Transitioning to working online is now almost complete. We have all found our little space at home where we try our best to focus and deliver. That spot where the WIFI is strongest, the distractions are minimal, and the chair is comfortable. We have realized that perching on the bed is not ideal and it’s time to “Adult”.
What we don’t seem to have gotten right yet is the “online interview”. While company meetings may be more informal than they were before, and many firms are creating a jovial attitude by having “funny sock days” and “happy hat days”, this does not mean it is acceptable to “attend” an interview in your bath robe and slippers. First impressions are still paramount.
So, what are our 10 tips for an online interview?
- Switch off your phone!
- Treat the interview as if you would be there in person. Dress appropriately (rule of thumb – dress slightly more formally than you think the culture of the firm will be). Not only does this give the impression that you are taking the interview seriously, it will also make you feel more “formal”.
- Make sure you are in a quiet place and will not be disturbed. If you have small children try and arrange for someone to be there to keep them out of the way for the duration of the interview. A pop in might be cute – but this is not the time.
- Check your internet connection – at least 30 minutes before the interview. Ask someone to have a quick call with you to check the call quality.
- Have a back up ready in case your WIFI goes down. Know how to create a hot spot with your phone.
- Be aware of the load shedding schedule for your area. If you are affected try to either move location if possible, and safe, or reschedule the interview to an appropriate time.
- Connect early for the call. You should be available in the “waiting room” at the start of the meeting.
- Be prepared to have your camera on for the duration of the call. Make sure your background is appropriate. Only turn the camera off at the request of the interviewer.
- Do not drink or eat during the call, this isn’t a lunch date.
- Make sure you have disconnected properly before making any comments to family or friends about the call.
It can be a bit stressful, especially for those who are accustomed to reading body language and looking for que’s about how well the interview is going. But remember, is just as difficult for the interviewer. Many of us are new to this!..