Since the Covid pandemic, the concept of remote working is becoming the new norm for many businesses, and not only remote working but conducting meetings and even interviews online too. Many people prefer working from home and the way that this can minimise the distractions of working in a busy or noisy office environment.
However, an interview can be a nerve-wracking experience at the best of times and various things have to be considered when undertaking an interview online to ensure that the experience goes well and shows you to your best advantage to your potential new employer. This blog will look at some of these tips to help you to prepare for your online interview and ensure a successful and impactful interaction during your online interview.
1. Do your tech preparation
Make sure that you test your technology in advance, and, if possible, do a practice video call with a friend. Test the internet connection, microphone, webcam and any screen-sharing features and make sure you have a reliable computer or device and the necessary software or apps for the interview. Make sure you’re familiar with the relevant conferencing platform and how to join the meeting, share your screen or use any chat or presentation tools. Technical difficulties will make you feel stressed and not show you in the best light to a potential employer.
Also, prepare the location by making sure that you have a quiet and well-lit area where the background is tidy and professional-looking. A virtual background can always be used, if necessary, although make sure that it is appropriate and not distracting.
2. Do your research
Thoroughly research the company you’re interviewing with. Make sure that you understand their products, services, mission and values and review the job description to make sure you can demonstrate connections between your skills and experiences and the requirements of the role. Make a note of some probing questions about the company, the role and the team that you can ask – this shows your interest and can help you to decide if it’s a company you want to work for as well as people that you’re happy to work with. Make sure you have all relevant documents to hand, such as your CV and cover letter for reference if they’re needed. Have a cheat sheet or Post-it stuck to the screen or just behind it. An interviewer won’t be able to see it, but having some notes to hand will give you the confidence to remember all that you might need to say in certain parts of the conversation – especially if you’re likely to get nervous.
3. Make sure to look professional
Whilst wearing your pyjama bottoms and fluffy slippers might be more comfortable, and you figure that no one can see you from the waist down on screen, if you dress as though you are going to an in-person interview it will put you in the right mindset and will help you to make a good impression. Also, it means that if for any reason you have to move whilst still in the interview, it avoids a potentially embarrassing moment.
4. Practice your presentation
Enlist the help of a friend or family member to conduct mock interviews with you to enable you to practice your responses, get feedback and gain confidence in your communication skills. Practice common interview questions and consider recording yourself so you can evaluate your body language and speaking style. If you can prepare examples and stories from your past experiences that demonstrate your skills, achievements and problem-solving abilities that will help you to articulate them in the interview, showing you in a strong and confident light.
5. Eliminate distractions
Ensure that anyone else in the building knows that you’re on a job interview video call and ask them to keep out of sight and sound. Any pets or children also need to be safely occupied elsewhere to prevent any unwanted distractions. Also, make sure that you turn off your phone – unless you’re using it for the interview – and other open applications or tabs to prevent any notifications which might pop up during the interview and look unprofessional or throw you off balance at the wrong moment.
6. Body language
Your body language will speak volumes, so make sure that you transmit energy on camera. If necessary, take a quick walk around the block beforehand to get the blood flowing and make sure that you’re fully awake, engaged and energised. As body language is harder to read on a video call than in person, make sure that you sit upright and nod and smile into the camera, watching carefully for non-verbal cues from your interviewer.
Try to not look at your reflection while talking but look directly at the webcam, so that you will be looking directly at the interviewer – projecting confidence. Take deep breaths to help you remain calm and composed and ease any nervousness. Endeavour to keep your voice calm and speak clearly and appropriately as an interviewer will be looking to see how professional you can be.
Be careful to pause before answering to make sure that the interviewer has finished speaking, there can often be a lag on a video call, and it can be awkward if you end up interrupting each other – and a pause can give you time to collect your thoughts as well as make you seem more confident.
7. Deliver a strong finish
This part is arguably the most important as the finish is likely to be the part that the interviewer remembers most, and you’ll want to make sure it’s memorable. The interviewer may well be interviewing several other candidates and you want to guarantee that they remember you and, hopefully, want to hire you from amongst all the others that they’re interviewing. Remain calm and confident, smile and thank them for their time. Offer to answer any further questions that they might have and say that you hope to hear from them soon.
Follow up your interview with an email to thank them again for their time and consideration and if they have any further information for you or about the role – this shows your continuing interest in the role.
Whether we like them or not, online interviews are part of our present and future, so the best way to handle them is by making sure you’re prepared for them and able to handle them with confidence. Here at CRS Recruitment, we understand how important it is to be able to ace your remote interview and we offer all our clients support throughout the process of applying, interviewing and beginning their new role. Why not get in touch with a friendly and expert member of our team for help and advice on applying for your next role and any remote interview that might be part of the process?