10 Online Interview Tips for Job Seekers
Video conferencing software is currently the way business meetings and remote/video job interviews take place. There are some important things you need to know and common mistakes to avoid.
Here are our Top Tips to get you through a video interview:
1. Get familiar with the technology
DO download the app ahead of time to your PC or mobile. Make sure you have your Zoom meeting link and access code from the employer at hand. They should set everything up and provide this info, but if not, make sure that you ask them for it well before the interview time.
Also test your own technology – your microphone, your webcam, etc. Make sure everything is working and looks good, so you can avoid any last-minute issues that will cause your interview to start badly or perhaps not at all!
2. Set up the area
It is important to find a room or area of your home that’s best for your interview. Pick a spot that’s quiet and distraction-free and tidy up by eliminating visual distractions like items on the floor and distracting items on the wall behind you.
You want the interviewer to be able to focus on your answers and what you’re saying and distractions in the room will hurt their ability to do this. Remember to shut your windows in the room to eliminate unnecessary noise like lawnmowers and passing cars. If you have children, make sure they’re occupied and informed, so that they don’t interrupt your call.
3. Be on time but not early
Many employers are new to interviews online, and they may use the same “meeting room” or link for multiple job seekers. So you may be entering a 'room' that was being used to talk to another job seeker before you.
So we recommend entering your meeting or interview 2-3 minutes before the scheduled time.
4. Prepare answers to the most common interview questions
Don’t forget to prepare for the interview itself. See our interview guide.
Practice and record yourself delivering your answers in the environment that you’ve set up. Look at the recording, see how you look and sound and then make adjustments before the interview.
‘If you fail to plan you plan to fail’
5. Write down questions to ask them
Employers want to hire people who ask relevant questions in the job interview, this shows them that you’re keen to work for them and that you’re interested in the job. Don’t ask about salary or holidays on the first interview though!
6. Choose what you are going to wear
Your dress code should be the same as an in-person interview. This will vary depending on your industry and position, gentlemen should wear a suit and tie and women should wear formal business attire, too. It’s is important to look professional, but without anything that will distract the interviewer. The focus should be on you, not your outfit.
7. Speak slowly and clearly
Before the interview, practice talking slowly and clearly. Don’t rush! Even if you have a great internet connection, the call might cut out for a fraction of a second here and there, and you’ll be much easier to hear if you speak slowly and don’t rush through your responses.
This will also make you seem more relaxed, confident and in control.
8. Work on your body language
Just like in a face to face meeting avoid fidgeting or waving your hands or doing anything that will distract from your answers, be calm and relaxed, how you appear is just as important as what you say.
Make good eye contact, practice looking into your webcam as you speak. Don’t look at the video of yourself in the corner of your screen. That will help it feel more like a face to face conversation and this will help the interviewer feel more comfortable too.
9. Check the meeting date and time!
Please do check the email from the employer and be sure that you enter the meeting on your calendar for the right time, on the right day. Also, give yourself a reminder! You don’t want the embarrassment of missing the interview. You might not get another chance.
10. Seek clarification if you can’t hear or understand
It is sensible to ask for clarification or ask the interviewer to repeat a question once or twice in your interview. It shows that you are really listening and keen to give the correct response, or if the audio sound is poor and you genuinely don’t hear or understand.
As with any interview, you must plan and prepare properly and know what questions they are likely to ask and plan your responses. Do your research on them too and have some good questions to ask.