How To Ace An Online Interview
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it’s National Careers Week this week, and right now, things are a little different to the usual way of interviewing for jobs. With everything online for the time being, it can feel a little weird or daunting to interview for a job through a screen rather than IRL. Luckily, Youth Employment UK have all the tips and tricks you need to ace an online interview. Here’s what they have to say...
The pandemic and advances in technology have meant more people working and interviewing from home. If an employer invites you to an online interview using video calls, it’s just as important as doing a job interview in person. So how do you make sure you’re ready?
One great thing about online interviews is you don’t have to worry about how to get to the location – it’s in your room! But you can still be late for online interviews, or even get the wrong day – so check your email invitation and put the time and the date of the interview somewhere where you can easily see it and won’t forget. And then, double check it.
GET THE BASICS DOWN
Some things are always the same in job interviews, whether they are online or face-to-face! So, make sure you…
Look clean, tidy and groomed in your formal interview clothes. First impressions count.
Research the job and company you’ve applied for. It’s a way of showing your enthusiasm for the job. If you can ask smart questions and answer easy ones about what the job involves, it shows you care about getting it!
Practise your answers to common interview questions. These can include questions like “tell me about yourself”, “why did you apply for the job”, and “why would you be a great fit for the job”.
Know what’s in your CV. As the interviewer only knows you from your job application, they may ask you questions about your CV. Check it over the night before the interview, and you can keep it near you while the interview is happening to help you out if your mind goes blank.
GET SWITCHED ON
Is your phone, computer or laptop set up with the free video call software you were told to use? Do you have a webcam if you need one? Give it a check the evening before your interview so you know it all works how you want it to. Be prepared to sign in to the interview at least five minutes beforehand, so you have time to check all of your settings and to download any updates.
KEEP IT TIDY
Is there any clutter behind you, or anything you wouldn’t want the employer to see? Clear it up and move it out of shot. Some people like to have a blank wall behind them because it is a neutral look, but it’s fine if you have stuff visible – so long as it looks tidy.
BE CAMERA READY
Move your webcam so your face is in the middle of the screen. It makes you the main focus.
What is your lighting like? If you can, try moving things around so you have lots of natural light on your face. Try turning on the big lights in the room. If you have a desk or study lamp, you can try shining it on your face. Some people like to buy ring lights or zoom lights to attach to their computers for extra light. But you don’t need to buy anything! Just think about the light sources you’ve got from windows and room lights to light up your face and make you the star of the show. On your video call software, you can often set up a fake meeting and not invite anyone just so that you can see what you will look like on the employer’s screen. It can help you arrange things how you want them.
Make eye contact with the interviewer. It helps you both feel like you are really talking to each other.
If something goes wrong with the technology, don’t worry! Just explain the situation to the interviewer and follow their instructions. They often get problems with their video calls too, they will understand!
Aim to feel as relaxed as you can. When you think about it, an interview via video call is just another way to talk to someone. It’s a formal chat, but a friendly one too. The pandemic has meant that many people have become more used to talking to each other online using software like Zoom, Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, and Skype. Even employers used to find it scary, but these days everyone just treats it as a useful way to talk to people who aren’t in the room with them. Employers are now doing interviews, work placements, internships and even apprenticeships online, so every time you give online meetings a go, you are building great experience for the world of work.
So if you’ve got an online interview coming up…don’t worry, enjoy it and good luck!
Youth Employment UK have lots of free ways to start boosting your career confidence and life skills if you live in the UK. You can check out their Young Professional online training, explore their careers advice, volunteer online, find local opportunities in your area and much more.