Every day, there are millions of interviews online. The vast majority of them are happening on Skype or some other video chat service. Virtual, online interviews have become a part of our reality, and while they are nothing new, they became the most common, legitimate way of selecting the right candidates for a job, and employees can evaluate their potential employers, without having to see them in person, paying attention to certain details, and using different strategies, as well as numerous set of questions.
Still, online interviews are nothing less stressful than any other interview, including the one in person, and that’s exactly the reason why you need to be thoroughly prepared for every aspect of it. This means that there are several things you should pay attention to, from the way you look, to the way you will answer questions, to your background and the whole setting.
Am I getting ready for my interview at all?
While the traditional ways of interviewing people slowly change into modern approaches and techniques that tackle people’s creativity and intellect, the steps for getting ready stayed practically the same. Before your interview, you get up, eat your breakfast, take a shower, pick your professional outfit, put your makeup on (or do your hair, if you’re a male) and you’re ready to go! Except for, you don’t go anywhere. You’re just going to your living room, and sit in front of your laptop or desktop. When you hit that call or join button, that’s when the magic happens. Or where magic should happen.
Where should I start?
But getting physically ready is only one step of the process, although it shouldn’t be underestimated. The research shows that in the first 5 seconds after you meet someone, they decide whether they like you or not. So the first impression people get about you is not something rational, but rather a mix of instinct and superficial sense of what they see. This is why you need to pick your best outfit, as if you are going to a building or an office, physically. Or at least choose the right upper part of the outfit, the one that’s in the camera focus.
Make sure to look professional, wide awake, concentrated and relaxed. If you are anxious, take a couple of deep breaths before you join the interview. The fact that you are being interviewed in the comfort of your home should make the interview somewhat easier for you, since only a half of the whole experience is completely new – the interviewer and the interview, while you are familiar with the other half – your home and your computer. It’s a good idea to keep a glass of water by your side, in case you need it. You can even choose a cool mug if you wanna leave an impression.
The most important part
However, the most important part, that can (almost) never get beaten by your looks is logical – the way you speak, think and the level of your preparation for the job interview. Your future employer will certainly care more about the way you present yourself, the way you showcase your work and your eloquence, rather than your hairstyle or the color of your shirt. But how can you prepare for job interviews in general, including Skype interviews? You need to thoroughly research the company and the position you’re applying for. In this case, you have fewer things to worry about, since there’s no traffic, unexpected events or changes, or finding the spot at Google Maps while driving and freaking out simultaneously.
Still, before you sit down and join the call, make sure to check your internet connection, camera, mic, and other potential technical issues that may occur. Connect your headphones if you use them and test everything beforehand. Otherwise, you may look unprofessional.
But when it comes to the most important part – the interview itself, it’s all about the preparation. According to gradinterviewprep.com, the best way to prepare would be to go through the list of all the possible questions and tasks you may get during the conversation. If you’re about to have a case interview, make sure to go through all the available examples and schemes that might be useful and help you nail it. Prepare the answers to the most common questions and write them down if necessary. Practice with online tests and case studies, to get a sense of what you can expect. Create a little intro about yourself, and write the notes – your interviewer wouldn’t be able to see them, which is one of the reasons why online interviews are awesome!
You are qualified. You are prepared. What now?
There are several other things you need to keep in mind, other than the right outfit, and the right answers to their questions. You must never forget about body language! Although it may sound funny, and you might think that body language is not something to worry about because you’re being interviewed online, this is extremely important. Make sure to sit relaxed but professional and make sure to have a proper distance between yourself and the camera. Always check the little square to see how you look. Don’t slouch and sit up straight, paying attention to your posture.
But, your posture is not the only thing you should worry about. The goal is to show your future employer that you are confident! This means that other than looking confident, you should act confident too. Fake it ’till you make it is the golden rule for any interview, especially the online ones. Initiate the conversation, ask questions but don’t interrupt, be polite but be alert. Also, make sure to confirm you are present, using small words or sounds or approval. This is of great importance for online video calls. How will they know you’re there? A simple nagging is sometimes not enough.
The next thing you should never forget is quite simple – smile! But remember, you have to look natural, but you also have to look like you’re in a really good mood. It may be somewhat difficult, since you’re smiling at a camera instead of a person, but it’s important to look enthusiastic and approachable – that’s what everybody loves, especially someone whose job is to determine whether you’ll be a good candidate for all the meetings with their clients.
And finally, don’t forget to have some fun along the way. Your dream job may be only a step away!