The pandemic has changed just everything, including the way millions of people live and work. Some companies have stopped hiring employees, while others have expanded their staff. Regardless of the case, all the main work processes were transferred to an online format. The trend of Skype, Zoom, and Google Meets interviews is gaining ground as well. In the future, distance interviews will become even more popular. It is simple, convenient, fast, non-contact, and saves a lot of time for both parties. Let’s take a look at what it takes to prepare for a dream job online interview.
Online interviews seem to be simple at first glance; in fact, it is not so. The remote recruitment process has become much more subjective than before. Recruiters look at the candidate’s appearance, one’s emotional state, and many other small details. Your goal is to ensure that the hiring professional sees only the best through the camera lens. So here are some recommendations for you.
#1 – Set up Equipment
There is nothing worse during an online interview than technical issues. There is no sound; the camera doesn’t work, the picture slows down – all these things need to be checked and eliminated in advance. Even if a couple of months ago, you were communicating through conference call software with no problems, you should still do additional checks. When you set up the program for the interview, test it properly. You can call a friend to make sure that you can see and hear each other well. You shouldn’t have questions about how to use Zoom, change online conference call settings in the program, etc.
Run a test drive of your Internet connection speed; it should be at least 1.5 Mbps. Ask for the recruiter’s phone number in advance. Thus, you will be able to call an HR manager back and continue the conversation in case you got cut off.
#2 – Prepare the Place
Usually, online interviews take place at the applicant’s home. The familiar cozy environment minimizes stress, but there are some nuances as well. Ensure the silent setting during the interview. Think about how long you will be communicating with the employer, ask family members not to bother you during this time.
Take care of the background as well – it should be simple and neat. It is good if it is a flat plain wall or a window. Create a professional, neutral background with no details or assets disturbing an employer. If you can’t communicate at home, it’s better to hold a meeting in a park, on a quiet street, or in a private car.
#3 – Adjust the Light
A good picture during the interview is just as important as the right words. And here the emphasis should be on the light:
- It’s good if it’s daytime. Natural light illuminates the face favorably. If it doesn’t work, then there is not enough light. Place lamps nearby;
- Sit in front of the light source. If you cover it, the facial features will appear blurry. When the light comes from below, from the side, or from above, the shadows are not very pretty;
- A bright environment is what you need. This is the environment where job seekers are better perceived by employers.
#4 – Consider Your Appearance
Since human resource managers cannot see how you look on job sites, they will pay attention to your appearance during the interview. Therefore, you must look decent and neat. Imagine that you have come to the employer’s office – you will need to dress appropriately. People of creative professions can choose a casual style; others should give preference to business attire.
#5 – Be Ready for an Open Dialogue
Inquire about the company that you want to work at and the vacancies you are interested in. If an employer asks for a portfolio, keep it close at hand. The materials should be accessible with a click of a mouse and ready to be sent to the chat. In order not to run in front of the camera and dig into boxes later, prepare all the most important things in advance. By the way, you can also prepare the answers to the common job interview questions. If you have solid work experience, the recruiter will ask about it, so think about what you are going to say in advance.
#6 – Control Your Emotions
Excitement before the interview and during the meeting is unnecessary. Do not think about the bad, do not cheat yourself. To relieve anxiety, think positively and have a list of questions to ask in a job interview. Understand that the worst thing that can happen is that you won’t be hired. Thus, it will be easier for you to keep your emotions under control. If this job is not there, there will be another one.
#7 – Practice on Camera
The ability to behave in front of the camera is something that shouldn’t be underestimated. To succeed in job hunting, there is no need to buy professional equipment. A stationary pc, laptop, tablet, or smartphone is enough. If the device is missing or does not work as expected, then you can always use a separate camera.
During an online meeting, focus on the person you’re talking to. Look at the camera, not at your reflection on the screen; otherwise, you will lose contact with the person. If this starts to get in the way, move your gaze from the camera and back to the monitor. Show the HR manager that you are confident in your abilities and are not afraid of anything. Keep your back straight, do not cross your legs. Your gestures should coincide with the words you say.
#8 – Monitor the Quality of Your Connection
Voice and call quality are very important. Usually, a regular microphone is enough, but it will not make your voice pleasant, confident, and calm. This skill is practiced. Keep a glass of water on the table during the interview. If you start to worry, take a sip; etiquette allows it. Learn to take deep breaths in and out – it calms you down and helps you focus.
Anything Else Metters?
There are a couple of other things that do matter for “online job seekers:”
- If you change your mind about participating in an online interview, be sure to cancel it;
- Get in touch with a human resource manager at the appointed time. Arriving earlier and being late is something that shouldn’t happen;
- If there is a risk that you will be late, notify an HR manager about this. The meeting may be rescheduled;
- Online interviews are often recorded with free screen recording software, so be ready for it and do not stress out;
- Know how to follow up on a job interview and send a thank you email after the conversation with the recruitment manager.
By the way, you can also record an online interview with a screen recorder for further analysis. Thus, you will easily detect your mistakes and avoid them in the future. As you can see, online interviews require a lot of preparation. If you want to land a dream job offer, then approach the interview process with special care and responsibility.