Online interviews, the Ins and Outs

As businesses ramp up their efforts to start working from home, interviewing online is gearing up.

Interviewing via video links and voice calls online and interviewing in person are two very different experiences. And understandably most can find online interviews challenging. We've been helping all our job seekers to get online. Here are four steps you can take to improve your interview skills.

How you can set yourself up for online interviews

1# Small talk is less common online

When you meet someone in person, it’s those small personality traits that can help you connect better with them. Yet it’s harder to pick up on social queues through video. Keep good eye contact and know where to look. If you look into the camera, you will come across as confident and appear as if you’re talking to the person there. Even if it’s an audio call, keep your personality and small chat going. If you are naturally a small talker in your hellos and goodbyes, don’t hide that online.  

2# Brush up on your tech savviness 

Prepare fully. Zoom and Skype are the trend users right now. But tech giants, Google hangouts and Microsoft teams have made getting online a little easier. They recently announced that they are offering corporate customers extended access to online collaboration tools.

There are many platforms available and for free. Do your research and choose a platform that makes sense for you. If you need to share a screen whilst you're presenting a proposal of work, Zoom is great. If you have more than three people in a presentation, Google Hangouts host meetings live.  

On that note; check your internet, device, audio, and camera, the reality is technology can fail at times. If this does happen, sending different contact details as a back up will win brownie points.  

3# Don’t let the interviewer get distracted by mess and clutter

Children are home from school, distractions are aplenty but it’s best to still put your professional foot forward. Clean up the screen background, or pop a chair next to a wall. Lighting is also important, if you are next to a window there may be a shadow on cast on your face, best to face the window for natural light. And if you are doing the interview at night, pop a lamp on the floor or use desk lamps to brighten up your room.

4# Do your research

As employers are creating plans and developing ideas on how to best recruit and manage teams at the moment. Processes are changing all the time - it’s a big unknown and change for everyone. Your best bet right now is to prepare as much as you can for these interviews. Learn the culture of the organisation, understand their biggest challenges, who are the change-makers and key players in the company and learn about who is interviewing you, have a look on Linkedin and Twitter and find common interests you both have.  

It’s difficult making decisions about whether to continue your job search and push forward in this unknown - we will share our learnings and update our resources to help you stay prepared. For help with your CV, guidance with online interviews, and more in-depth job-search advice contact one of our consultants.