Online interviews are different from traditional in-person interviews and need certain preparation.
We all know how intimidating job interviews can be, especially when most of the companies are hiring candidates based on online interviews due to the pandemic. Unemployment is high and if you have landed a job interview, half of the battle is won. Now it is time to brace yourself and prepare for your video interview.
Thanks to technology, virtual interviews have made hiring easy for companies. It saves the time and cost of transportation and is less stressful for non-local candidates who can appear for interviews online from their homes.
Whether you are a student or a professional appearing for a job interview, your body language, mannerisms, presence of mind, and appearance speak a lot about you and are important parameters in the selection process.
People who are not familiar with online interviews might get nervous or uncomfortable facing the camera for the first time. Online interviews are different from traditional in-person interviews and need certain preparation.
Here are 8 ways to ace your Online Interview:
1. Know the Format of the Interview
Online interviews are of two types – live video call interview or a recorded video interview. Ask your interviewer in advance about the format of the interview and prepare accordingly.
Live video calls are the most popular form of online interviews where the employer shares a link through Zoom, myInterview, Google Hangouts or may call you through Skype or some other form of video conferencing platform. They are very similar to face-to-face interviews where you can directly interact with the employer.
In pre-recorded video interviews, the employer sends a set of questions that will appear on the screen of the computer which you have to answer within a specific time limit. During this time, you have to keep your camera on and record the video and upload it as soon as you finish answering the questions. Based on the interview format, you have to take the necessary preparations.
2. Practice and Rehearse
Keeping a clear head during the interview process is vital for success. Getting anxious on the day of the interview is normal. However, with proper practice and adequate rehearsal, you can control this anxiety and appear confident during the interview.
Do adequate research. Google searches about the recruiting company, their products and services, and the hiring managers before the interview is important. You can also research them on popular job portals like LinkedIn or Glassdoor.
Practice makes you confident. Prepare your own set of mock interview questions related to the job title and write down the answers. Ask a family member or a friend to interview you and ask for their valuable feedback.
Companies like to know how well-prepared you are. Remember to familiarize yourself with the company culture, their objectives, and values, and learn about their success story.
3. Be Punctual
Always be on time for the interview. If you are interviewing for an international client, remember to check the time zone and clarify it a day before your online interview.
Download your video conferencing software at least half-an-hour before the interview and see that all the settings are working properly. Be the first person to log in and wait for your interviewer to check-in into the conference room.
4. Set your Location
Choose a quiet room that has minimal distraction and is free from any visual disturbances. Ask your family members and children not to enter the room during the interview process. If you have a pet, ensure that they are supervised properly or kept in a separate room to avoid distraction.
A neutral background looks professional and also is soothing to the eye. The room must have ample natural light that allows the interviewer to see you properly. Avoid sitting near the windows as you may overhear the sounds of the busy streets and get distracted during the interview.
5. Dress up for your Interview
An online interview is as important as an in-person job interview. Select an outfit that looks professional, neat, and leaves a positive impression on your interviewer. It is wise to learn about the dress code of the company and choose a dress that looks appropriate for the occasion.
Some companies, especially startup businesses, prefer casual outfits. In such cases, you may choose a more relaxed attire like casual T-shirts or jeans. Wear formal shirts, suits, or tops and choose neat solid colours that look professional. For women, wear light subtle makeup and jewellery that complements the interview attire.
6. Take Care of the Basics
Here are a few tips to remember for a seamless interview:
• Always choose a laptop, tablet, or desktop for an online interview. Avoid using a smartphone as you may have to hold up the phone for a better view and it may look odd.
• Practice looking straight at the webcam instead of the interviewer.
• Greet your employer as soon as he/she enters the conference room.
• Maintain a friendly face and nod to show your affirmation that you have understood what he/she is saying.
• Test your internet connection and speed, sound, and see that the microphone and camera are working properly.
• Speak slowly and steadily to the interviewer.
• Be prepared for technical glitches and be ready with a backup plan. In case, you are facing a technological difficulty, communicate with your interviewer, and schedule an alternate day for the interview.
• Keep a sample of your resume near you for reference.
7. Work on your Body Language
Before taking the call, relax your mind and body to soothe your nerves. Sit straight, hold your head high, and be cheerful to show your interest and excitement during the interview.
Do not drift focus from the interview. Listen carefully to your interviewer and answer your questions with enthusiasm. Make eye contact while talking and avoid using too many hand gestures as it may distract the interviewer.
8. Follow up your Progress
Last but not the least, do not forget to follow up with your company or interviewer about the progress of your interview. This is a positive indication that shows your interest in the organisation and also reminds your interviewer about the conversation you had during the interview.
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