Think about all the things you did one year ago in person: grocery shopping, studying, working, and even going to yoga class! While some of them are back to normal, some are still done remotely. Our life has changed enormously!
Online interviews are no exception. In fact, even before COVID took place, many organizations had decided to start having online meetings with their job applicants. Not only is it easier for both parties involved to just click on a link and join a meeting rather than driving there and open enough time in their agendas; but it is time-saving, and opens the doors to more candidates as it gives the opportunity to anyone, around the world, to apply for that job.
Although the essence of an online interview is basically the same as one hosted in-person, there are some details that you need to look out for if you want to make a great impression. But do not worry, we are here to help you. In this blog post, we give you 8 tips that will help you ace this first meeting and get the job.
8 Tips For An Online Interview
1- Interview Rules Still Apply
Just because you are home, does not mean you can be in your sweat pants and laying on the couch. If you want to make a great first, second, or third impression you have to dress accordingly. Don’t forget to even wear shoes, this will help your mind understand that you are in “work mode”.
2- Do a Test-Run
The first thing you need to figure out is what system will be used to connect you to the online interview (Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, or even a WhatsApp video call), make sure you have downloaded it to your computer, and that it is working correctly. Also, check that your microphone and speakers are set and running, and a few minutes before the meeting starts, make sure your internet connection is working fine (try having a backup option).
3- Do Not Let Distractions In
Try having this meeting from a place where you would not get interrupted by outside noise, the sound of a TV, or your cell phone. You need to be fully concentrated so you can answer all the questions you are getting in the best way possible.
Let your family or roommates know what you will be doing so they don’t open the door and make noise. Some recruiters understand that your kids can be at home making noise, but it is best for you to try to be in a place that is as quiet as possible.
4- Work on Your Background
Remember this is a work interview, you do not want a messy house or an unmade bed to keep you from getting that job. Try placing your computer or mobile device somewhere you can sit and have a neutral background, it can be a white or colored wall, a desk, or even a bookshelf. Just do not let it be a source of distraction.
5- Prepare Your Answers
Just as you would do for an in-person interview, take some time to prepare answers for the commonly asked questions. Think of examples of how you have used some of the frequent traits, skills, or even technology concepts in the past.
Try writing down some easy-to-read/remember notes that can help you while talking to the person that is hosting the interview. And while you are at it, try to think and write some questions you want to ask about the organization, the role, and the industry.
6- Get The Perfect Lighting
If possible, stick to a place that has a great source of natural light, and if you can sit in front of it, even better. This will help you show the most natural colors, and highlight your eyes and facial features. If you do not have access to a place like this, then try to avoid being in the dark by placing a source of light on each one of your sides.
7- It Is Important That The Interviewer Can See You
When joining a video call we tend to fix the computer in a way that you can see everyone on the screen (and we even spend more time looking at ourselves than others), but during an online interview, this cannot happen. You need to prioritize the camera, remember he/she is evaluating the way you talk, your expressions, and even your background. So try to position your computer, and the place where you will be sitting, in a way that you are comfortable and they can get a perfect display.
8- Check the Time Zone
While it may seem obvious, one of the most common misunderstandings when joining an online meeting is the time. Confirm the time with the person you are meeting and make sure to check, and double-check, the equivalent for your location. You want to avoid the need to reschedule for something that could have been prevented.
As a bonus, we want to remind you to speak naturally, to see the other person in the eyes, to watch for the gestures, and to talk slowly in a way that they can understand you.
We hope these tips can help you ace that interview.