So, you’ve secured yourself an interview for an incredible position, in-fact you’d go as far as to call it your dream job – congratulations! But then you find out it’s an online interview… (insert appropriate word!).
Let’s admit it, interviews can be uncomfortable and tricky at the best of times. It’s a hard act – trying to sell yourself, and answer what can be very difficult questions; let alone adding in being stuck behind a screen and doing it all virtually!
The Brighter Side
Don’t fear; there’s been plenty of people exactly in your situation before – and as much as we may wish, online interviews aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. We know plenty of people in the Churchill Education community have been feeling these exact same emotions – so we put out a call…
“Do you have any experience with remote interviews? As interviewer or interviewee? We would love to hear any tips or strategies you have.”
Wow – we received some great tips and strategies!
So instead of freaking out and catastrophising; sit down, breathe, and have a flick through this road-map to online interviews – we promise it’ll make it much easier.
STOP 1: TECHNOLOGY
Have you ever been on a video call and been chatting with someone who had an awful microphone? Remember how distracting that was – that’s exactly what you want to be avoiding. You want the interviewer to focus on you & not a crackly microphone.
Here’s an easy way to prevent that – almost every video call platform has an option to give your microphone, camera and headphones a test run. Before your interview, hop on & make sure you’re happy with all of these. Check to make sure you sound clear, you’re well lit and you can clearly hear what is being said.
STOP 2: INTERNET
Now you’ve arranged good set-up, it’s time to find a location that has a good, strong & stable internet connection. Remember, the last thing you want is to be dropping in and out and be stuck with an awkward face from a frozen screen. Head on over and run an internet speed test, a good rule of thumb is above 2 Mbps and you should be fine; below that you may want to scope out a better location. Consider organising a Plan B, such as a phone with the meeting app already downloaded – just in case the internet decides to play up!
STOP 3: RESEARCH
Humans are predictable, in the same way that we all press the cross-walk button multiple times; most interview questions you’ll be asked aren’t unique & have been used countless times before. Pop on over to google and have a look at common interview questions – chances are, you’ll be asked a combination of these or something like these. Sit down and think about how you’d go about answering these – and a bonus is you won’t be caught off guard!
A great technique we like to use when answering interview questions is S.O.A.R: Situation, Obstacle/Objective, Action & Result. It’s a simple yet effective method for making sure you deliver an answer that clearly demonstrates your abilities. We’d recommend doing some light reading on it.
STOP 4: DISTRACTIONS
Remember at the start of the pandemic when those videos floated around of half-clad partners accidentally wandering through zoom calls? I mean how could you forget it!? Whilst comedic, it’s generally best to avoid these situations in online interviews. So, make sure you set yourself up in a location where you aren’t going to be interrupted & clearly communicate with those around you that you’ll need to be left alone for a period of time. A bonus tip is to enable the blurred background feature – this will mean that even if a naked figure ends up within the camera’s view, their dignity will be spared! However, on a serious note, the blurred background feature is a useful tool to create a bit of privacy, whether it’s hiding a messy house or aiding in creating a more professional look – we recommend you give it a try.
STOP 5: CONNECTION
Similar to in-person interviews, it’s important to build connection with whoever is interviewing you. The reality is, we employee people we get along with!
Now – is it a bit more difficult to connect with people behind a screen? Yes. But – is it an impossible task? No.
Simple tricks can go a long way in helping to form a connection, things like:
- Looking at the camera, not the screen (trust us – we know this one is hard but can make a big difference!).
- Utilise body language cues, such as sitting up straight, smiling & nodding.
- Allow yourself to laugh, and banter with the interviewer.
- Find a common interest, perhaps that’s travelling – or a love of sports; but look for something you can bond over.
Use these to your advantage and remember unlike in person interviews your full body isn’t visible – so try to make sure you’re using body language that can be seen!
Finally, Melody McNulty – our Compliance & Professional Development Manager had a good piece of advice to close on:
“Give yourself a bit of grace – technology doesn’t always work, and things don’t always go to plan but sometimes, that’s when the best things happen”.
Well – you’ve reached your destination. We hope these online interview tips have helped. Remember to be confident, there’s a reason they want to speak with you! If you’re still wanting to do a bit more research on how to smash interviews- don’t worry, our Co-founder Tricia Velthuizen has a great guide for what interviewers look for! Check it out here.
As always, we’re here to help – if you ever need a hand, don’t hesitate to reach out.
All the best & good luck!
The Churchill Education Team
1300 793 002 or firstname.lastname@example.org