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ONLINE/VIRTUAL INTERVIEWS

In recent years online job interviews have become more popular and in the current climate are even becoming the norm. While they are similar to traditional, in-person meetings, they have some major differences. For example, it may only be an audio meeting, or it may simply have pre-recorded questions.

As with traditional interviews, preparation is all important, and researching the company, industry and panel of interviewer applies in the same way.

And of course, ensuring that you are bright, sharp and alert is just as important, so exercise the day before and get an early night.

Whilst you obviously don’t need to worry about the travel logistics there are some other important factors that you need to address.

Beforehand

Check the time zone. This could be the difference between showing up on time or being three hours late!

Ask what the format is: Is it an audio interview or both audio and video?

Is there someone on the other end of the video or are the questions pre-recorded?

If they are pre-recorded, how many chances do you have to record your answer?

What do I do or who do you call if you have technical difficulties?

The Day Before

Prepare a suitable spot. Make sure its light but stay away from overhead lights. Natural light is best although positioning two lamps at a diagonal in front of you will also work well.  Ensure that the lighting does not create a glare on your glasses. Consider what else will be in the shot and declutter the area. A neutral background will not distract the interviewer, a blank background that doesn’t clash with your shirt is the most common advice. Allow a minimum of 3 feet between the back of your head and the wall so you don’t blend into the background. This is definitely not the time for virtual backgrounds or filters!

It is more important that the interviewer sees you clearly, not the other way around so prioritise the camera, not the screen. This means prioritising the device with the best camera in your possession, not the best display.

Choose your chair carefully. You don’t want to slouch or be drowned in a chair with a back that takes up as much screen as your face. A low backed chair that doesn’t creak when you move is best.

Test your gear. Install a backup copy of the software on a second device just in case one device fails. Do a test run with a friend.

Plan how you will dress. Just because you’re on video doesn’t mean you can slack off on your appearance. Aim to dress one notch above the company’s typical attire. Solid colours will appear much better than stripes and complex patterns. Strange as it may sound, put your work shoes on. It will have a positive psychological effect!

Make notes. The interviewer cannot see what is not on camera so use this to your advantage and pin a sheet with notes, questions or even some inspiration directly behind the camera. Don't put notes on the desk in front of you or you will keep looking down & appear either disinterested or nervous. 

On the Day

Have a conversation with yourself and get in the mood to talk. If you’ve been cooped up indoors for a long time it can be hard to appear cheerful and energetic. Even doing a few jumping jacks or jogging on the spot will get your energy levels up and will also calm your nerves.

Test all your equipment again. On many PC’s, rebooting can reset your camera and microphone to default. If things go wrong you will be wasting the interviewers time and making yourself flustered.

Eliminate distractions. Close the doors and windows. Turn off any tv and radio noise. Banish pets and children. Turn off notifications and make sure your phone is on silent.

The Interview

It’s courteous to show up 5 minutes early.

Have a copy of your resume in front of you.

Have a glass of water to hand.

Make eye contact by looking at the camera rather than the interviewers face on the screen when you speak. When you are listening, you can look back at the screen. Remember to smile and nod to show that you are involved and listening. Sit up straight as you would in an ordinary interview.

Listen carefully to the interviewer and wait a few seconds before speaking to avoid cutting in. Speak slowly and carefully.

Of course, you wont be able to shake the hand of the interviewer at the end of your meeting so remember to thank them for their time.

After the interview

Send an email to thank them for the interview.

“Like” a post on their social media.

sPEAK TO uS!

Drop us a line or give us a call when it is over. In the meantime we will be getting feedback from the interviewer to pass back.

good luck!