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10 Tips to Ace an Online Interview amid the COVID-19 outbreak

With the Coronavirus spreading around the world like a wildfire, the industrial machinery also has been brought to a standstill in its entirety – and the recruitment industry being no exception to that. The situation is so dire that it is difficult for the companies to sustain their existing workforce, because of which, it is having a huge implication on the recruitment process. According to experts, due to this slowdown induced by COVID-19, approximately 60% to 65% of the interviews have been postponed.

Consistent with the current situation, most of the companies have frozen the hiring process altogether. But as we know that, behind every dark cloud, there is a silver lining, similarly there are still many companies which are recruiting new talent in a bid to prevent an economic slowdown. Needless to say, the option of conducting face-to-face interviews is off the table. Hence to counter this, the companies have resorted to conducting online job interviews for the interested candidates. By utilizing technologies like video conferencing that have long existed, but less frequently used in this very hiring process, the recruiters are able to hire talent whilst saving time and money – both for the employer and the candidate.

Acing an online job interview has always been a bit of an enigma for the candidates. On one hand, it takes off the nerves from the equation that one has to deal with in a face-to-face interview, but on the other hand, it also puts limitations on the candidates to efficiently showcase the skills that would make them a valuable asset. Henceforth, here are few tips that can help you ace that online job interview amid this pandemic:-
1) You should always be aware that these online interviews are just as important as the in-person ones and therefore, shouldn’t be taken lightly. They are going to get you into the next round.

2) Before the interview, download the necessary software or app on which the interview will be conducted and familiarize yourself with it. If you fidget and struggle with the tool during your interview, it will not give a good impression.

3) On the app or website that you will be using, make sure your username sounds professional and is based on your real name. Usernames that are too casual or hip, gives an impression of non-seriousness on the candidate’s part – which is an undesirable quality in a job applicant.

4) Just because you’re giving the interview from your home, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress properly. Make sure you wear formals – ironed shirt, trousers, and formal shoes. If an interviewer asks you to show what you’re dressed in, you shouldn’t be wearing flip-flops and pyjamas!

5) Prior to the interview, clear the space where you’ll be giving the interview. Choose a well-lit area and clear the clutter. The interviewer can be distracted by seeing visual noise, and it can compel them to assume that you are a disorganized person. This will further raise questions on your abilities as a potential candidate for the job.

6) Another thing you should do before the interview commences, is to make sure that the place where you’ll be giving the interview is quiet, so that you won’t be distracted by people or things. Inform a responsible person in the house before your interview starts to make sure that no one comes barging through the door while you’re being interviewed.

7) Make sure you have a working pen and a notebook by your side before the interview starts. You’ll leave a bad impression on the interviewer if they see you scrambling for pen and paper during one.

8) Make sure you have a hard copy of your resume by your side. It will come handy in case you have to refer to dates, job titles, and experiences.

9) During the interview keep a gentle smile on the face, look into the camera and behave as you would behave during a regular, face-to-face interview. Also, listen attentively and engage with your interviewer as much as possible. You also need to maintain the right body language in a video interview, like - Sit up straight and look at the interviewer while speaking; Maintaining proper eye contact so that it makes you look attentive and helps to interact properly.

10) Last but not the least; make sure all your equipment is working fine and this should be done before the interview. Check your webcam, your microphone, the fitting of the plugin to the power socket, etc. If you can, also arrange for backup power in case there is a power outage. Business executives are extremely busy people. It isn’t practical for them to wait for power at your home to return so that they can interview you. So, make sure you take care of that yourself.

And one more additional tip for the icing on the cake -

Don’t forget to practice some common interview questions and keep a list of questions ready for the interviewer, practicing which helps you to stay prepared and answer confidently.

Follow-up, although one should avoid that immediately after an interview. You can check once with the hiring manager after a gap of 7 days or more. For any open position, hiring managers also interview several other candidates and therefore, need some time to confirm your selection status. One of the best ways to search for jobs in the right direction during uncertain times is to stay informed about the latest hiring trends- which companies and industries are hiring actively, and so on.

These things seem awfully simple, yet we often forget to take these necessary precautions and because of minor errors, end up blowing our chances at a glorious future.

So, friends - If you prepare well and present well, you’ll ace it this way too!

 -Arthita Ray

An undergrad student of Amity University Kolkata. An avid orator, anchor, creative writer, singer, debater and a movie and sports buff. Based in Kolkata. Have work experience with The Telegraph, Friends FM and Grey Matters Communications.


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