An interview in any format, whether in person, over the phone, or video, can be a nerve-wracking experience. How do you prepare? How do you know what the interviewer is going to ask? How do you ace the interview and secure the job?
In light of COVID-19, Saskatoon Business College (SBC) is helping students prepare for video interviews as part of its career strategy class. The Class is available to all students at the end of their program and includes a full month of resume building and interview techniques.
We spoke with Dawn Devonshire and Jaime Mirtle, two instructors at SBC, about how students can prepare for video interviews.
Step 1: Check Your Surroundings
Before any video interview, students at business college are advised to check what’s behind and around them. Dawn says that “They need to make sure that there is no background noise that day. Of course, there are things you can’t control like your neighbour cutting the lawn, but try to find the quietest space you can in your home. Give the warning to everyone living in the house—including the dogs!”
Jaime similarly advises students to choose how and where they do their interview carefully. “Sometimes we get quite comfortable at home,” Jaime cautions,“However, students need to be careful to be professional and in ‘interview mode’. They can’t lie in bed with their laptop!”
Step 2: Dress the Part
Even though they might be at home,it’s still important to dress as though it’s a real interview—and this includes the bottom half! Dawn recommends that students “Dress professionally all the way down because you never know when you’re going to get caught.” She adds that “When you dress well, you feel good. This will bring a new level of confidence, even if you’re nervous. So dress for success.”
Step 3: Look Directly at the Camera
One of the challenges in a video interview iswhere to look. In an in-person interview, you would maintain direct eye contact with the interviewer. However, this is difficult to do over a video call. Jaime says that “Students may be concerned about eye contact and where to look. You want to be looking at your camera rather than at the screen.”
Similarly, Dawn adds that “They should look straight into the camera as if it’s an actual person that they’re looking at. Otherwise, it will look like you’re daydreaming and not paying attention.”
Step 4: Practice Makes Perfect at Saskatoon Business College
As part of the career training course at corporate training college, students will have plenty of opportunities to do practice videointerviews. This means they will be well-prepared for the real thing. Jaime explains that students are doing practice interviews over the online blackboard learning software.
Students are also learning from the experiences of others. Dawn explains that “We’re doing mock interviews and having conversations in class where people can share their stories and their experiences.” She explains that as a part of these activities, “We tell stories from past graduates about good and bad interview experiences, where things can go wrong with references, how important networking is, and more. People are more likely to remember and learn from the personal stories and the anecdotes.”
As a final piece of advice, Dawn encourages students to be themselves: “You’ve already checked the boxes in terms of experience and qualification. Now you just need to show what kind of person you are and that you’re a good fit.”
Are you interested in career college in Saskatoon?
Contact SBC for more information!