These days, you’re more likely to be contacted for an online interview than an in-person interview. One reason, of course, is the pandemic, but another is the vastly-improved video-conferencing capabilities of platforms such as Zoom. The good news is that companies are, indeed, hiring, even now. The online interview process offers both benefits and new challenges for the interviewee. Here’s how to navigate your next online interview.
Prepare Your Space
One drawback to online interviews is that they’re held in your space, not the employer’s offices. That means you’ll need to carefully prepare the area where you plan to conduct your interview. You could reserve a study room at a public library, which would work well. If you choose to do the interview at home, make sure that it’s in a quiet area where you won’t be interrupted by family members and house noises like microwave beeps, doorbells and dishes clattering. The background where you’ll sit should be clear of clutter. Ideally, sit in front of a blank wall or at least one with nothing that reflects poorly on you.
Test the Sound Quality
About an hour before the interview, conduct a test of your microphone and speakers. You want to make sure that you and the interviewer can hear one another. This also enables the potential employer see you as a professional who knows their way around a computer and is proficient with the latest technology using video-conferencing.
Have Questions at Your Fingertips
A benefit to online interviews is that you can have your notes printed out on the desk in front on you. Have intelligent questions printed out so when the interviewer asks if you have questions, you’re ready. You should also print out a separate list of things about yourself and your experience that you want to make sure to mention during the interview. When referencing these notes, don’t bend your head down and make it obvious that you’re reading. Try to be as discreet at possible, although interviewees are unlikely to mind if you refer to a few notes.
Even thought the interview is online, experts suggest that you dress as if you were having an in-person interview. This ensures that you present yourself well to your future employer. But it also helps to get you in the correct professional mindset. If you’re wearing pajama bottoms it’s less likely that you’ll hold yourself in a professional manner.
Make Eye Contact
Be sure to look your interview in the eye as much as possible. The inhuman connection of an online interview makes it that much more important that you make eye contact, so that you will be remembered in a positive light after the interview is over.
Keep all these things in mind as you prepare for your online interview. Finally, don’t be too nervous. Remember, online interviewing may be relatively new to your interviewer as well, so there’s no reason why you can’t get comfortable with this new method of getting hired.