In a world where COVID-19 is disrupting the way we conduct business, candidates and recruiters are participating in online interviews now more than ever. It is still essential to have an impeccable resume and tailored cover letter so that candidates can stand out from other competitors and secure an interview. Once granted the interview, be ready with the following tips for online interview success.
It starts with contact
The online interview typically starts with an initial phone call from the recruiter, followed by an email invitation.
If the recruiter misses connecting with you, your voicemail should be professional, free from background noise, and most importantly NOT FULL. Once you have received the call, spoken with the recruiter, and scheduled the online interview, you must prepare.
Pictures Say 1000 Words
Similar preparation should occur as you would for an in-person interview. You will select clothing and accessories that represent you well and give you confidence.
Also, you will select a location for the interview that is clutter-free and has a digital connection that will be uninterrupted. Some services offer a blurred background. If you cannot blur your background, make sure the items behind you do not distract from your interview. If you are living in a place with other people, be sure that your interview location is away from interruptions.
Practice Makes Perfect
Next, practice a conversation with a friend on the platform—whether it is Zoom, Skype, or Microsoft Teams. By practicing communication, you will note where to look while speaking. Many candidates look down at the screen when speaking instead of into the camera, which can be distracting. This dry run also provides you with an opportunity to see how you will appear on the screen and your background.
Research the firm thoroughly before the interview. List out questions you might have. Google top interview questions and be ready to answer the “Tell Me About Yourself” question concisely and with energy. Print your resume and cover letter and review these before the interview. I recommend preparing 3 to 4 stories about yourself that convey your strengths. You can incorporate these into the answers you provide, which will help you become more memorable with the recruiter.
You should have your resume, cover letter, and any samples that are relevant to your interview saved in a location on your computer that is easily accessible so that you can share documents with ease if asked to do so.
Respect the recruiter’s time. Be on time. Just like in a face-to-face interview, be ready 15 minutes early. When you connect on the call, you will have already set yourself up for success because you look great, you prepared, you have tested the technology, and all of that proactive work will pay off because the confidence you have will show through.
Good luck with your interviews.
P.S. Remember to follow up with a well-written thank-you note.