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Online Interviewing: How to Prepare Yourself for the New Norm

In unfortunate news, the future of the UK jobs market isn’t looking great. According to reports, we are on the path to the worst recession in over 300 years. The Institute for Policy Research previously warned that over one million young people could find themselves unemployed by 2021.   Well, 2021 is here, and hopeful candidates are going to be up against tough competition […]

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In unfortunate news, the future of the UK jobs market isn’t looking great. According to reports, we are on the path to the worst recession in over 300 years. The Institute for Policy Research previously warned that over one million young people could find themselves unemployed by 2021.  

Well, 2021 is here, and hopeful candidates are going to be up against tough competition as well as the bigger challenge – the virtual interview process. 

Although many companies have used virtual interviews for a while, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced it to become the staple of recruitment. And it looks like it’s here to stay – employers can speak to more candidates in less time with less expense to the business. 

We know why companies are likely to keep virtual interviews in their processes, but let’s see how you, the job seeker, can make the most of it and land that job you want. 

A new norm  

Firstly, at the risk of sounding obvious, you should know that an online interview is different from a face-to-face article. If you treat it like the standard interview you’re used to and don’t adapt, you might open yourself up to a bit of a shock. 

Professional interview coach Sarah Johnston told the BBC: “Interviewing online and interviewing in person are two completely different experiences. Job seekers share that it can be challenging to connect with the interviewer online because there is often less small talk and it’s harder to pick up on non-verbal cues.  

Know the platform 

Before a face-to-face interview, you’ve probably sat and planned how you’re going to travel to the interview, investigate parking spots, and where the entrance to the building is.  

You should take the same approach to an online interview. Find out how to use the platform it’s happening on if you don’t know already. Make yourself familiar with how it operates and where you’ll be expected to go. Conduct a trial run if possible. You don’t want to start your interview flustered and rushed. 

Prepare to fail 

Don’t forget to prepare – just because your interview is virtual doesn’t mean you can sit and read off of notes. Research around the company beforehand and understand the details of the role you’re applying for. Prepare for likely questions and what your answers would be. 

Dress the part 

Although you’ll be sitting at home, don’t forget to dress for the part. Put on what you’d wear to a face-to-face interview – this might depend on the industry and business you’re applying to. If you’re going for a modern and more laidback business, a men’s casual shirt or woman’s blouse will be appropriate. If it’s something more formal, a suit and tie or dress might be a better idea. 

Although you might be tempted to keep pyjama bottoms on your legs, this could end up disastrous if you need to stand up to grab a file or pull down the blind. 

Choose your position 

An important consideration is your background — you need to choose the perfect place to sit at when having your interview. You don’t want any distractions or anything that will obstruct their view, like the bright and gleaming sun behind you.  

Plan your position, avoiding sitting in front of windows or doors. Sitting at a table with a blank background is your best bet. If you have children, pets, or other members in the household, keep them out of the room so you can focus and appear as professional as you can. Check for other things like alarms, that there are no running washing machines or tumble dryers, and any other unexpected things like your mobile phone going off that could disrupt you. 

Most importantly, just stay calm and be your best self. Interviewing at home might be more relaxing but take all necessary precautions to check that you’re ready to land yourself tha

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