10 Top Tips for Owning your Online Interview
Online interviews are becoming increasingly popular, but trying to sell yourself via a video link, using software such as Skype, Zoom or Google Hangouts can often feel a bit daunting. After all, it's not the most natural way for many of us to truly engage with people we've never met before!
So here are ten online interview tips to help reduce the stress and land you the job:
1. Test your technology
The minute you agree to an online interview, test your technology to ensure you're set up for success. Check your internet connectivity, and confirm that your camera and microphone are working properly.
Also check that you can actually connect to the particular software that is being used for the interview, just in case you need to make any adjustments to your settings or install supporting software beforehand.
On the day of your interview, test your equipment and internet connection again. The last thing you want is the embarrassment of not being able to connect at the crucial moment, especially as technical savvy is one of the top traits employers are looking for.
2. Check your setting
Find a room with optimal lighting, preferably near a window, and ideally with a blank wall behind you to guarantee that you're the focal point of the conversation. Ensure that your surroundings are neat and tidy.
Check that you won't be shrouded in shadow or washed out by glare - the interviewer needs to be able to see you properly to establish any sort of rapport.
Choose an area that is free from all noise distractions.
And remember, if you were attending an interview in an office, you would turn your phone off. So ensure your phone is switched off or on silent!
3. Dress for success
Dressing the same way as you would for an in-person interview will put you in the right frame of mind. It will also avoid any embarrassment if you need to move mid-interview!
This may be the first impression that the interviewer has of you, so it is imperative that they see you are taking the interview just as seriously as you would if you were sat in the same room as them.
4. Research and plan ahead
Like any other interview, make sure that you have researched the company ahead of time and have prepared any questions you have for the employer about the role, company etc.
Print out a copy of your CV and have it to hand, so you can refer to it if necessary.
You can't firmly shake a hiring manager's hand or as easily exude enthusiasm via video. But you can monitor your body language and remain engaged with your interviewer. The main way to communicate confidence is to sit up straight, smile, and keep the camera at eye level.
Looking at the camera, rather than your image on the screen will help you look as engaged as possible.
And while you'll want to keep your posture straight, leaning slightly forward towards the camera can help increase eye contact and allow the interviewer to get a better sense of your enthusiasm.
6. Be yourself
This could be the first time that you have ever conducted a video interview, but it's important that the employer gets a real sense of who you are. The hiring manager will be looking to see that you are not only capable from a technical perspective, but that you are also the right fit for their culture. This can be challenging during an online interview because there is a physical disconnect. It's more difficult for the interviewer to feel your enthusiasm through the screen, so make sure you're expressive when talking and answering questions.
It is essential that you wow the interviewer, not only with your skills and experience, but also with your personality.
7. Address any technical gremlins
If you experience a technical glitch like a weak connection or interference, always ask the interviewer to repeat what they were saying or asking.
If the problem continues, politely mention it and suggest that you reconnect - you don't want to miss any crucial information, or let technical problems get in the way of giving your very best performance.
8. Follow up
Within a few hours of the interview, call your consultant to feed back your thoughts on how the interview went and your interest in the role.
It is also very important to express how you found the video interview and if there is anything you would say or do differently if given the chance to interview again. This shows self-awareness and honesty. And what employer doesn't value these traits in an employee?
9. Think practically
• Your username - you may already have a username for personal video calls, but is it suitably professional?
• Notes - have any notes or documents you might need at your fingertips, ideally printed out and therefore easy to refer to
• Headphones - always advised as they tend to minimise feedback when on a video call
It doesn't matter what the interview format is, preparation is still key!
Good interview preparation will also give you that all-important confidence that could really set you apart form other candidates. You will feel more in control and therefore psychologically better placed to shine and show yourself to be the start that you are!
So there you go - follow these top tips and look forward to super cyber interview success!