With the use of teleconferencing services like Skype, FaceTime, Zoom.us, WebEx & GoToMeeting on the rise, more and more actuarial job interviews are being conducted virtually, as oppose to onsite. This means that candidates need to test their web conferencing setup (webcam, mic, lighting, background, etc) prior to their interview to insure a professional experience. Below are some tips for a successful video interview.
Most virtual job interviews are conducted over free software, and are easily accessed by clicking a shareable link. Whenever possible, test the software you will be using for the interview, just in case you need to download any software or apps prior to the meeting.
Test your internet speed to insure you have the correct bandwidth to stream a video conference. This can be done at SpeedTest.net, and you would want a minimum download/upload speed of 1.2 Mbps (preferably 3 Mbps or higher). If you are close to that threshold, be sure that you close out all other websites/applications on your computer, and that others in your household are not streaming video, music or other high bandwidth activities while you video conference.
Make a test call to a friend or family member to test your video/sound quality, proper lighting, background, and presentation.
a. Turn off your phone.
b. Find a quiet, private & well lit location.
c. Avoid interruptions from pets, roommates & family members.
d. Lighting should be pointing towards your face, and minimize any background lights that would cause a silhouette effect.
- Two lights on either side of your camera will provide balanced lighting, and reduce harsh shadows.
- Avoid harsh lighting & low lighting.
- Adjust window shades so they add to your lighting, but don’t over power / change your lighting during the interview.
e. Raise or lower the camera so it is at eye level.
f. Speak clearly & confidently, and pause to let others respond.
g. Declutter your background, and make sure it’s neat and tidy.
h. Dress professionally, look into the camera when you speak, smile & be yourself!
- Join to the web conference 5-10 minutes early, and be sure you are prepared for the call.
a. Have you researched the company?
b. Have you thought about answers to potential interview questions?
c. Have a copy of your resume handy, and take notes when necessary.
d. Expect some technical issues – have patience when technical issues arise.
- Be energetic, enthusiastic and responsive. Remember that this type of interview should be handled just as an onsite interview.
a. Imagine that the other participants are sitting in the same room with you.
b. Speak naturally and clearly, but remember to pause occasionally so that others may make comments.
c. Allow some give & take during the call. Try not to dominate the conversation.
d. Use hand gestures, nods & smile to appear engaged.
e. Ask appropriate questions – this shows interest on your part and shows you’ve done your research.
f. Do not let your guard down. Speak to everyone as if they were the president of the company.
g. Do not act too casual, regardless of how well you may know the interviewer.
- Dress for success.
a. Avoid busy or boldly patterned clothing, especially red or black.
b. Avoid jewelry that may brush against things, or be distracting.
c. Solid, muted colors are recommended.
d. Choose the same attire you would for a formal in person interview (i.e. a full suit).
- Keep in mind that employers are looking for specific traits in a candidate, so exhibit them rather than take for granted that they are evident on your resume, or will naturally arise during the interview.
a. Energy, Ambition, and Work Ethic – Employers look for candidates who possess all of these traits.
b. Dynamic – Employers want candidates who are not only technically oriented or good at math, but someone who is articulate and can explain technical matters to a non-technical audience.
c. Intellectual Curiosity – The interviewing company will not necessarily expect you to know how to perform the day-to-day responsibilities immediately. However, you have to convey a willingness and desire to learn.
- Follow up your interview with a thank you email.
a. Thank the interviewers for their time & the opportunity.
b. Let them know you are excited about the role.
c. Readdress your skills that set you apart.
d. Personalize it to your interview.
e. Include all contact information in your signature.
If you are currently in the market for a new actuarial job, or possibly looking to hire an actuary, please contact our experienced team of actuarial recruiters at DW Simpson. For over 30 year, we have specialized in the recruitment of actuarial & analytical professionals, and we would be happy to contribute to your future growth & success. To get started with your actuarial job search, simply submit your resume here or contact our client development team to grow your actuarial department.