As technology develops, increasing numbers of employers are moving their entire recruitment process online.
This is not only cost-effective and efficient, many are also discovering that it’s helping them to find stronger, more suitable candidates than when they were recruiting in the traditional way.
Online recruitment also means online interviews.
These have several advantages for both employers and candidates, saving time and resources while allowing the latter to be interviewed in their own home.
If you’ve never been interviewed online before, you may have some concerns.
Not everyone enjoys online communication, and may struggle to show their best selves via a webcam.
So, how can you make the best impression during your online job interview?
Check your technology
Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, you need to be confident that your technology is working as it should.
Check your camera’s video quality and sound volume.
If possible, have a dry run with a friend or family member using another device.
Can you be seen and heard OK?
This is crucial, because it’s not unheard of for technological problems to lead to interviews having to be cancelled or rearranged.
If you’re already slightly nervous prior to an interview, having to fumble with technology to try and get it to work as it should will only make you more stressed.
You will also be wasting the interviewer’s time, which is never a good policy for any candidate.
You should also make sure that you have access to the preferred technology used by the company.
Download anything you don’t already have access to, and make sure you have an appropriate account.
Do your preparation
You should put just as much preparation into a video interview as you would an in-person one.
This means researching thoroughly the position, and of course the company itself.
If you’ve received notification of who will be interviewing you, then take a look at their LinkedIn profile to learn more about them.
If you can illustrate that you’ve taken an interest in the company, then your interviewers are more likely to take an interest in you.
Be on time
Like ensuring that your technology is working as it should, you should make sure that you are present at your interview at the agreed time.
For an in-person interview, it can be considered courteous to arrive approximately 10 minutes early.
The same general rule of thumb also applies to video interviews.
Arriving early not only makes a good impression, it also gives you some valuable minutes to rectify any last-minute technical issues.
Just because you’re being interviewed at home via the internet doesn’t mean you should present for the interview in your pyjamas.
You should dress for the interview in the same way you would for an in-person one.
What this means, and how formal you want to be, will largely be determined by the industry you’re in and the job you’re applying for, but as a basic requirement it usually means being neat and tidy.
Choose your background
While clutter may not make much of a difference during personal and work Zoom calls, for an interview with a potential employer it can sway opinion.
Choose a professional, neutral background for the interview that doesn’t detract from you and your answers.
Digital backgrounds can be a good choice, but sometimes a simple room divider or a blank wall can make for a suitable physical backdrop.
Listen and respond carefully
With online interviews it can sometimes be difficult to pick up some of the nuances of everyday speech, so it’s important to listen carefully.
Words and phrases can be lost, so listen attentively and speak slowly and clearly to minimise the risk of anything being misheard or misunderstood.
Speaking a little slower than you would in a normal conversation also gives you more time to respond in a considered way to what you’re being asked and can help you to relax.
Pay attention to body language
As with a face-to-face interview, your body language will play a large part in how you’re perceived.
Place both feet on the ground and avoid slouching.
Keep your head up and your hands in your lap to avoid any distracting gestures or fiddling.
It’s important that you keep your focus on the interviewer and don’t allow your eyes to begin wandering.
The secret of a good interview is to be as prepared as possible. The more preparation you’ve done beforehand the more likely you are to succeed.