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How to Prepare for an Online Interview

Covid-19 has changed the world of work, when it comes physically working, many are now working from home and more importantly job interviews are being held over video calls. Whether it’s over MS Teams, Zoom, Skype, Google Meet or anything else with a video, your latest job interview is most likely going to be done virtually. Of course, it’s the same process and questions, but it does make a huge change to completing an interview in person. You aren’t able to see how your future office may look, or get a feel for the office vibes, or see your manager in person, but as with everything we have learnt since March 2020, it’s important to adapt. And so, with that being said, here a few tips on how to prepare for an online interview:

  1. Do a Test-run
  2. Choose a Place
  3. Choose your background
  4. Log on Early
  5. Dress Professionally
  6. Look into the Camera
  7. Speak Slowly and Carefully
  8. Listen Carefully
  9. Use Engaged Body Language
  10. Keep Calm and Be Yourself

How to Prepare for an Online Interview

  1. Do a Test-run
    It’s so incredibly important to do a trial run before your interview. Technology can be quite tricky and the internet can play up from time to time, so it’s important you have a quick practice before your interview. Try to familiarise yourself with the video programme you have been asked to use, whether that be MS Teams, Zoom, or anything else, have a little play around with the different features that are available to you. Also, test your audio, camera and sound functions to ensure they are working effectively and set them to the volume you would want in the interview.

    Another great tip is to have a trial job interview with a friend or family member on the programme that you have been asked to use.

  2. Choose a Place
    It’s also important to pick a comfortable spot in your home to have your interview. You want to choose a spot that has good lighting and a clear background. If possible, it’s recommended to pick a spot facing a window. Try to turn off any artificial lighting as this will interfere with the natural lighting and add a yellow tint to your video.

    Also find a comfortable seating position, you don’t want to be fidgeting during your interview, so ensure your chair is comfortable to sit on and doesn’t creek or make any noises. Remember to adjust your seating position to suit the height of your camera, you don’t want to sit too close to your computer, nor too far, it’s handy to set this up well before your interview.

  3. Choose your background
    Most video backgrounds are installed with cool backgrounds that blur what ever is going on behind you. Or if you don’t want to use a virtual background, as sometimes these can interfere with your video, you can opt to go with showing your home. If you choose to do this, make sure everything is clean and tidy to help you look a little more professional.
  4. Log on Early
    You might be tempted to log into your meeting with 2 minutes to spare, but try to avoid doing this. Even though it’s a virtual interview, you want to ensure you’re properly set up and can establish a secure internet connection before your interview starts.
  5. Dress Professionally
    Even though your interviewer may only be able to see you from waist up, dressing in full attire will help you feel more professional and may give you a boost of confidence. First impressions really do count and sitting up and smiling will really sure your employer how much you wish to pursue the role.
  6. Look into the Camera
    It can be easy to shy away from looking into the camera, but looking someone in the eye virtually is just as important as it is in person. Instead of looking at the screen, look directly into the webcam and stay engaged.
  7. Speak Slowly and Carefully
    Technology can be on/off, but it’s important to be aware of the fact that there might be delays in the transition. Or the microphone might not pick up your audio well. Take your time when speaking and to ensure your interviewer can hear you clearly and understand what you’re saying.
  8. Listen Carefully
    Just as technology can lag and have a delay on your side, it can happen on the interviewer’s side too. Listen carefully and wait for the interviewer to finish speaking before giving your point of view. Its best to wait a couple of seconds after your interviewer has finished speaking to ensure you don’t cut unintentionally interrupt them.
  9. Use Engaged Body Language
    Although it’s tempting to slouch or sit in a homely manor, try to keep a professional stature throughout your interview. Using engaged body language is going to help you answer the questions confidently. Even though it’s a virtual interview, a correct posture is going to help you look more friendly and sure of yourself.
  10. Keep Calm and Be Yourself
    Practice your main talking points beforehand and during your trial run. Remember to speak a little louder than you usually would as the screen may reduce your sound. You also want to come across as yourself, so try to be authentic and genuine, this is your opportunity to express yourself off paper, and almost bring your CV to life. Take a breath to calm your nerves before you log on and remember, you can do this!