by Simon Lythgoe
The majority of recruitment processes today will start with an online interview. Although this may not seem to have the significance of a face-to-face experience, it’s still an obstacle that stands in the way of a candidate progressing to the next stage in the process. If you’re keen to ensure that you ace the online interview then there are five essential tips to bear in mind.
1. Be punctual
You’d never show up to an in-person interview with 30 seconds to spare so don’t take the same risks with an online interview. There may be issues logging into the technology or you may find that you need to download a different type of software to access the video application the company has asked you to use. It’s important to ensure that you have enough time to get set up so that you’re not flustered when the interview begins - and that means being ready at least 10 minutes before the start time.
2. Choose your location with care
If you treat an online interview too casually then you simply won’t get to the next stage in the interview process. So, for example, taking the call in your favourite coffee shop could be a bad move. You might have access to endless flat whites but you’ll also be in a noisy environment with movement around you that will distract you and the people you’re talking to. Ideally, do the interview in a quiet room at home with a blank wall behind you and good lighting so that your facial features can be seen.
3. Dress the part
Even if the interview is taking place at 2am your time that’s still not a good reason to show up in your pyjamas. Equally as unprofessional is just dressing for the interview from the waist up. In both of these scenarios you may simply not feel like you’re in an interview situation and this could affect your performance as a result. Approach dressing for an online interview as you would any other – smart, clean and in a style that suits the culture of the business you’re applying to work for.
4. Don’t forget the body language
It’s easy to forget that every mannerism and movement can be seen via online interview. So, pay attention to your body language and the way that you sit and move. Make sure your posture is professional – sitting upright and not slouching, with your feet on the ground. Try to avoid using lots of distracting gestures or subconsciously insecure movements, such as touching your face or playing with your hair.
5. Bear the distance in mind
When you’re sitting an online interview you’re talking through a microphone so you may need to take more trouble with your answers to ensure that they’re clear. Make sure you account for any time delays between questions and let the interviewer fully finish speaking before you reply.
Online interviews are an essential part of the process of recruitment and it’s worth taking the time to be prepared.