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Candidates: Are You Prepared for the Online Interview?

These days you simply can’t afford that your phone or conference calling skills fall short. Whether you are taking part in a phone or video interview, it is crucial to be prepared if you want to succeed and get closer to the final job offer.

Below guide helps you prepare yourself prior to the interview and make the most of the online session.

Preparation

  • Always be prepared. Familiarize yourself with the company and job advert.
  • Have a copy of your CV and resume next to you in case you have to refer to dates, job titles, or numbers. Also keep a notepad and a pen close by as well as any supporting materials.
  • As you are not physically present in the same room as the interviewer(s), it is especially important to be proactive. E.g., you can advantageously prepare some questions regarding the job, the team, the company culture or other relevant aspects you find important.
  • Choose your location carefully. Be in a quiet and neutral room where you can close the door and make sure to make anyone else at home aware of the meeting to avoid interruptions.
  • Make sure that your phone or laptop is fully charged, and that your internet connection is working optimally.
  • Be ready some time in advance to avoid any technical issues when the interview begins.

Technical Aspects

  • Make sure all technical equipment works. Too often you miss the first minutes of the conversation dealing with technical issues. Make sure to get a smooth start of the conversation and allocate extra time for this.
  • During your test run, take a look at the background that shows up in the video. Does it look cluttered or distracting? Plan to have your background be tidy. A plain wall is ideal, or an office-like setting.
  • Consider using headset with a microphone instead of the microphone in the PC, tablet or phone to avoid unnecessary noise and echo.
  • If it is a video interview, pay attention to the lighting. You do not want to have light sources behind you since that will leave your face in the shadows.
  • Make sure to sit in a room undisturbed and be aware of windows where people walk by and which you or the interviewer can see as this might cause disturbance.
  • If you do not have a really stable internet connection, ask if it is okay that you turn off the camera and continue the interview as if it was over the phone.
  • Always make sure to have a contingency plan if the intended technical aspects do not work. Quickly change to the other option instead of spending too much time trying to fix the issue. It will have a negative impact on the flow of the conversation.

The Interview

  • Speak slowly and clearly.
  • Listen attentively and engage with your interviewer. Don’t just wait for your turn to speak.
  • Especially during a video interview, it is important to give verbal clues that you are actively listening, e.g. by nodding.
  • Do not have any other applications running and mute your phone as this can easily distract you as well as the interviewer(s).
  • Pay attention to the clock so you can use the time wisely.
  • If you are asked what interests you about the position, the best way to respond is to connect your competencies/skills to the qualifications listed in the job advert.
  • Be concise by sticking to the question. A great way is using below approach which helps to ensure that each of your answers is concise, while still giving the interviewer all the information they need to understand your example and what skills it demonstrates. At the same time, it will make sure you stay on topic and don’t accidentally end up talking about something else.
    • Action – Which steps did you take to resolve the problem or challenge you were facing? Describe the results and be as concrete as you can. It is key that you focus on yourself. Use ‘I’ and not ‘we’ as much as you can.
    • Relations – What was your role? What feedback did you get?
    • Feeling – How did you feel in the situation?
    • Thinking – What did you learn? What would you have done differently? What was the most difficult / challenging in the situation?

If you would like to learn more about how to be best prepared, visit our Candidate Preparation page.

We wish you good luck with the interview!