By: Clark Jenkins
As more companies look to cut cost in the hiring process, online interviews are now the norm and not the exception. With the increase in remote careers, more meetings and presentations are being delivered in a virtual platform. Hiring managers look to cost saving solutions such as Skype to help with their selection process. Here are some quick tips to remember when prepping for your online interview:
1. DRESS ABOVE THE ROLE
Whether you are interviewing to be a handler at a pig farm or the CEO of a top firm, put on the suit (and yes the pants). There is no such thing as being overdressed. This is one thing that is within your control to make that crucial first impression. This will show that you are serious about the position and that you are respecting the interview process.
2. MURPHY”S LAW
You can count on something going wrong because it will. UPS delivery will show up at your house despite the fact you haven’t ordered anything in months. Your dog will go crazy because for some reason, there is a herd of deer in your front yard. Your spouse, who you just told two hours ago about this interview, will forget, and call you during this time period. Simple solution – A “no doorbell” note on the door for UPS, take the dogs to doggie daycare, text your spouse 5 minutes before your interview to remind them. Hopefully the person who paints house numbers on your street is off that day. Whatever happens, handle it with a calm demeanor.
3. CONSIDER YOUR BACKGROUND
You will need to set your background to look professional and polished. There is some grace here as the interviewer will expect that it is taking place in your home. Make sure that you have the items in the background clean and tidy. Avoid the ever-so-cliché college degree or my personal favorite, your latest trophy. No one is hiring you to join the bowling team. Consider some neutral art that won’t draw attention away from you.
4. SLOW DOWN
Virtual interviews are difficult. They lose a bit of that human connection that is such a vital part of the hiring process. There is a natural delay in the technology that has to be acknowledged. You will want to smile often and pause before you answer any questions. This can feel awkward so make sure you practice. Speak slowly and clearly. This will show that you are at ease and can exercise patience. Utilize your active listening skills by summarizing the interview question prior to giving your answer. This can really set you apart.
5. THE INTERVIEW
Prior to the call, set your camera a bit higher than your face so that the angle is slightly downward. The angle provides more of a flattering view. Make sure that you have selected a professional Skype username, as it will be visible. Keep eye contact throughout the entire call. Acknowledge your interviewer with a simple nod at the beginning of the call and have plenty of questions prepared. Prior to finalizing the conversation, ask the interviewer if there is anything that he/she would like to revisit. ALWAYS, without fail, ask for that next step. Finally, thank them for their time and the opportunity to learn more about their company and this position.
Clark Jenkins is Vice President for ICC, an OI Global Partner, and is passionate about creating brand awareness and building lasting relationships within the Cincinnati business community. To connect with Clark follow him on Twitter at @clarkajenkins, or on LinkedIn, click here.