Acing The Interview Online – Cutting Edge’s Ideas for Virtual Job Interviews
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we began to experience a “new normal” where we mostly do things online. Ordering dinner, shopping for new pair of pants, catching up with our family, and even getting a new job can now be done through the internet! Here are some helpful Ideas for Virtual Job Interviews.
Online job interviews are becoming more widely used these days. It is convenient since you do not have to travel to the company location, which also means there is no need to commute, or to spend anything on hotel accommodation (if you are trying to get a job in a different country). It is also easier to schedule and helps save time for both the applicant and interviewer.
Though, it could be a little nerve-wracking especially if you have the tendency to be awkward speaking in front of the camera or you’re not a very tech-savvy person. With that being said, I came up with these tips which hopefully, help you in preparation for your online job interview.
Research the company
Make sure you have knowledge about the company that you are applying for! Study their website. Get to know them by reading their “About Us” page. Do not forget to also check out their “Mission” and “Vision”. Look them up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms. I assure you that they will ask why you are interested in joining their company and knowing their profile will definitely help you!
It would also be a great initiative to search on how they usually conduct their interviews. Google what their current employees think about the company and look for some advice on how they aced their interview and got the job!
Get to know your interviewer. Send an email to the company and ask the name of the person who will be conducting your interview. Try to look up their profile on LinkedIn. It will surely help you to know a little bit about their past experiences and who knows? You might find something that you both have in common with and maybe bring it up to the interview. It will make them feel acknowledged.
Practice how to answer common interview questions
“Tell me something about yourself.”
“What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
“Why should we hire you?”
You already know it! These are only three Ideas for Virtual Job Interviews for frequently asked questions that you must be ready to answer. Since they are very commonly asked, interviewers, will assume you are already confident to answer them. However, you do not want to sound like a robot while answering these questions, so make sure to not only memorize them but to know your answers by heart.
It would also help to take note of your key experiences that you would like to share during the interview. Also, have your CV and cover letter printed to guide you just in case the interviewer has questions about them.
Most importantly, get ready with some questions you want to ask your interviewer. This is not a one-way interview! It would be an impressive gesture to ask something about the position you are applying to, their company, and the interviewer.
Set up a comfortable space
You are going to be interviewed for your dream job, of course, you would want to be in a comfortable location where you are free of distractions. Pick the best place in your house where the internet has a strong signal. It would also be helpful to let your housemates know you will be in an important interview and ask for their support by keeping off the Wi-Fi for at least an hour, or not using the vacuum cleaner and washing machine at that time.
Backround ideas for Virtual Job Interviews
Check your background. Virtual backgrounds could be tricky and they look complicated so do not bother using them or if you do try using the blurred background option. Your surroundings could show what you are as a person. And of course, you want to be perceived as a neat and professional person. That is why you have to ensure that things behind you (and everything else that can be seen in the camera) are tidy. Simple plain backgrounds like your wall would look great as well!
Make sure to consider your lighting. Sunlight is the best light! If possible, position yourself in front of the window. Ring light would be a great option if you do not have access to natural light. Another thing to consider is the camera angle, keep it within arms reach. Not too close, not too far. And keep it at your eye-level, you do not want it to look like you are looking down at them or vice versa.
Test your equipment
Make yourself more confident by ensuring all your gadgets are good to go! Aside from prepping yourself, give your devices a run-through as well. Ideally, it is good to use a computer but of course, any device would do. Assure that your laptop, tablet, or phone are all properly working and fully charged before the interview. Set your notifications off so it will not bother you during the call.
Be sure to also check the sound quality of your equipment. Usually, built-in computer speakers and mics are not the best, and they could absorb the sound of your surroundings. It would be better to use quality earphones, headphones, earbuds, and/or an external microphone.
Furthermore, familiarize yourself with Zoom, Skype, or whichever platform you are going to use. If you do not have an account yet, sign up for an account at least a day before the interview and test it out beforehand with a friend.
Make a good first impression
Put on your best business attire and your best smile! Dress like it is a real face-to-face interview. Consider how it will look with your lighting and background. Never wear a shirt that is too bright in color or has a distracting design. Also, note to not wear anything that has the same color as your background. Groom yourself properly to leave an impression that you have high standards.
Be mindful of your body language and facial expressions. Sit upright, actively listen, and show that you are interested. It is also important to look at the camera while speaking, not at the screen. It may be a little awkward, but it is a way for the interviewer to feel that you are trying to connect with them. You may look at the screen when they are talking.
Test your voice. Call a friend and practice some interview questions to assess how you sound. See if you have to adjust your speaking volume, how fast you talk, or how long you pause when talking.
Next in our Ideas for Virtual Job Interviews, do not log in at the exact time of the interview! You do not want to make your interviewer wait for you. Prepare yourself well and log in at least 15 minutes before your call time. This will give you enough time to check if everything is working and in place. You will also have extra time to relax or do a few jumping jacks (not too much! You don’t want to be sweaty or catching up for your breath) for an energy boost!
Also, do not forget to get ready with a nice greeting to start the interview.
Keep a bottle of water next to you
Interviews could be quick, but some take up to over an hour long. Depending on how long your interview is going, your voice might get hoarse at some point. So make sure to keep bottled water next to you. Just be careful to not put it in a place where you could accidentally bump it and spill water on you or worse… your computer! Keep it tightly capped and place it away from your devices.
Keep in mind that drinking water is okay but never ever eat something while on interview. Eating while on call will leave an impression that you are not taking them seriously. Have a great meal beforehand so you could enjoy your conversation with the interviewer.
Rest before the interview day
Avoid cramming. Give yourself a proper time duration to study the company and prepare your answers well. Also, give yourself enough time to test out the equipment you are using. Start doing these a few days before your set interview date… It will help lessen your stress.
And one last thing… being deprived of sleep affects how you perform, so have a good night’s sleep on the night before the interview.