The current climate combined with technological advancements, it is becoming more convenient and cost effective to conduct job interviews online.
These virtual interviews speed up the interview process and are allowing companies to hire candidates without geographical constraints, which is great if you’re looking for a new job!
WHAT TYPES OF ONLINE INTERVIEWS ARE THERE?
Sumner & Scott have found that there are generally two types of interviews that employers are conducting.
This is by far the most common type of interview, where the employer will contact you with an arranged time, to converse with you as if you were in-person.
This is less common but does happen when the employer needs to screen several candidates for a job.
The interviewer will send you a list of questions and a deadline. Benefits of such an interview for the you, the candidate, is that it allows you to prepare you answers in advance.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR ONLINE INTERVIEW
Test the technology
Familiarize yourself with the necessary equipment and software. Before your interview appointment, schedule a test call with a friend or family member. Make sure that your microphone and speakers are working and that your internet connection supports high-quality live video. Also, check and make sure you are using a professional screen name that will be easy for the interviewer to recognize.
Practice, practice, practice
After you have tested the equipment, you will need to practice your interviewing technique. Task someone you know with asking you to practice interview questions over a video call. Be aware of your computer’s tendency to lag and make sure you do not talk over the other person. Practice listening carefully and speaking slowly and clearly. The more you practice, the more confident you will be during the actual call.
Choose your location
Well before the scheduled interview time, you will need to select a location for your interview. Find a quiet place with minimal background noise and no distractions. Make sure you have adequate lighting (preferably natural) and that nothing is distracting behind you. Make sure your housemates know not to disturb you and shut any pets out of the room. A professional backdrop will show the interviewer that you are serious about the interview and the job.
Gather your materials
Find a notebook and pen and set them within reach of your computer. Consider printing out a copy of your resume that you can consult during the interview. You might also want to make a list of questions or talking points that you would like to bring up in the interview. These tools can all be helpful, but make sure they do not divert your attention too often during the interview.
Even though you are not meeting your interviewer in person, it is still important to dress professionally. Wear something clean, conservative and business casual. If you can, you may want to research the company’s dress code in advance. Wear nice pants and shoes, just in case you need to stand up or walk away from the camera. Your dress will communicate your level of professionalism with the interviewer, so dress conscientiously.
Make eye contact
Making eye contact during an online interview is more difficult than you might think. When answering questions, you will need to focus your gaze directly into the webcam instead of at the interviewer’s face or your own. Maintaining eye contact and nodding will show the interviewer that you are involved and listening attentively.
Consider your body language
It is harder to read body language through a video, so be especially aware of your nonverbal cues. Remember to smile and nod when the interviewer speaks. Sit up straight and act as you would during an in-person interview. You obviously will not be able to shake hands when signing off, so you will need to show your professionalism and good manners in other ways.
Your worst enemy during an online interview may be your own nerves. Take a deep breath before the call, and try to remain calm and collected during the interview. If you can communicate confidently with the interviewer, you are far more likely to leave a lasting positive impression than if you seem nervous. Remember, one of the best solutions for interview anxiety is practicing your answers ahead of time.