Given our present situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, it still safest to stay at home. Most of our daily activities are already done using the internet and our electronic devices. Even job interviews are mostly conducted virtually or online now. But be reminded that even if you’ll only be talking to the interviewers via phone or video calls, you’ll still need to present your best self to pass the rounds of interview until you get that final job offer.
Send out those resumes to companies with job openings that fit your skillset and while waiting, let me help you with these 7 Helpful Tips To Nail Online Job Interviews! Preparation is key and practice makes perfect. Don’t be nervous. You can do it. Let’s get started!
Nail Online Job Interviews with these 8 Helpful Tips!
Normally weeks after you sent your job application, a recruiter or someone from the company’s Human Resources department will get in touch with you via a phone call if you pass the screening process. He/she will ask basic questions about your resume and your asking salary. Make sure to have that information ready! After your call, you may be scheduled for another more technical interview with the hiring manager. Before then, I have a few tips that you should consider while you count the days until your interview.
1. Review the Job Description and Your Resume
Start by re-reading the job description of the position you’re applying for and then, cross-checking it with your resume.
Here are some questions and action items to keep in mind while you do your review:
Which of your skills or experience from your resume match the job requirements? – Reinforce this by making notes of your specific experiences, achievements in the past that prove you’re perfect for the job. What were the proudest moment of your career? Recall how you tackled the challenges you overcame successfully.
Which skill or experience do you lack that the job requires? – It’s alright to not have it all, because you can learn and get trained on the job itself. Do familiarize yourself with the skill by doing a bit of research to give yourself that edge. For example, the job requires knowledge in Facebook Advertising. You may not have knowledge or experience with it, but you can read a few blogs or watch some videos to at least understand the concept.
2. Research about the Company
Of course, you’ll have to learn about the company you’re applying for. Expect that they will also ask you about it. You can start by visiting their website and reading their “About” page. What do they do? What are their products and services? Have you encountered their products and services before? What do you admire about the company after your research? Also, try to think about what your role can possibly play in helping the company achieve success.
3. Plan your Answers Beforehand with Keywords and Phrases, then Practice Answering Some Interview Questions
Yes, you don’t know the specific questions that the interviewer will ask you, but technically, there aren’t any right or wrong answers. You just have to be confident and own your experience, skills, character and goals. Write all of your ideas down. List keywords and key phrases that describe the specific things about you that would make you a great addition to the team.
Be honest and imagine yourself with a can-do attitude. Now, you may elaborate more on these keyword during the interview proper. Once you get things down you’ll have an angle to answer whatever question the interviewer throws at you.
Here’s an example of some keywords and key phrases:
Keywords: Passionate, driven for success, excited to learn and grow, goal-oriented, open to feedback, team-player, always happy to help others, natural leader
Then, research interview questions online and practice answering them using the keywords and phrases you’ve written down. You can ask your friends to help you by staging a mock online interview through ZOOM or skype.
4. Groom and Dress to Impress (from the waist up)
It’s interview day so you better get up and get ready. Even if you’re not going to be visiting the office and meeting the interviewer in person, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look your best.
You should still clean up nicely and dress appropriately, especially for calls over video. You want to make sure that you will look confident and camera-ready, at least from the waist up. For guys, put on long sleeve polos and you can also wear a coat and tie if you’re going for extra. Girls, you can wear make-up, fix up your hair and wear cute blouses and blazers. No need to wear perfume anymore though. The interviewer won’t be able to smell you anyway. Hahaha.
5. Lock yourself in a Room and Set up your Interview Area
Now that you’re all ready, it’s time to set up your interview area. It’s best to lock yourself in a room so that there won’t be any potential for distractions during your interview. Let your housemates know not to disturb you and give you some privacy. You should be 100% focused and comfortable during this period of time to bring out your A-game.
Fix up your area. Place your laptop or device somewhere the camera can capture you with good lightning. Position your camera at a flattering angle. Don’t be too close. Sit at a distance where your shoulders can still be seen on camera. Test your audio for any echo or static noises. Best not to direct your mic towards the electric fan as well.
Bonus tip: You may also keep your resume, notes and screenshots of the job description with you. Place them outside of the camera view, but use them only for emergency purposes. It’s better to have these things memorized so you won’t seem distracted during the call.
6. Always come in 10-15 minutes early
Always be 10-15 minutes early for you online interview. This is also a nice grace period, especially for sudden internet connection issues. Just stay in the chat room and take some time to calm yourself down. Practice your smile and go over your notes again.
Once the interviewer comes in, make sure to greet politely, establish eye contact right away and smile. I would recommend you not to look at the camera. Try to look at the screen right in the interviewer’s eye. It will be like you’re talking in person. Try to start with a little small talk before going into the interview proper until the interviewer takes the reigns.
7. Listen to the Interviewer Carefully to Answer Appropriately
The interviewer will have a copy of your resume. Everything they need to know should be there already. By answering their questions, you’re basically just reinforcing what you’ve already stated in your resume. Tell them specific stories or experiences that not only show your expertise, but bring light to your character proving that you’re the perfect candidate for the job. If ever there are some gaps or some things that the jobs requires that you do not currently possess, tell them that you’re willing to learn and be trained for them.
Don’t focus only on the answer you’re going to give, even if let’s say, you’re super prepared that you can even stage a TED talk on “Why They Should Hire You” on the spot. It’s important to listen closely to the interviewer’s questions so that you can respond appropriately. Also be ready for unexpected questions to come up because they will. Best to always be on your toes.
An interview should be a conversation. Always stick to the facts and be authentic. Don’t be afraid to showcase your personality, because the point of the entire thing is to get to know more about you. Describe who you are and assure them that your next career success should be with their company.
8. Have your Questions Ready
Once you’re done with the interview, they’ll give you some time to ask questions. You should have those ready. Always ask for the next steps after the interview. Ask if there are other rounds and when will you expect to hear back from them. Ask about their company and more about the job you’re applying for and the team you’re joining. Ask current work conditions and possible career advancements and opportunities within the company.
One of the questions I always ask is if the company is inclusive towards people from different cultures and sexual orientations. My interviewers loved answering that question because it lets them share and be proud of the culture their company has built, where someone like me is welcome and can feel like he belongs.
Are you Ready to Nail your Online Job Interview?
These are just a few of the tips that I’ve gathered from my experience with online job interviews. I hope that they’ll be able to help you guys. Special thanks to my blogger friend, Sylvester who reviewed my work and also shared comments from his experience as a Team Lead. Job Interviews are tough and quite a long process depending on the job and company you’re applying for, but you can do it! Don’t give up and just keep trying.
If you feel like you don’t have a certain skill or qualification yet, you can use this time to build up your resume. Try out webinars or free courses online. Continue learning and gaining experience wherever you can.
This is not the best time to start looking for a new job at all and it might take a while for the economy to recover. The pandemic has hit our economy hard forcing businesses to close down and companies to lay-off their employees. The COVID-19 virus continues to threaten our health every time we step out of the safety of our homes. Every day, people are continuously trying to survive despite the struggles this reality has burdened us with. But for those who are in need of a job, you should continue fighting and don’t lose hope. Continue applying for jobs online and killing those job interviews. You will get hired soon!
We are going to get through this. May we have the strength to continue fighting through the struggles of this unprecedented times. Goodluck and God Bless!
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