In my last blog yesterday, listing the key elements in an online interview, I promised I’d put some meat on the bones of that summary. Today, I’m starting with something that many find difficult: the technology.
Most people are familiar enough with Zoom now, but of course there is other software that is in common use, including MS Teams, Skype and Google Meetings. Make sure you know what software your interviewer uses and that you have the necessary apps downloaded on your computer. In fact, it’s essential (and professional) to check every technical aspect of the interview beforehand. Check that it is a video interview and not just audio. Also, ask if there are any pre-recorded questions and how to record and send your answers.
Secondly, spend as much time as possible getting used to all the idiosyncrasies of the software. If you have to screen-share to demonstrate something, make sure you know how to do it (and how to get back to your home screen). Interviews are not like talking with your friends and family but even so it’s worth have a run-through with a friend or family member in which you can concentrate on maintaining eye contact and trying screen shares.
Choose the best location in your house (or wherever you are working) and test that your broadband works there. If you have your family at home, make sure that you don’t have several computers, tablets and smart phones all sucking up bandwidth and causing your interview to stagger rather than proceed seamlessly. Use reliable headphones or earphones and make sure the mic clearly conveys what you are saying.
Have a Plan B/back-up for when everything falls over. Tech does that sometimes, but you’ll impress your interviewer if you can demonstrate your foresight and consequently deal promptly with any such glitches and get back on track quickly.
If your video calls slow down your computer, check (beforehand) that you can join the call from your phone. Most video conferencing tools work well on your phone but find out before you need to make the switch!
… and, following on from this, it would demonstrate your professionalism if you contact the interviewer a few days beforehand to check your back-up plan is compatible with their systems/procedures.
Julie Skinner, Benefits and Resourcing Specialist, RGU