Congrats! You just got called for an interview. You’ve done your homework and studied every last detail about the company. You’ve prepared answers to the most asked questions about the position you’ve applied for. But this time, there is a little difference—the interview will be online. Are you prepared for another change to the way it’s always been?
If you are one of the four people out of five whose jobs have been hit by the COVID-19 outbreak or are just looking for a career change, the chances are your next job interview will be conducted online. 💻
Thanks to its mutual convenience for employers and candidates, online job interviews have been on the rise, even before corona times. According to LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends 2017, 34% of recruiters have already been investing in innovative interviewing tools as a top trend for the near future. So, why don’t you invest in your online job interview skills too, as a job seeker? 😉
From interview attire to how to adjust the lightning, we’ve gathered some useful tips to help job seekers excel at online job interviews.
Haven’t got an interview lately? Check the latest openings in the MeetFrank app and increase your chances of receiving an invitation email soon! 💪
Abide by the standard rules
Remember the coronavirus special edition memes about wearing pyjamas under your work clothes in Zoom meetings? Well, that doesn’t apply to online job interviews.
Just like you would aim for proper attire to make a good first impression in a face-to-face interview, you should follow the same don’t-we-all-know rules for your online job interview. It will affect not only what your future employers think about you, but also how you feel and perform in the call. 👔👚
“Put your work shoes on. It might seem strange to wear your shoes during a videoconference, but it has an important psychological effect on you.”
Another insightful suggestion comes from Shaquan Hoke, an employment and personal-development coach in New York—“Dress like you’re dressing your future self”. And always opt for comfort from head to toe. You will thank us after the interview!
Outfit? Check! What about your interview location? 🏠
Pick a professional background
Pick a simple background – SOURCE
First, let’s get it straight. The UN estimates that nearly 25 million jobs could be lost worldwide due to the pandemic. This means, job hunting is becoming more complex and challenging for job seekers. 🤐
In other words, you shouldn’t lose your chances of getting hired by a great company because of a sloppy bed with your laundry on it or a messy kitchen in the background.
“If you’re struggling to find a professional backdrop, try setting up a folding table near a neutral wall or corner.”
Michelle Vitus, CEO of Slate Advisers
While sitting right up against a blank wall is not suggested, you should not use a virtual background showing you surrounded by aliens either. 👽
Keep it simple enough to avoid distractions and professional enough to give a good impression. Also make sure that it doesn’t clash with your outfit!
Bonus: Have a look at the free video conference backgrounds here. 🎆
So, you’re almost ready to be put under the spotlight.
Aim for good lightning
The new normal is making it necessary to gain new skills. Lately, one of those skills is how to arrange lightning for online meetings unless you’re fine with looking like a ghost or not being visible at all. 👻
After choosing a classy outfit and a professional background, you wouldn’t want to remain in the dark during the whole interview. This would show the interviewers that you aren’t taking this opportunity too seriously or diligently enough to make the necessary interview adjustments beforehand.
One of the most crucial rules about lightning is that you must avoid sitting right in front of the window. Remember how unclear your selfie was the last time you turned your back to the sun. 🤳
Simply eliminate any direct lightning and try to use natural light where possible. We’d like you to shine with your skills, not with the wrong choice of lightning. 🌞
✅ Don’t have the light coming from behind you or from the side.
✅ Don’t have the light coming from the screen underneath.
✅ Soft light should come from the front, as it shapes the face.
✅ Close the shades or curtains to get the most out of the soft light in front of you.
Now is time to check if everything is on track. 🔎
Test and rehearse
Always test and rehearse before your interview – SOURCE
As Murphy’s Laws sadly suggest, “If anything can go wrong, it will”. In this case, let’s replace “will” with “might” and be a bit cautious before the interview. 🕵
One of the first issues that comes to mind is about the software required for the call. Simply, this also depends on your familiarity level with the software. To avoid any technical surprises, download and test the software beforehand. By doing this, you might easily prevent potential problems from happening. 🖥
You can also consider recording yourself, as many video conference tools such as Zoom enable you to do that. Observe the way you speak and use your body language. Also, check the lightning and see if you need to make any adjustments. 💡
Research shows that up to 95% of online meetings start late due to the often invoked technical difficulties. A moderate delay might be tolerated for a typical meeting but for a job interview, you’d better solve these difficulties beforehand!
You’re done with your pre-meeting prep and the big day has come. So, how can you be your best self in an online job interview? 🦸♀️️🦸♂️️
Unless you’re interviewing for a position at a petstore or veterinary clinic, you should not let your lovely cats and dogs and all the other pets join in the interview with you. 😺🐶(Fish can stay.) No employer would appreciate distracting barks or meows in the background.
Are you living in the city centre? Or maybe in a suburban area where there is no noise apart from the singing of birds? No matter where you reside, you should keep the doors and windows closed to avoid any distractions. 🚪
A stubborn horn, a random argument happening in the street or an insistent hum might cause an unexpected distraction in the middle of your interview. The quieter your environment is, the better you can communicate your message. 💪
Now that your interview space is perfect, it’s time to start the interview! 🚀
Be punctual and make a good impression – SOURCE
According to MeetFrank Insights, currently finding a job is challenging for the majority of industries worldwide. So, you wouldn’t want to miss out an opportunity because of joining your online job interview five minutes late.
That’s why always checking the timezone beforehand and being ready at least 15 minutes before the call are essential. Being late damages your image right away but being early won’t hurt anyone. ⏳
The answer to why even a 1-minute delay matters is simple. Punctuality shows the interviewers that you’re well-organised and respectful. Beyond being a short-term tactic, it’s one of the most important lifelong assets that contribute to your personal brand. 🕴
In conclusion, punctuality for a job interview is priceless. In actual fact, this is an essential personal trait which you can benefit from over your whole career.
You’re all set and the meeting has started. What if a problem occurs? 🤔
Act calmly if a technical problem comes up
Job interviews are like wedding ceremonies, in a way. Even though you make sure everything’s ready and you’re all set, unexpected issues or bad surprises may come up in the very last minute. 👀
🔊Here are some facts and insights:
✅ Poor audio quality is a common problem in online meetings. What if the interviewers experience poor audio and they miss what you say? Don’t panic. If you’re asked to repeat your answers, start from the beginning, make yourself clear by speaking slowly and simply repeat your answers, seizing the opportunity to make them even better this time.
✅ Here comes another scenario. You got cut off due to a poor internet connection or your laptop’s battery ran out (AKA “how didn’t I think about that before?!”). If it happens, start with your apologies when you get back, give a very brief explanation, and continue speaking nicely and calmly.
✅ Some experiences may find a place for themselves in the ‘Best of Murphy’s Laws’ compilation. If you simply can’t connect due to a more serious technical issue that has popped up all of a sudden, email the interviewer immediately, give a brief explanation with apologies, and ask to schedule a new date.
No matter what, always be solution-oriented if something comes up. Take responsibility when necessary and be patient if the problem arises from the other side.
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Last but not least, believe in yourself
Remember that you got this interview for a reason. 🙏 Obviously, your resume, cover letter or test assignment stood out among the others, and your soon-to-be employers thought that you might be a good fit for that position.
💪 Prepare well, get fully ready for your online job interview, and be your best self. And don’t forget to download the MeetFrank app for more opportunities, if you haven’t yet.
We wish you success in your interview!