In the midst of the pandemic, a lot of freshers and experienced professionals are aware of this trend, the online screening and interview sessions. The trend itself is not new of course, but the implementation of it has seen a huge rise ever since the Covid-19 pandemic.
So, how one should prepare for a scheduled online interview and nail it? This article will guide you for everything you’ve got to take care of before and while appearing for an online interview.
The following are things to take care of before, during, and after the Online or Video Interviews.
Before The Online Interview
1. Use The Best Hardware & Software Tools
It may be the case that you have multiple digital computing devices such as a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Choose the one device that you are most comfortable with. Make sure the device has compatibility with the application you are proposed to be using for the video interview session. A computer is a preferred choice to appear as it is quite easier to share the screen for your past work and showcase it to the interviewer.
It also gives the interviewer a hint that you have the device which may be required to work from home, thus eliminating them to provide you a system. It may not be a big deal, but at least, gives a sense that you are keeping yourself active by using the system on a regular basis to brush your skills.
2. Choose An Ideal Location
Find that best spot in the comfort of your home where you can avoid all the possible distractions, noises, etc. where you can remain fully focused. The lighting has to be proper with a plain background, ideally the wall. Make yourself comfortable and sit in a position that you can appear on the screen from head to just above your waistline.
3. Comprehensive Testing
Make sure there are no glitches. Run a test for checking your system, camera, audio/video configurations, headsets (if any), noise, lighting, etc. Also, run checks of the video calling application (Skype, Zoom App, Google Meet, etc.) you are going to use. Go through all the features of the app and plan what you shall be doing in various cases like sharing the links and the files or sharing the screen to showcase your work.
Do not forget to give a good test run right before the scheduled time for the interview. This testing enhances the chances of a flawless interview.
4. Create a Backup For Possible Glitches
You may identify the possible glitches that may occur after giving a comprehensive test run of the system, network connectivity, applications, and other hardware configurations. Create a backup plan for the day of an interview, in case something goes wrong.
You may notify the interviewer in advance to alter the platform. For example, if the broadband of mobile hotspot connectivity is not working from the service providers.
5. Try Giving Mock Interviews Beforehand
The ideal scenario is to give a mock-up test before the day of the interview. Practice and record your own interview and analyze where you can actually improve. If it is not possible to record, try it out with your professional colleagues, friends, or family and ask them to provide feedback where there is room for improvement. The recording might help you to determine in setting your voice tone. Sometimes over the audio, your tone may seem too loud over the headphones.
This shall give you confidence and much-needed feedback on how you look and sound over the digital platform.
6. Carry Out Proactive Interview Preparation
Never ever ignore this one here. Run comprehensive research about the company you have applied for, their products and services, how well they are doing, and areas they can improve. That is just for your understanding and be expressive about it, only if you are asked a respective question. Research about the person who is going to take your interview.
Prepare yourself about what set of basic, technical, operational, intellectual, teamworking questions the interviewer may ask. Also, make a list of the right questions you should be asking the interviewer about the company, your roles, and responsibilities, etc. Make the final choice of what you are going to wear for an online interview, a professional attire is a must.
On The Day of Your Online Interview
1. Run Checks On Everything
Test all the hardware and software configurations just before your interview time. Everything you have done before shall be working in a flawless manner. Log in to the online repository where your past work is saved so you can save time in between the interview. Put a manual notepad, pen, etc. on the place where you are going to sit.
Even though you have already sent your resume, keep it ready with you. There is a higher possibility that the interviewer will go through and ask about something from the copy of your resume.
2. Make A Professional Appearance
It is not about the bling always. Be on the safe side with the appearance and clothing. Well combed hair, simple yet professional dress attire is the only thing required. Make sure the sleeves are not folded, shirt buttons are not open. If you are wearing a tie, make sure there are no loose ends. Women can also make online research on the tips online to wear a professional outfit for an interview.
3. Close Other Pages In The System
Running applications and web pages may cause interruptions in the fluidity of the online video calls. Audio breaks and sticking videos are not what you want at this time. Close all the other web pages, applications, etc. that are running. Mute your smartphone and lock up the room where you are sitting to avoid any unwanted noises and distractions.
Make the place your own stage and recollect yourself 15 minutes before the interview. Think of the last-minute preparations and finish them off. Focus on the opening conversation and be yourself. Have the backup plan ready for any glitches that may surface.
4. Maintain Consistency In Soft Skills/Nonverbal Communication
A balanced smile will do only good while speaking and listening. Not too serious, not too casual. Groom yourself with confidence and make solid eye contact, but do not stare to make it look aggressive. Never gaze up or look around from the computer screen too often. Lean a bit and sit in a relaxed position. Maintain a good, consistent posture, and make sure your arms can be seen in the video to make gestures while speaking.
Actions speak louder than words. Your gestures, movements, and facial expressions, say more about how you are feeling than what you say. Employers will listen to your answers but they will also be reading your body language.
If you are too willing to touch your hair or bite your nails, resist it. Practice not to shake your legs while sitting. All of these traits are when we are nervous or too casual. The bottom line here is, don’t ever fidget in any case.
5. Be Conversational
An online interview is no different than a face-to-face interview. Greet the interviewer in a warm gentle way. Speak up as you would have in your in-person interview. Maintain the tone consistency and have a conversation, like an actual interview situation. Ensure you sound like a soft-spoken human.
If you have absolutely no idea about a topic or a thing you are asked for, don’t barge in on it by giving fake answers. The expressions are changed all of a sudden when you are making a story on your own. It is not always necessary for the candidates to know everything. And employers respect it in most cases rather than wasting time.
6. Make The Right Use Of Notepad
As discussed earlier, keeping a notepad with the notes you have made for the interview is ideal. But do not overuse it to make yourself looking away from the camera too often. Believe me, that looks odd!
7. Leave A Positive Impression
Always remember, the last impression you give is as important as the first impression for both, offline and online interviews. Wish the interviewer well with a natural smile while delivering the impression that you are thankful and pleased for his time and how the interview session went.
After the Video/Online Interview
1. Write & Send A Thank-You Note
Just like any other interview, you are supposed to write a “Thank-You note” to the single or multiple interviewers. Why? Well, the Thank-You note can strengthen your candidacy. You can go through several templates for writing a Thank-You letter or note on the internet.
Normally, the interviewer gives a timeline for getting back to you. If it is not the case, ask for it. There is nothing wrong with it. If you do not find a response within the given timeline, please have patience as the hiring process is even more tedious than it seems to the candidates many times.
Keep in mind not to reach out with the follow-up mail before the timeline ends. Follow up with the interviewer or the person (in case you are told to connect with for the status) only after the timeline is passed.
Final Advice: Say ‘NO’ TO PANIC
If you are uncomfortable with the camera or communicating with any of the traits shown above, the best thing for you is to practice a lot over the mock-up tests. Get that grip over your confidence and by mastering the mock-ups, you will boss the interview session too.
10 Advantages of Practising Mock-up Job Interviews
- Help reduce stress and anxiety
- Help boost your confidence
- Improve yourself with a constructive feedback
- Preparing for behavioral-based interview questions
- Practice makes perfect for actual interviews
- Bye-bye nervousness
- Learn and improve your body language and other soft skills
- Improve your general knowledge
Comment if you wish to share a thing or two.
All the best F.R.I.E.N.D.S !! Sometimes it is better not to be Chandler Bing, haha!!