Sunday 29 November, 2020

9 tips on how to master an online interview

Online job interviews are becoming increasingly popular as employers gravitate toward digital options when meeting potential candidates. This allows employers and candidates to “meet” and interact using video, instant messaging programs, and web-conferencing services.

Whether participating in an in-person or online interview, the goal is still the same; make an impact that earns a subsequent interview and finally; a new job! Here are 9 tips on how to ace your online job interview:

1. Test your tech

Having a strong WiFi or Internet connection is very important. Be sure to check that your camera and microphone is working. On the day of, test your equipment and internet connection again just to be sure all is well.

2. Find an ideal area and eliminate distractions

Find a clean and tidy room with optimal lighting, preferably a blank wall to ensure you are the focus of the conversation. Once settled, eliminate all distractions which includes putting handsets on silent, turning off the TV, and closing the doors to any outside noise that may interfere.

3. Be prepared

Don’t get caught unprepared. Research the company ahead of time and prepare questions for the interviewer. Have a copy of your resume and jot down your talking points so you don’t forget.

4. Practice answers to common interview questions

You may not know exactly what a hiring manager will ask, but here are some common interview questions you can prepare for:

Why are you leaving your current job? Do not use this opportunity to criticise your current employer, instead, detail future career plans and how the role being applied for is aligned.

What are your weaknesses? Employers want an authentic answer here. The key is to share the transformation of a negative attribute into a positive one.

Why should we hire you? Intimidating question? Yes! But take the time to summarise your experience and emphasise the unique strengths you bring to the role and the results you’ve already proven you can deliver.

5. Dress to impress!

Your attire should be as you would for an in-person interview; for men, that could mean a button-up shirt and slacks, or for women, that could be a dress or skirt and blouse set.

6. Monitor your body language

The firm handshake that would typically greet employers won’t translate via video. Instead, show your confidence through body language. Sit up straight, smile, and keep the camera at eye level to avoid looking up or down.

7. Don’t read from a script

Jotting down a few notes before an interview is totally fine, but there is a notable difference between glancing at a note card, and reading an entire speech from a prompt. It is important to try and maintain the personal aspect when doing these interviews, so try to avoid reading as the tone may come off monotonous or robotic.

8. Be yourself

A key task for the HR representative is determining whether you would be a good fit for the company’s culture. It is fine to let your personality show whenever answering questions. Try throwing in some wit to break the ice or asking introductory questions such as, ‘how are you doing today?’ ‘How long have you been working at this company?’

9. Follow up!

Within 48 hours after the interview, send a personalised thank you email to everyone you’ve met. This will show that you value their time and provides the opportunity to reiterate your skillsets required for the role.

Good luck!

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