Are you looking for a new job with a Western company? Are you worried about the interview process because it will be online? Don't worry, Scout and Hire have some tips to help you ace your online job interview. With so many people now working remotely, companies are turning to technology to conduct interviews. This can be a great opportunity for you if you are prepared for the differences between online and in-person interviews. In this blog post, we will discuss what you need to know to make the best impression during your next online job interview.
How are virtual job interviews different?
One of the biggest differences between online and in-person interviews is the lack of personal connection. When you are meeting someone face-to-face, you can shake their hand, make eye contact, and read their body language. This is not possible when you are meeting virtually. You will need to find other ways to create a connection with your interviewer.
Another difference is that virtual interviews often feel more like a conversation than an interrogation. In an in-person interview, there is usually one person asking the questions and one person answering them. In a virtual interview, it is more common for both parties to be actively engaged in the conversation. This can be a great opportunity to ask your own questions and get to know your potential employer better.
1. Do a test-run with your computer
If you are not used to interviewing via video conferencing, it is important to do a test-run with your computer. Make sure that you have the right software installed and that your camera and microphone are working properly. It is also a good idea to find a quiet place to conduct the interview where you will not be interrupted.
We recommend that you do a test-run with a friend or family member before your actual interview. This will help you to get comfortable with the technology - Zoom, Google Meet etc - and make sure that everything is working properly.
If you are using a laptop, it is also important to make sure that the battery is fully charged. You don't want your computer to die in the middle of the interview!
2. Pick the perfect spot for lighting and sound
Just like in an in-person interview, it is important to make sure that you are well-lit and can be seen clearly on camera. An excellent way to do this is to sit near a window with natural light. If you don't have access to natural light, you can use a lamp to create artificial light. Just make sure that the light is not shining directly into your eyes.
Lighting from above or behind will cause shadows on your face and a halo out of your hair.
Lighting from behind or the side will cause a glare, making it difficult for the interviewer to see you.
Lighting from behind or the side can also cause a glare on your screen and make it hard for you to see the interviewer!
It is also important to choose a spot with minimal background noise. This will help you to be heard more clearly on the call. If possible, find a quiet room in your house or apartment where you can close the door and limit any distractions.
You might also want to consider wearing headphones during the call. This can help to limit any background noise and make it easier for the interviewer to hear you. If your home is not conducive to a professional interview, consider interviewing at a quiet place of work, cafe or library.
3. Avoid using virtual backgrounds
Virtual backgrounds are unprofessional and can be distracting. While some video conferencing software allows you to use virtual backgrounds, we recommend that you stick with a natural background. This will help the interviewer to get a better sense of who you are and where you are located. Plus, it is one less thing that you have to worry about during the interview!
4. Remove distractions
As with an in-person interview, removing any distractions from your environment is essential. This includes turning off your phone, closing any tabs you are not using, muting computer notifications, and putting away papers or notebooks. You want the interviewer to be able to see you and focus on what you are saying.
It is also a good idea to close the door to your room if you have one. This will help to limit any background noise and make it easier for the interviewer to hear you. Also, it will stop children, pets, and family members from walking in unannounced.
5. Log on early and test setup
Just like in an in-person interview, it is important to be on time for your online job interview. We recommend that you log on to the video conferencing software about 10-15minutes before so that you can test your setup and make sure everything is working correctly. Also, have a backup plan in case there are any technical difficulties. For example, you might want to have a friend or family member call you on your phone if there are any problems with the audio on the call.
It is also a good idea to act as your interviewer can hear and see everything you are doing. Do not assume that the interview isn't being recorded because nobody is present. From the moment you log in until the moment you close the screen, imagine they can hear and see everything.
6. Dress professionally and use positive body language
It is important to sit up straight and dress professionally for your online job interview, just as you would for an in-person meeting. This will help you to come across as confident and professional.
Smile! Whether you’re talking to an actual person or recording your answers, not only does happy postures makes us look more professional but also helps communicate openness- a key trait employers want from their potential employees. Smiling faces also convey confidence while speaking clearly increase energy levels.
Things to avoid - slouching and crossing your arms. This conveys negative, unengaged, and closed-off body language. Make sure you are sitting up straight with your shoulders back and head up.
Dress for success! Even though the interviewer will only be seeing you from the waist up, it is important to dress professionally from head-to-toe. Wear clothes that are flattering and fit the job for which they're interviewing. When in doubt dress up rather than down (especially if this interview will be virtual).
7. Calm your nerves
It is normal to feel nervous before an interview, whether it is online or in-person. One way to calm your nerves is to plan ahead. As we said, test run the video conferencing software with a friend or family member. Practice your main talking points if you’re nervous. What is the key information you want to convey about yourself to the interviewer? Remember to slow down—it can be easy to talk over people on online calls. You may need to be slightly louder and more emphatic than you would be in person.
8. Look your interviewer in the 'eye'
In an online job interview, it is important to look into the "eyes" of your interviewer. This means looking at the camera, not the screen. This will help you to come across as confident and engaged in the conversation.
It can be helpful to practice this before the interview so that you are comfortable looking into the camera. Again, you might want to set up a test call with a friend or family member so that you can get used to the interface.
9. Listen carefully and ask questions
It is important to listen carefully during your online job interview. This means not only paying attention to the questions that are being asked, but also taking the time to process and think about your answers.
You should also take the opportunity to ask questions. This will show that you are engaged in the conversation and interested in the role.
It is always a good idea to have a list of questions prepared before any interview, whether it is online or in-person. This shows that you are interested in the role and the company.
Some good questions to ask during an online job interview include:
- What does a typical day look like in this role?
- What are the main challenges that someone in this role would face?
- What are the company's values?
- What are the next steps in the hiring process?
10. Don't rely on notes
While it is important to be prepared for your online job interview, you should not rely on notes. This can make you appear less confident and engaged in the conversation.
If you are using a computer, you might want to keep a few pointers, but nothing more. Instead, listen to the question and take time to answer. You will come across as someone who is really thinking about the question and not rushing into a pre-arranged answer.
11. Be Yourself
At the end of the day, it is important to be yourself during your online job interview. This means being honest about your qualifications and experiences. It also means being authentic in your answers and to yourself.
Knowing yourself as a professional is important. Stop and think deeply about your personal strengths, weaknesses, and traits before you go into an interview so that when they ask questions during the process it will be easier for them to understand who YOU really ARE because of all this knowledge beforehand!
The interviewer wants to get to know you and see if you are a good fit for the role. So, don't try to be someone that you're not.
12. Close on a positive note
Be sure to close on a positive note. Thank the interviewer for their time and express your interest in the role.
23. Follow up Afterward
Don't forget to follow up after your online job interview. Send a thank-you email to the interviewer and express your interest in the role. This is another opportunity to reiterate why you would be a great fit for the position.
By following these tips, you can create a great impression during your next online job interview. Just remember to do a test-run with your computer, choose the perfect spot for lighting and sound, forego virtual backgrounds, remove distractions, log on early, sit up and dress professionally, look into the "eyes" of your interviewer, listen carefully, ask questions, be yourself, make a connection, and close on a positive note. With a little bit of preparation, you can ace your online job interview and land your dream job! Best of luck!