With the current work climate changing and social distancing coming to the fore due to Coronavirus/Covid-19, employers are pivoting more and more to online interviews than ever before - especially for interviews conducted early in the process. Due to this switch, candidates need to strive to make an even better first impression than in a face to face interview but it is also vital they are prepared in advance to ensure they overcome any of the possible pitfalls.
We’ve come up with the following advice for candidates as to how you can most effectively prepare for online interviews.
Test your set up before the interview.
The absolute last thing that you want to happen is that the interview gets off to an awkward start because there are technical issues preventing the smooth progression of the process. Consider downloading Skype and testing the features you will need to utilise. Is the web cam working properly? Is your microphone configured and is the computer recording your voice clearly? Knowing that that you have this prepared in advance can prevent some other needless pressure building up if it doesn't work as you want it to on the day.
Use a laptop or a computer if possible.
We’ve all used Facetime or Skype on our phones and know the connection can go clunky at any moment, the video can move from vivid to pixelated and it can be frustrating for both users in terms of clear communication between the two when clear communication in an interview is vital! Plus the likelihood is you’ll have to hold the phone in your hand and have to be worrying about keeping a good angle throughout when you should be focusing on what you are saying and how you are coming across. Try to use a laptop which will have a consistent filming angle.
Check background and lighting.
This could be completed in the first step but it is an important consideration once you know that the technical side is working. While you should just be getting judged on your own appearance and actions, the interviewer will be able to glance at your background surroundings and it is only natural that this could have an influence on them – so make sure it isn’t negative! Ensure sure you are seen well and your surroundings are clean and organised –like you are at work!
Reduce distractions and noise.
Before the interview begins would be a good time to stick the cat or the dog in a different room or give the baby to someone else to look after if possible. Have the TV off and try and get the room to yourself so you can have your focus all on impressing the interviewer and not on anything else happening in the room.
Dress properly for the interview.
This is still a proper interview. While you are at home, first impressions still have a big impact so you’ll want to ensure that at least your top half is smart and professional. Plus you'll feel that bit more confident in smarter attire. You can always keep on your pyjama bottoms if you absolutely have to, just ensure they can’t be seen!
Keep the job description and your CV with you
A clear advantage to an online interview is you can have your CV and the job description in front of you on your desk and refer to them during the questioning. Helping you remain clear and confident of crucial aspects of the job and the skills and experience you bring to the table. You can even keep the questions you wanted to ask the employer close at hand so you remember them all.
Prepare and Practice
Utilise Skype and have a mock interview with a friend or a family member. Have them record it so you can watch it back – you can make any adjustments to your interview style, interview content, framing of the camera, organisation of your room to ensure you haven’t missed anything and you are fully prepared.
Technology means that despite the current world events, aspects of business can be achieved and continued, especially the art of the interview. Follow these tips and make sure you thrive in any future online interview. Best of luck!