In today’s high-tech world, interviewing for an agriculture job can look different than it did just a decade ago. Many ag companies choose to save time and resources by conducting the first interview for a job online. While there are some benefits to receiving a remote job interview, there are also some challenges to overcome.
Some people find it hard to act naturally and confidently when they’re undergoing a remote interview. There are also some potential issues that can arise from internet lag or unexpected interruptions when you’re interviewing from home. To make sure you land the agriculture, horticulture or food production job you want, here are some tips for your virtual job interview.
Virtual Job Interview Tips
It might feel strange to do an interview remotely, but there are things you can do to help the experience proceed as naturally as possible. Here are some tips to help you ace the virtual interview.
Find the Right Place
When you interview online, it’s important to make sure you do so in a clean and professional-looking area. Don’t set up your laptop in a public place, such as a library or coffee shop. You need to make sure you’re in a low-noise environment that’s free from interruptions. For many people, this may be a home office, study nook or even a patio.
If you don’t have time to clean and prepare a room in your home for your interview, don’t cover up your camera. Your interviewer will want to see what you look like and interact with you as if you were there in person. Instead, consider downloading a professional-looking background compatible with Zoom or whatever application you’re using to conduct your interview.
Dress the Part
You might feel it’s unnecessary to dress nicely since you’re not leaving your house to meet with your potential employer. But don’t make the mistake of dressing too casually just because you’re being interviewed from the comfort of your home. Wearing professional clothing shows you’re a serious job candidate who truly wants to land the job.
Depending on the agriculture position for which you’re applying, a suit and tie or blazer might look a little too formal and out of place in your virtual job interview. In that case, a nice button-up shirt or clean blouse may be perfect for the situation. Use your best judgment to determine how dressed up you should be, based on the position you seek.
You’ve probably seen viral clips of professional interviews going south because of interruptions by dogs, cats and even children. If you want to avoid becoming a viral YouTube star for all the wrong reasons, make sure you don’t have any distractions at the time of your interview.
Put pets in another room with access to food and water while you conduct your interview. If you have small children at home, consider sending them to their grandparents’ house or having a babysitter watch them so you can complete your virtual job interview without any embarrassing interruptions.
Practice Your Body Language
It’s much harder to show enthusiasm in an online job interview because you’re not there with the interviewer in person. You can’t shake their hand or read their body cues as well when you’re miles away from them. But there are still things you can do to exhibit confidence and excitement during your online interview. One of the most important things you can do is sit up straight. This may require you to purchase an office chair that facilitates good posture. If you’re lounging in a chair, you’ll come across as a lazy, sloppy and unserious candidate.
You can also show the right body language by looking your interviewer in the eye. Eye contact is arguably even more important during a virtual job interview than it is during an in-person meeting. It shows confidence and interest. Don’t forget to smile when appropriate to put your interviewer at ease.
Be Prepared for Delays
You never want it to happen to you, but when you’re in the middle of a virtual job interview, you could experience delays due to a slow internet connection. It’s important to prepare for this possibility so you don’t panic when it happens. If there’s only a slight lag, make sure you don’t jump in to fill any silences in the conversation too quickly. If you do, you could end up unintentionally cutting off your interviewer and creating an awkward ping-pong effect of back-and-forth interruptions.
If the lag is significant, you may wish to calmly suggest that you both leave the interview and rejoin it to see if the lag goes away. Stay calm and collected no matter what happens so your potential employer can see that you’d be an asset in stressful situations.
Show Your Knowledge
Your interviewer has the challenging responsibility of deciding which job candidate is the best for the available ag position. You can make their job easier by showing your knowledge of horticulture, agriculture or food production. Use industry-specific terms when answering questions to show you truly understand the topics at hand. Talk about previous jobs you’ve held in the relevant field to show your interviewer you have the skills necessary to get the job done right.
If your interviewer is happy with your performance, there may be signs you will get the job after a virtual job interview, particularly if your interviewer does any of the following:
- Exhibits excited body language
- Speaks of “when” and not “if” you can begin working
- Volunteers additional information about job responsibilities and salary details
- Asks about how you’ll transition from your current job to the new job
- Contacts your references
- Asks about your impressions of the interview
While these actions don’t guarantee you’ve got the job, they’re indications that your interviewer thinks you may be a good fit. If you do end up getting a job offer, it’s important to rehearse what you’ll say and how you’ll accept the offer.
More Virtual Job Interview Advice from an Ag Recruitment Firm
Getting a job in agriculture can be challenging, but your likelihood of success increases when you’re prepared to ace your virtual job interview. Sign up at AgHires to gain access to a variety of job seeker resources, career advice, and more that will help you land the agriculture job you want. Start your search for your next ag career move at AgHires.com.