While online interviews can make the process less intimidating, there are still considerations you should take into account ahead of the interview. You’re in control of your environment and how prepared you are. Here are some pointers on how to impress your interviewer and master your interview via online technology.
Do your research
Just like any face-to-face interview, it’s important to do your research before your scheduled call. You might be thinking that an online interview makes the process easier because you can look at your notes, but in reality, it’s hard to pull this off when you’re on camera. Don’t rely on having ten tabs open on the screen either, your wandering eye will be noticeable on screen.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to research the background and names of the interviewers and projects the company has completed (or are in tender or have just won) which you can refer to during the conversation.
Make sure to familiarise yourself with the technology you’ll be using on the day. This includes testing the sound quality of your computer, installing applications and ensuring your connection to the internet is strong. Doing all of this preparation will be one less stress for you on the day of the interview and ensure there are no embarrassing technical interruptions.
Pro tip: If you haven’t used the software before, you might also like to schedule a mock interview with a friend.
Switch it off
Although you’re using a computer to interview, that doesn’t mean you should have Facebook or your email in the background. Shut down everything that might be a distraction or worse, make a notification sound. Your employer will hear this and it will throw you off track and make you appear ill-prepared. The same goes for your phone. Even in silent mode, the notifications may still appear on your screen and create a distraction for you.
Pro tip: Log out of all your social media platforms, message and email applications and delete all tabs before you dial in for the interview. Turn off your phone.
Yes, there’s a physical barrier between you and your interviewer, but this doesn’t make an excuse to avoid eye contact or slouch in your seat. Nonverbal cues are significantly important in an interview and body language communicates 90% of what someone is feeling, doing or saying.
Pro tip: Look directly at the camera, looking offside will seem as though you’re relying on notes or distracted.
Prepare your environment
An online interview means you’re able to present in the comfortability of your own home. Be sure to set up a comfortable environment with good lighting, a clean space and no possibility of distraction. This means setting up your space to eliminate the sound of barking dogs, traffic and the echoes of children if possible. Keep in mind we’re all essentially working from home at present, so it may not be possible to keep your children quiet – most people will understand your situation so don’t worry too much if there’s a little noise from time to time.
Pro tip: Have a notepad, pen and a glass of water handy. You can also make use of basic written notes to remind you of the questions you might like to ask at the end of the interview.
Rehearse your key points
Research the role and its relevance to your experience so you can easily refer to your qualities as a worker. Before your interview, consider what parts of your experience bring value to the role and the company.
Pro tip: Make a list of the main points you need to make and repeat them to yourself often before the interview. This will mean you’re clear on what you want to communicate.
Decide what you want from the role and the company
Why are you applying for this role? Is it more money, more experience, better working conditions, more work-life flexibility? Consider what’s important to you and whether the company culture, career progression opportunities, and the company values match what you’re looking for.
Consider what you want to get out of the role, this might be having flexible hours or the ability to work from home one day a week. Being firm on your non-negotiables will allow you to communicate your requirements confidently on the day.
Pro tip: Ask the interviewer what they like the best about working for the company. This will give you a picture of the company culture.
You’re already a possible fit for the role (otherwise they wouldn’t be interviewing you), so you’ve definitely got something to offer. Being prepared, organised and relaxed in your environment will make the interview so much easier and allow you to do the best you possibly can.
Pro tip: Write down your strengths and the reasons why you made it through to the interview stage. Post-it note it where you can read it often to remind yourself.
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