Ace your online interview
Though a large part of the workforce has returned to the normal office environment, those who are able to work from home, still do. This includes many who work in the HR department and those who conduct interviews. Since the start of lockdown, many interviews have been conducted online. Here are a few tips to help you ace an online interview.
- Prepare for your online interview just like you would for a face- to – face interview. Though you may feel more relaxed in your own environment, than if you were in their offices – the interview is no less important when it is being done on-line.
- Research the company and the industry. The more you know, the better prepared you will be for any questions that may come your way.
- Make sure that you sit in a space that is quiet and has a clean and uncluttered background in the video frame. Tell your family beforehand that you will be on an online interview. You don’t want screaming in the background, or even worse – someone coming into the room whilst the interview is taking place.
- Make sure to ask what video format the interview will take place in (skype, Zoom, Google hangout) and familiarize yourself with i.Test your camera and how you look in it, and do the same with your mic and sound.
- Test your wi-fi connection and make sure that you have a hot-spot for if something goes wrong.
- Ensure that you the contact details of the interviewer on hand, in case you lose connection.
To avoid embarrassment, make sure that you iron out all the technical glitches way before the interview.
- Don’t be late for the call. Login a few minutes earlier than the scheduled meeting time, so you can be waiting for the interviewer – instead of having them wait on you.
- Lockdown had made us used to comfortable clothes and loungewear, and even pyjamas during the day. Don’t make the mistake of dressing down for your interview, no matter how comfortable you may feel. Dress up and show the same level of professionalism you would if you were going to the company’s offices for a face-to- face interview.
- Look directly at the camera. If you are not used to online communication, then perhaps you should practice a bit before your interview.
Questions and answers
- Whilst the questions for the on-site and online interview should be the same – reference to Covid -19 and lockdown will definitely be made. Be prepared to answer them.
- Make sure that you ask all the questions you need to ask and get all the information you need to get before you log off. You can’t pop back into the room, or ask the receptionist for something on your way out. Once you log off – your connection with the interviewer ends.
Points to make
- Make sure that you inform your interviewer that you have been affected by Covid-19 and lockdown. Everyone has. To deny this, or to dismiss it would be strange and make you seem disconnected.
- Make a point of letting the interviewer know that you are able to be part of a team and take instruction – even if you don’t physically sit in an office with your colleagues.
- Ensure that the interviewer is aware of any infrastructure challenges you may be facing (wi-fi, telephone, computer). These days many employers are willing to help employees work from home, by assisting with infrastructure issues.
Sebastien Alexanderson, CEO of National Debt Advisors says, “We strive to be an employer of choice, but resources are undeniably strained. Employers are not looking for run of the mill, mediocre employees. We want to find the gems and we are prepared to invest in them and reward them accordingly. We do however expect candidates for any particular position to be honest and forthright about their skills and their infrastructure.”
Now, more than ever – it is important to make a good impression in an interview. Take the tips. Do the research. Relax. Good luck!