With COVID-19 sparking the growth of various interview methods, it’s not enough to know how to interview in person. As online interviews are increasingly popular due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many recruiters have to switch to conducting interviews through video or phone calls.
While the U. S’s vaccine rollout promised a return to in-person events, it won’t be surprising for meetings like interviews to be conducted online. Conducting online interviews is less expensive and a more efficient method of interviewing as companies cut down on the spending an average of $4,129 for each new hire.
As companies adapt to a new normal left by COVID-19, being adaptable and versatile as a job seeker is increasingly important. Job seekers can start by acing their online interviews to show their adeptness in an online environment.
Below please find ten steps to acing your online interview.
1. Research the company
For online interviews, one shouldn’t be any less prepared than one would for an in-person interview. Taking time to review the company’s website and LinkedIn page shows a recruiter that you came to the interview prepared and are seriously interested and engaged in the role.
2. Research your Interviewer
While you should always research the company before the interview, the same adherence should be made to your interviewer. You can find who will be interviewing you on the meeting invite. Look up your interviewer on the company’s website and reach out to them on LinkedIn about how you are looking forward to meeting with them. This extra step puts you at the front of your interviewer’s mind as a candidate to pay extra attention towards. Bringing up their background during the interview or asking them about a project they worked on shows you have done your research.
3. Create a Pitch
During your interview, expect to provide a brief statement about yourself. While self-promotion can be challenging for some having a couple of key points that speaks to your personality, work ethic, and values gives the recruiter important insight into how you would fit at the company. Indeed.com also recommends rehearsing your pitch beforehand which should include a personal connection to the company.
4. Prep Your Tech
Before the interview takes place, get familiar with the video platform. Platforms like Webex and Zoom require one to download the technology before logging into the meeting. A day or two before your interview, check to see if you need to download the video platform and test it out with some friends so, you become familiar with the interface.
5. Choose your setting
A benefit of online interviews is that you have control over the environment. Indeed.com recommends a quiet, comfortable spot facing the door so if someone happened to interrupt, they wouldn’t appear on screen.
Also, choose a space that doesn’t have a loud background. Pick a solid-colored wall or hang up a bedsheet behind you to create a professional-looking background. While a virtual background pulls attention away from one’s actual environment, it can be distracting as the background follows an individual’s movement.
6. Create a backup plan
Have a plan in place if you lose connectivity, experience broken audio, or disruptive housemates, as they can create for a video call disaster. Be upfront with those in your household that you can’t be interrupted and have another device ready to go if something breaks.
If you experience connectivity issues, try:
- A WIFI extender
- Set the interview for a time when others in your house will not be using the WIFI.
- Provide your phone number to the interviewer at the start of the interview in case you lose connection.
7 . Dress the Part
Online work’s new dress code of comfortable clothes or the half-dressed look will not fly for an interview. Wear a complete outfit, including a shirt, pants, and shoes that fit the company culture. You never know if you unexpectedly have to stand up for something and wouldn’t want to be caught in pajama pants. Dressing for the part puts you in the mindset to ace your interview as you prepare for your virtual meeting.
If you’re stuck on what to wear, here’s an article from Forbes to help guide you through dressing for an online interview.
8. Clean Your Area
A clean space is a clean mind.
Before your interview:
- Clean your desk of any clutter that might accumulate or anything that might cause a distraction to your interviewer.
- Limit what’s on your desk to a glass of water, your resume, and a notepad for note-taking.
- Have your resume and some talking points next to you to reference in case of a memory relapse.
9. Prepare Questions
This tip applies to an online interview but all types of interviews, as there usually is time left for questions at the end. Having some prepared questions doesn’t catch you off guard and shows your interest in the company. Asking questions is considered a sign of respect to your interviewer, who has taken the time to get to know you.
10. Remember your Nonverbal Communication Skills
Nonverbal communication skills can say a lot, and sometimes they can show your true personality rather than anything you have to say. In an online interview, make sure to make eye contact with your interviewer by looking at the camera rather than their face on the screen, as it translates differently through a computer. Maintain good posture and show your energy for the job. Remember to smile and act as an engaged listener. This helps establish one’s confidence and ability to be a great team member, even in an online format.
While these steps will help prepare you for your interview, how you present yourself following the interview is equally crucial to acing your interview. After the interview send a “Thank You” note. Let the interview know you appreciate their time, learning more about the role, and remind them how you will add value to the firm.
With the workforce becoming even more digital, adapting to an online environment is crucial to success, and this begins with mastering how to land a job. As companies work towards a more digital landscape learning how to ace an online interview is just one step towards career success.
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