In this day and age, many employers are moving to online interviewing to narrow down the applicant pool. Many are using Skype, Zoom or other platforms to engage with candidates in a more efficient and cost effective manner. Interviewing online is not the same as in person interviewing. Non-verbal cues are harder to pick up on since interviewer may not be a live person on the other end. It may be simply you recording your interview responses in a timed and automated decision. What is an applicant to do in to get through the digital interview process? Here are three tips for nailing the online interview:
Attire and Attitude
Sometimes students assume video interviews aren’t as real as in-person interviews and they need to be reminded. It’s imperative that candidates wear business professional attire to their virtual interviews, just like they would an in person interview.
According to an article on Bloomberg, “Jamie King Belinne, assistant dean for career services at University of Houston’s Bauer College of Business, says while students typically dress professionally before face-to-face interviews, they tend to slack off during video chats. She says the standards are the same, and it’s always better to overdress.
Some candidates will wear formal attire on the top half, but nothing on the bottom. I have heard horror stories from hiring managers where the candidate will move slightly and you can see their boxers. That is an automatic deal breaker.
In addition, be sure to show excitement when you are in the interview. Non-verbals are even more important in digital interviews. Be sure to smile and use voice intonation in your interview so they know how excited you are about the prospective job.
Most people get frustrated by Skype chats that cut out the feed or drop audio. Jobs interviews have much higher stakes. Always be sure to test your audio and video on your laptop or tablet prior to the interview. Many times candidates will freak out when they have technical problems, but be sure and keep your cool if things go wrong. Be sure to have a back-up point of contact if something goes wrong like an email or phone number. That way you can follow up and reschedule if you continue to have tech issues.
Back Round Environment
The area behind you is an important as what the attire you wear during your interview. The hiring manager will be paying attention to what is on the wall and or desk during your interview. If possible candidates should choose a private office or clean bedroom. Neutral color is preferable and make sure there is no posters or other items that could be construed as unprofessional in the frame. In addition, be sure to use natural light as much as possible.