As businesses adapt more to working remotely, many aspects are moving online. One aspect of this is online interviews.
If you haven't had an interview conducted online before, don't panic, here are ten tips to help you deliver a professional and confident image.
1. Think about the backdrop and prepare your surroundings What can the interviewers see behind you? If there is clutter, clear it. Don't have too many personal items on show, they don't need to see photos of you on the beach. Ideally, you need to sit at a clear desk.
2. Inform everyone in the house Let everyone know in the house what time your interview is - you don't want to be disturbed by the dog barging in or the children fighting and screaming. If it's easier, get someone round to look after the children and walk the dog beforehand. Just ensure you're in a quiet environment where you won't be disturbed.
3. Turn your gadgets off It's not just the dog, the children or your spouse that can be a disturbance and interruption. Your devices can be too. Make sure you silence your phone. Turn off notifications on your computer. Close your Facebook tab. Exit your mail account. You don't want any unplanned disturbances. It can be a distraction both to you and your interviewer.
4. Practice a mock interview with a friend Ask a friend to Skype you, so you can practice what to do with your hands, how to sit, if the light is bright enough and how loud the speakers should be. You can record it to see how you look. Also, check everything from a technical perspective that everything is working. You don't want to start the interview and find out that your speakers aren't on the right setting and your interviewer can't hear you! If using a laptop check your have charged it sufficiently.
5. Remember to smile If the interviewer was present in the room your natural reaction would be to smile. This is harder if you're sitting in a room on your own. Just before, practice smiling or even have a funny picture out of site to remind you to keep smiling throughout.
6. Maintain eye contact Although it may feel weird looking at your webcam, make sure you do – not the screen. Not only will it help you by making it feel a bit more like an in-person interview, but it also helps avoid the guilty habit everyone has – looking at yourself in the bottom corner!
7. Address any tech issues Things can go wrong and your interviewer will be understanding of that. Make sure you remain calm and relaxed whilst trying to resolve the issue. If you can't hear the question because of a weak wifi signal or interference, address it straight away, don't wait. If it gets really difficult, the best thing to do is stop the call and re-dial. This shows that you're a problem solver and willing to sort problems out quickly.
8. Dress the part First impressions are important. Just because you're not at the office or you're not on-site doesn't mean you shouldn't dress the part. Firstly, dressing the part will help you feel like you're at an in-person interview and get you in the right frame of mind. Secondly, the recruiter is likely to perceive you in a different light if you're well dressed and prepared for the occasion.
9. Is your username professional? A simple username that just includes your name, is a lot more professional than a weird nickname for example. First impressions count and no doubt, your username address will be the first thing your recruiter sees and analyses.
10. Give it a go! It may seem daunting having a skype interview if you have not experienced it before. However, like most tasks, if you approach it with a plan, practice your answers to the potential interview questions thoroughly, and use the tips above, you will definitely create a professional impression to your potential new employer.
Whether you're looking for a new engineering job or thinking about hiring, contact our team today on 0116 254 5411 or email firstname.lastname@example.org