How To Ace Online Job Interview: 5 Simple Tips

Unemployment. Retrenchment. These are gloomy terms and yet they reflect the not so rosy trend in employment in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic. Hope is nevertheless not lost in the entire job market outlook. Companies are still hiring, and businesses need talents to rebuild and keep operations running. With the changing employment landscape, online job interviews seem to be the new normal and it is imperative that we are able to shift into this new norm and master it. Here are 5 simple tips from JobRewards to help you prepare and ace your online job interview.

1. Test your device and network

"...wear earbuds or earphones instead of keeping your loudspeaker on during the interview"

If your interviewer requests a video call, it is important to have a test run with a friend or family member beforehand. Familiarise yourself with the video conferencing platform the interviewer is going to use. Once you are comfortable with the functions, you should test your device and network connection. Is your computer working fine? Is your webcam faulty? How are the audio capabilities? Is your internet connection good? Fix anything that is malfunctioned before your interview. Another way to improve audio quality is to wear earbuds or earphones instead of keeping your loudspeaker on during the interview. If your network connection at home is bad, be honest with your interviewer and request for a phone interview instead. The last thing you want to do is to waste your interviewer’s time.

2. Scout the best spot for interview

JobRewards How To Ace Online Job Interview 5 Simple Tips
Another important aspect of video interviews is to find “the spot” with the best combination of internet connection, lighting, noise and background for the interview. For lighting, avoid back-lighting and glaring, especially if you have a window behind you. But the lighting should not be too dim either. During the course of the interview, you will have to make sure the environment is quiet. Do it indoors with your doors and windows closed. Inform the people in your household to keep the noise level down and you may need to temporarily banish your pets and children from your presence. You don’t want to lose your train of thoughts when interrupted by unexpected noises. Position your webcam at the best angle to show your whole face but at the same time give yourself space to not appear cornered. Last but not the least, aim for a neutral background and remove any clutters in view. Your interviewer may be distracted from that dirty laundry of yours and may not be listening to what you have to offer. This is also not the time to use your favorite virtual background so don’t even think about it.

3. Appearance and impression matters

"Dress nicely in full professional attire as if it is a physical interview."

Your physical appearances speak a lot about your interview etiquette and attitude towards the job position. Never make the mistake of assuming because it is an online interview the standard job interview rules is no longer applicable in the virtual environment. Dress nicely in full professional attire as if it is a physical interview. Shower and groom yourself as this not only makes you look fresh and confident outwardly, it would also refresh and calm your mind. If possible, wear solid colour clothing as complicated patterns and stripes may appear distracting in a video call. During the course of your interview, silence your phone and keep it at a distance from your microphone. Pace yourself when speaking, as some of the important information may be lost when you speak too quickly. The key thing is to speak slowly and clearly, but not loudly. You don’t want to appear shouting to your interviewer.

4. Prepare for your interview

JobRewards How To Ace Online Job Interview 5 Simple Tips
First impressions matter, but how well you have prepared for your interview will affect the interviewer’s subsequent evaluation of your suitability for the job position. Treat it as a normal interview and do your homework about the company and job role you are interviewing for. It is also good to research more about the industry itself and be familiar with the latest trends. One of the pros of online interviews is that your interviewer can only see your background and not your whole surrounding. You can use this constraint to your advantage by having prepared notes, questions and inspirations on your screen or in post-it notes behind your webcam. This is for your reference only and you should refer to your notes in a subtle manner during your interview. Another good way to prepare for your interview is to have friends or family members conduct a mock interview with you, and even better if you can record the interview. Video conferencing platforms such as Zoom allows you to record your own meeting, and it is a great way to evaluate your performance prior to the real deal.

5. Mind your body language

"...try to look at the camera as much as possible and not the video of the person on your screen."

Your body language will convey your confidence as a person. Be sure to sit straight and avoid slouching. Try stacking books or boxes to elevate your laptop or webcam to eye level. As strange as it sounds, choosing the right chair is also key. Imagine seeing yourself sitting too lazily on the couch or in a large arm chair, it will send out false lazy vibes to your interviewer. Another thing to take note is to try to look at the camera as much as possible and not the video of the person on your screen. This is to make you look engaged as if you are keeping constant eye contact with your interviewer. Remember, confidence is king, and hence carry yourself with conviction and professionalism.

Preparing for a job interview takes tremendous effort and practice. A good preparation with a sprinkle of confidence will help you go a long way. With the five simple tips on how to ace a virtual interview, you should be able to get in form for the interview dance, and JobRewards wish you a smooth and successful interview performance. At least, you don’t have to shake hands in an online interview. Stay positive and stay safe.

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