Digital job interviews have become much more common over the past few years, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic coming into play. With remote job positions on the rise and social distancing still being so prevalent worldwide, they are likely to continue in popularity.
Whether you’re interviewing for a job in another state, a remote job, or any other job opportunity, you may be expected to show up for an online interview. The interview may be conducted over the phone or in video call format, so the following tried and tested tips are a great place to start while preparing.
Regardless of whether you’re interviewing over the phone or on a video call, there are a few general tips to keep in mind.
Research the company you are applying for as well as your interviewers
It is important to research the company, the CEO, competitors, your interviewers and possible teammates, and anything you can about the industry. This will give you the upper hand—especially if asked questions like “Have you seen XYZ on our website…” or “I’m not sure if you know much about our company background but…” Any time you’re able to showcase that you’ve done your research, the better.
Prepare questions to ask about the company or the job position
In every good interview, usually towards the end, the interviewer asks the interviewee if they have any questions about the company or the role. Coming up with these questions on the fly can be challenging and it may be obvious that you are flustered. Additionally, in the heat of the interview, it is very easy to forget an important question you planned to ask. Write up a list of your questions beforehand and have them on hand during your interview.
Showing that you’ve prepared for your interview by researching the company and preparing questions about the role can give your interviewer confidence in your ability to prepare for important meetings, events, and etcetera in the workplace. Be sure to re-read the job description right before your interview and have examples of your work on hand. Showing your research chops and preparation abilities is a key factor in convincing your interviewer that the job should be yours.
When someone is conducting a phone interview with you, they can’t see your mannerisms or facial expressions. That’s why it’s important to maintain a positive, professional tone throughout the call. Below we’ve included a few additional phone interview tips that will help you make a great impression.
1. Don’t interrupt. Be sure not to interject when the interviewer is talking. Instead, make sure he or she is finished before you begin.
2. Don’t be afraid of silence. When you’re doing an in-person interview, it’s OK to think for a moment after a question is asked. The same is true for telephone interviews. Don’t be so afraid of dead air that you blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. Instead, give yourself time to come up with thoughtful answers.
3. Get rid of distractions. If you’re doing your telephone interview from home, get rid of all distractions beforehand. Make sure your pets are put in kennels or outside for your phone call so you don’t have unwanted noises in the background.
4. Smile during your interview. It’s true, no one can see you during a telephone interview, but your tone will sound more positive if you smile.
Remember to hold the phone properly during your interview so the person on the other end can hear you clearly. You may want to practice with a friend or family member before your interview to make sure you don’t sound muffled or distant. You can also practice answering different common interview questions.
A video interview is preferable to many over phone interviews because it allows both parties to see each other. But it still feels different from an in-person interview and can throw you off your game if you’re ill-prepared. Below we’ve included some tips for pulling off a great video interview.
1. Make eye contact. Make sure you’re not looking off into space or staying buried in your notes during your video interview. Make a conscious effort to look your interviewer(s) in the eyes.
2. Be personable. It’s important to smile and show interest during your interview. You should also maintain relaxed but professional body language and speech.
3. Double-check your WI-FI connection. A video interview is not the time to experience Internet difficulties. In the hours leading up to your scheduled interview, make sure your connection is working well and you aren’t experiencing delays.
4. Be sure your background is tidy. Remember, your interviewer will be able to see what’s going on around you during your video interview, so make sure the room you’re in is clean and tidy and there are no distractions.
5. Have your resume in front of you. Just as you’d bring your resume with you to an in-person interview, you should have it in front of you during your video interview so you can easily reference it as needed.
Telephone and video interviews may be new to you, but with some practice you can pull them off like a pro. These tips will help build your confidence so you can have a successful digital interview no matter the circumstances.