Despite the COVID-19 pandemic greatly slowing down economic activity throughout the world, the Philippine BPO industry continued to function. Surprisingly, call center hiring in Metro Manila continued, and new positions even become available. 

The New Normal of Philippine BPOs: A Checklist for Your Zoom or Skype Job Interview


One major difference, though, is the more widespread use of video conferencing apps for the job interviews, rather than the usual face-to-face meetings. Call centers have long been recognized as a health risk due to the close proximity of thousands of workers. This closeness, as well as the fact that people who work the night shift tend to have compromised immune systems has made BPOs especially wary of the dangers of infectious illnesses such as COVID-19.


Before the COVID-19 pandemic, large numbers of job applicants would be onsite at almost any given time. As more BPOs recognized the risks, video calls became the standard way these interviews were done. Having job interviews done entirely through Zoom, Skype, or some other remote conferencing software is an obvious way to not only reduce the risk of contagion but also to improve the efficiency of the interview process as well.


If you’re scheduled for a video interview, first of all, congratulations! Now, you’ll have to do your best to ensure that the call goes smoothly. Here are the things you should do before your scheduled video call:


1.) Make sure your webcam, speakers, and mic are working

If you’re using a relatively new laptop, chances are you’re already covered. But if you use an older laptop or a PC with external peripherals, you’ll want to make sure that everything is working as intended.


2.) Use a stable internet connection

Use the most stable internet connection you have available. You don’t want random dropouts to happen in the middle of your call. This is especially important if you’re applying for a work-from-home position. Having a serious connectivity issue from your end may even end up costing you the position if there is a similarly-qualified applicant with better internet connectivity.


3.) Make a test call

Now that you’re sure your speakers, mic, webcam, and internet connection are all in order, it’s time for you to make a test call. Most video calling apps have a test function, but you can also try getting in touch with a friend as well.


4.) Consider using a pair of headphones

While not strictly necessary, a good pair of headphones or earbuds can help improve the audio quality of the call. This will keep you from misunderstanding the interviewer, keep outside noises from being too distracting, and give you some additional privacy as well.


5.) Close unneeded tabs and applications

Conserve your computer’s resources to prevent your call from dropping out or from becoming too garbled. You also want to close them so that you have your full attention on the call, and won’t be tempted to do anything else while the interviewer is still there.

6.) Dress as you would for a face-to-face job interview

Only clothing appropriate for a professional face-to-face meeting should be worn on video interviews. Contrary to popular practice, you shouldn’t just wear the top half — you also want to wear appropriate trousers or a skirt as well. This is in case you have to get up to do something — you don’t want the interviewer to see something you don’t want them to see!


7.) Have a notepad and a pen ready

Sure, you can also write things down on a word processor. But having a pen and paper can be more convenient as it won’t require you to put your video call window away.

8.) Have “the talk” with people in your home

Tell your housemates, parents, children, or whoever will be at home during your interview that you’ll have an important job interview. Be sure to tell them the time as well as where you’re taking it so that they know to not make any noise or present other distractions during your call.


9.) Take the interview in a quiet, private place

Avoid taking your calls in cafes or other public spaces. If you have a choice, stay home or at least, stick with a quieter place such as a coworking space’s meeting room.


10.) Do a practice interview

As with any face-to-face job interview, you want to do a practice run, if possible. Arrange for a call with a friend who can take the role of the interviewer. While it may seem a bit silly, doing this simple thing can increase your confidence and help put you in the right state of mind for the real call ahead. 


Even after the end of the pandemic, it’s likely that BPOs will attempt to mitigate the risks of transmissible illnesses by limiting the number of people on their premises. It’s even possible that soon, even your final interviews will be done remotely. By following the checklist above, you can maximize your chances of success, especially in the post-pandemic BPO job market.

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