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While the current COVID-19 outbreak has caused a lot of uncertainty and economic turmoil, there are companies out there that are still hiring at the moment. But with staying at home now the new temporary norm, many recruiting managers have taken to conducting online interviews instead of the more traditional face-to-face kind.
Related reading: 4 Ways to Use the Time Right Now to Up Your Job Hunting Game - https://www.polytec.co.uk/whats-new/4-ways-to-use-the-time-right-now-to-up-your-job-hunting-game.html
Now if you’ve never had an online interview, or interview via video link, the prospect could feel a little daunting. To help you out and ensure you are in the best position possible to ace your online interview, we’ve compiled this list of top tips.
As with any kind of job interview, you have to take the time to conduct some research about the company you’re applying for a position with. Now this could be as simple as going on their website, looking up their values and understanding what makes them tick. The bottom line is you do not want to go into an interview and be left floundering when they ask, “What do you know about our company?”
When it comes to job interviews (online or face-to-face) failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
Imagine how embarrassed you will be and how inconvenienced the hiring manager will be if your computer equipment - especially your microphone and webcam - does not function correctly throughout your online interview. It could cause a delay at the start, interrupt things halfway through or even lead to your interview being postponed.
That’s why you must ensure that all your equipment is not only fully functional, but set up correctly in preparation.
Just because you’re having an online interview doesn’t mean that you should lower your normal standards. If you wouldn’t wear jeans and a T-shirt to a face-to-face interview, then don’t do it when you’re sat in front of a camera at home. You should even go as far as putting your smart shoes on too. While it might seem strange, it can have an important psychological effect and actually give you a more formal state of mind.
For online job interviews, a neutral background is the order of the day. Steer well clear of hectic backgrounds as they could distract the hiring manager’s attention and remember that large statement-making posters probably aren’t a good idea either.
In addition to having a neutral background, also ensure that there is no clutter nearby (even if it’s out of the camera’s view). Clutter not only looks bad (if the hiring manager can see it), but can also distract you during your online interview.
Finally, play around with the lighting in the room you’ll be in to have your interview. It’s important that the hiring manager can see you clearly and the best way to achieve this is to have a light in front of you (just above where your webcam is) that’s shining towards you. Obviously you don’t want to sit there blinded, so experiment to get the mix just right.
While a hiring manager will probably smile if one of your children bursts in during your online interview, or your other half shouts at you saying your dinner is ready, it won’t really create the right impression. So please tell everyone in your house that you’re having an online interview and give them the exact date/time so they can plan to be elsewhere temporarily. It’s not going to last for hours and by maintaining some peace, quiet and order, you’ll fare better overall.