The last year was a grim experience for one and all. While Covid remains the predominant reason behind most of what happened last year, people had to suffer heavy losses. Apart from the loss of life, many lost their jobs, sources of livelihood and struggled with brittle mental health throughout the year. Various industries also suffered heavy losses. The mounting uncertainty only made things worse as there was no sign of progress for most of last year.
This year, though we are (exactly) where we started last year, there is still hope as we have by now accustomed ourselves to the lockdown-style living. Even the shift to digital took some getting used to, with all the zoom calls and sharing digital documents. But by now, we have aced that as well.
Corporates, by now, have accustomed themselves to remote working employees and are shifting most of their operations online. Especially with the hiring season around, companies now prefer meeting their candidates online and conducting further processes.
In a way, it is comforting to appear for interviews from the comfort of your homes. But we cannot deny physical interviews have their own charm. Understandably, appearing for online interviews can be extremely taxing. Especially, if your interviews aren't going as well as you expected them to be.
Especially for people who are actively looking for jobs, managing timings for online interviews can be a task. Hence, The Bridge Chronicle brings to you a comprehensive guide on how to enhance your performance during online interviews.
Create a niche: When applying for jobs, we often go on a spree of applying to countless jobs. Sometimes, even losing track of all the companies you have applied to. But it is important to stay focused and apply to jobs that really interest you. Additionally, study the job description well before you apply for a job. This study will help you analyse if the job you are applying to is relevant to you.
Prepare yourself: Before the interview, make sure you go through the website, Linked In pages, social media handles to understand the culture of the company. This will help you gain insights into the kind of culture the company follows and also get an edge when conversating with your interviewers. Also keep digital copies of your documents and portfolio ready, to ensure you don't have to go looking for when if asked.
Be punctual: Plan your day in a way that you have 1/2 an hour before the interview to yourself. Take this time to ensure your internet connection and the overall setting of the room from where you will be appearing for the interview. Also, try various backgrounds to check which fits the video best.
Present yourself: The problem with online interviews is that there is a lack of human interaction. When interacting in person, it is easier to find icebreakers. But in an online interview with often lagging video connections or sound, it is essential to change your approach. Think of your interview as your presentation to a company about yourself. Keep a ppt or visually supporting documents ready to show to your employer. This presentation will help bridge the awkward silences that dominate video calls.
Groom yourself: Even though the interviewer can only see half of you through a screen. It is important to dress well. Pay special attention to your hair and what clothes you chose. Create contrast with the background and your clothes for better visibility on video. Do not forget to put on some makeup to highlight your features like your eyes and lips. Also ensure to keep your hair tied at the back so that it doesn't come on to your face when talking.
Five tech tips to help pull through your virtual interview
Perhaps life was, indeed, easier when all we had to do was dress up and walk into the room — or perhaps not! Maybe we'll never know. But for now, a lot of our dream jobs are restricted to the virtual space. And while we're nowhere close to changing that in 2021, the least we can do is prep for the interview in whatever way we can. Yes, this also includes keeping all the technical glitches at bay and staying prepared in our capacity.
Be concise and to-the-point while sending your application
Remote interviews will often involve you communicating more via emails -- and there couldn't be a better way to score some brownie points with your potential employer! Take your time to read and proofread your application before sending it to the job poster. Try not to lace your emails with unnecessary sarcasm or irony. Be precise and make sure your communication doesn't take the back seat. Considering the fact that all the central exchange happens via email, it is also crucial to fine-tune your tone so that you don't come off as too casual or uninterested. Although it may seem like your employer is not noticing a lot, but in reality, there are several things that they do.
Do your research well
Physical or virtual, this should be something you follow either way. It is never a bad idea to look up your potential boss on the internet and go through their likes/dislikes. It is vital to check their background and where they're coming from to understand more about the kind of goal they're setting for the organisation. We wouldn't necessarily call it 'stalking' in internet terms, as this is more on the lines of genuine research. However, draw a fine line between intruding into their personal info and keeping it professional. We don't want them getting creeped out before even speaking with you!
Check your camera, mic well before the interview
Goes without saying, right? But it is often forgotten and mostly taken for granted. It is super common to find your screen and audio glitching out in the middle of an interview. And while most of the times, it is beyond your control, it is crucial that you prevent it from happening as far as possible. Run an audio and video test on Zoom or Skype before joining. If you find your wi-fi connection unstable, try to change your sitting position and shift closer to the modem. If there's a possibility of a power-cut, make sure you have alternative options handy. These steps will ensure smooth communication and will leave no space for misunderstandings or awkwardness.
Give your interviewer options for the meet-up
There's a good chance your interviewer may ask you to fix an interview between you and them at your convenience. However, don't go out of your way to assume that they will be alright with a Zoom call. Clarify their mode of communication beforehand and plan the interview with both parties' suggestions. Ask them if they'd prefer a telephonic or video call meeting, and additionally ask them for their favoured medium. Offer your Skype ID, Google Chat Hangouts name, WhatsApp number and Zoom ID to your interviewer to give them the convenience of picking whatever's comfortable for them.
Clear your frame
Sounds silly, but essential! You don't want your potential employer to see a pile of dirty clothes dumped behind you. Make sure you declutter the desk you're sitting at, which means leaving no scope for stray papers, dusty notebooks and old wilting flowers to be around. Preferably, choose a solid coloured wall or background with no external disturbances in the environment. If you have pets (no matter how cuddly!), leave them outside before your interview begins. Try to avoid disruptions of any sort, which also entails informing your family or flatmates to stay out until further notice.
Acing a job interview can seem challenging, but it is easy to find your way around with simple techniques. Studying up and being confident are two other sure-short ways to winning your potential employer's appreciation. Good luck!