you wear? How do you make a good first impression over a Zoom video?

Don’t sweat it. Buildertrend interviews are always kept cool and casual. Even a pandemic won’t change that. To make things even cooler and, well, casual-er, we’re bringing you four tips to ace a virtual interview with Buildertrend.

“Now more than ever, it’s important to learn how to perfect a virtual interview,” said Makayla Hoover, Buildertrend’s director of talent. “Thankfully, the transition from in-person to virtual isn’t all too drastic, but there’s a few things to be cognizant of as a candidate.”

1) Be your best enthusiastic self

Enthusiasm in person is easy to read. Over video? Err, not so much.

That’s why it’s important to show us you’re motivated and engaged through good active listening. Best of all, you can do so while keeping your mic muted. Nod your head to give affirmations and maintain eye contact with your screen. (Go the extra mile and put some googly eyes next to your webcam as a reminder to keep your sight focused forward.)

“The interviewer won’t have the chance to watch the nonverbal behavior of the interviewee like they do in in-person,” Hoover said. “Therefore, candidates should be aware that the enthusiasm, energy and eye contact needs to be solid and consistent throughout the entirety of the video interview.”

2) Dress the part – at least from waist up

The best part of a virtual interview? You can do it in sweatpants. Score! The trick is to make sure we don’t know that.

It’s still an interview. Online really is no different than face-to-face. A good rule of thumb is to dress the same as you would in a traditional interview – at least the parts of you in view.

“Since most camera views will only capture the video from the torso up, you could opt to go business up top, party on the bottom,” Hoover said. ”Whatever floats your boat!”

Buildertrend is a casually dressed crew, so you should log on comfortable yet put together. A button-down shirt or polo are both great options for guys, and gals could opt for blouse or button-down, too. And – this should go without saying – even if you’re interviewing from your bed, bedhead is not invited.

3) Set the scene and test your tech

Your environment should be just as presentable as you during a virtual interview. That’s easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Choose a non-distracting background or organized space. A blank wall is simple yet works!
  2. Adjust the camera angle to at least shoulder height.
  3. Prevent any untimely distractions by putting a sign on your doorbell, placing your phone on silent and giving us a heads up if there is the potential of a dog barking or child interrupting.

Setting the scene is half the battle. Getting your tech in line is the other.

At least a few hours before a virtual interview, candidates should check all their technology to ensure everything works effectively. In most cases, you’ll want access to a functional computer – a cell phone is not ideal. Finally, ensure the computer has any and all necessary software downloaded ahead of time and that the internet connection is stable.

Pro tip: Hop onto the interview about five minutes in advance. This demonstrates your timeliness and gives you the chance to double check your camera and microphone.

But wait! What if a tech glitch does occur? Well, that’s just part of our new normal.

“While not ideal, tech issues are bound to happen in this new virtually-set interview world,” Hoover said.  “If a mishap happens, it’s best to get in contact with the hiring manager to let them know a disconnection happened and that they are working to get it resolved. Be sure to apologize and ask for a second chance to hop back on the virtual call.”

4) Practice, research but keep it natural

Virtual interviews offer a unique opportunity. Instead of coming up with answers off the cuff, you could have some typed out in a side window to recite as questions arise. Genius, right? Not so much.

No matter how well written those answers may be, it’s better to keep things natural. We want to see your personality – not your reading skills.

However, you should still do you homework. Review your resume and the job then consider how your past experience might help you exceed in the role. Having this information fresh in your mind will help you feel more confident during the video call. Additionally, you should research a bit about Buildertrend and come to the interview with questions ready to go.

“We consistently look for the same intangibles in all employees, whether it’s for an in-person interview or a virtual one. Bring a great attitude, show excitement for the opportunity by asking great questions and always be sure to research us ahead of time,” Hoover said.

Ready for your virtual interview?

Well, you’re in luck because we’re hiring. Your dream job could be just a video interview away!

Ready to get started?

View our openings

About the Author

Sean Robinson
Sean Robinson

Sean Robinson is a copywriter at Buildertrend

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