Prepare ahead of time
When doing a virtual interview it is important that the situation be as smooth and professional as possible. Where will you be sitting during the interview? Avoid noisy or busy environments like coffee shops and rather set up a quiet space at home. Make sure to avoid any unnecessary interruptions. How will the recruiter be conducting the interview? Ensure that you are able to access the video call system (whether it be Skype, Zoom or MS Teams) ahead of time.
Make sure that you have updated your CV
As a recruiter, we want to be able to see an updated and accurate overview of your career experience and skills. While updating your CV, be sure to include reasons for leaving past positions, and justify the gaps. Rehearse your career timeline so that you are ready for that “run us through your work experience” question.
Take some time to read up on the company and the industry
Think about why you are interested in the role as well as the company. Do as much research as possible on the company that you are interviewing with. When doing research do not just stick to one source - talk to friends, visit the website, their social media sites, etc. This will give you a holistic view of the company and the industry.
Prepare answers for those common interview questions
Whether you are going for your very first interview or consider yourself to be a pro interviewee, it is important that you take some time to run through typical interview questions. Glassdoor has a list of 50 common interview questions that you can check out here
When preparing your answers, make use of the STAR approach:
- Lay out the Situation,
- Highlight the Task,
- Explain how you took Action,
- And describe the Results.
If you are wanting to take your preparation a step further, ask a friend to run through a mock interview with you.
Prepare thorough questions for interview panel
Questions are always encouraged! This shows the interview panel that you have done your homework and that you are engaged. Prepare thorough questions that are related to the role, company and industry.
Read through the job spec
Read beyond the title of the job. The title might give you a good idea about the position, but you want to be familiar with the duties and responsibility of the role. Think about examples from your past and current work that align with these requirements.
Send the necessary documents
Most recruitment processes require candidates to send through a CV as well as some personal documentation. These may include educational transcripts or a copy of your passport. Be sure to request these documents ahead of time so that you have them readily available before your interview. One of the biggest challenges recruiters face is obtaining references from previous employees. Therefore, make a list of contactable references, and touch base to inform them that someone might be making contact with them.
Have an interview ‘cheat sheet’
There is so much to remember and our nerves sometimes get the best of us. Make a ‘cheat sheet’ with all the important information, such as the job description, questions you would like to ask etc.
Get enough sleep and grab a bite to eat
This may sound silly, but you want to bring your ‘A’ game to the interview. Being sleep deprived might affect your interview, so get at least 8 hours of sleep the night before. Grab a healthy snack before your interview, such as a smoothie, that will fuel your body and boost your brain function.
Remember that first impressions last. Find out if the company has a dress code, and if they do dress accordingly. Even if they don’t you still want to look neat and respectable. Many interviewees neglect this in virtual interviews, but how you present yourself tells the recruiter a lot about who you are as a candidate.
Make sure to be available for your virtual interview on time, you do not want your first impression to be of someone who is tardy. Be sure to check your internet connection ahead of time to avoid any possible technical delays.
Body language is key
Candidates are often so nervous during interviews that body language is the last thing on their minds. It is important to be aware of the body language you convey in an interview, as we communicate so much through our posture and stances. For instance, try to avoid crossing your arms and be aware of your facial expressions.
Do not be too smooth
Confidence is key to landing your dream job. You should enter the interview with a level of confidence that reflects your ability. However, be mindful that you do not come across as overconfident or arrogant either.
It is okay, and normal, to be nervous during an interview. It shows that you are excited about the job. If you tend to get overly nervous, make sure that you have steps in place that help to reduce your anxiety, such as positive reinforcements and breathing techniques.
Take a moment to listen
Listen carefully to make sure that you understand the interview question fully before answering. If you do not understand ask the panel to repeat or rephrase the question. Not all questions are easy, some require you to think a little out of the box. It is okay to take a moment to think about the question before answering. Ask the panel for a minute, or take a sip of water while you think of that winning response.
More than anything, have fun and be yourself
Yes, an interview is about looking at a candidate’s skills and competencies to see if they are suitable for the position. However, that is not the only thing we are looking for. Recruiters want to understand and get to know you holistically. Take the time to show us who you are. Be genuine, positive, and have fun.
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