Today, more and more people are able to work from home as technology makes communication and teamwork easier, plus larger numbers of organizations are keen to employ staff from around the world. Alongside this trend, we’ve seen a corresponding increase in the amount of job interviews conducted online.
If you’re hoping to land your dream tech job soon, it’s quite possible that you’ll be speaking with recruiters and/or business managers online, once you’ve made it to their shortlist of candidates for the position. As a result, you need to feel confident and understand some of the best ways to present yourself during a digital conversation. Read on for tips you can follow to ace your next virtual interview.
Take Time to Prepare
The more preparation you do before your virtual interview, the better. For example, it’s important to test all the IT gear you’ll be using for the meeting, such as your computer, microphone, speakers, the internet and so on. You don’t want any glitches to stop the interview from going ahead or interrupting the proceedings part way through.
It’s also a good idea to print out copies of application documents to have on hand. You may need to refer to them at some point during the conversation. You can prepare by compiling a list of questions to ask the people you’re chatting with. There will usually be a phase during the interview where you’re asked if you have any questions, and it is critical to avoid spending this key time umming and ahhing and trying to think of something on the spot.
Preparation should also include time spent researching the company you hope to join and learning as much as you can about its main staff members, particularly the people who will be interviewing you, if they’re not external recruiters. Discover what you can about the firm’s corporate culture, history, greatest achievements, latest developments and more. Read over the job ad numerous times, so you truly understand what’s involved in the job and what interviewers will likely be looking for.
Making this effort will help you to ask better questions and know how to present yourself and your background, skills, qualifications, beliefs, values and the like in the most positive way. You will be even better equipped if you practice answering common tech interview questions. Know, for instance, how to talk about what you learned during your degree, whether this was a Bachelor’s in Computer Science, a UX Design master’s program or something else. Also be clear on why you want the job, how you might stand out from the competition and what great results you’ve achieved in past roles.
Be Wary of Distractions
While you’re speaking with interviewers, you don’t want to lose concentration or make it hard for yourself or others to hear because of noises such as phones ringing, people talking, noisy trucks going by,etc. As such, do everything you can to remove distractions. Turn off your cell phone, or at least put it on silent and place it in another room while you speak. If you live on a noisy street, close the windows and, if you have family members or roommates in your house, be sure to tell them you’ll be on an important call and need quiet time.
Put yourself in a room where you can close the door, particularly if there are young children in the house. If you have pets that could cause distractions, remove them from the room, too. Don’t forget to turn off email and social media notifications on your computer, so that there are no distracting bings and boops coming through.
Always be professional in how your present yourself and your space. For instance, even though you can have the interview at home, dress and groom yourself appropriately, and take as much care as you would if you were going to meet people face-to-face.
It might be tempting to only wear something nice on top because you will be sitting down and interviewers won’t see tracksuit pants or PJ bottoms and slippers, but keep in mind that it’s possible you’ll have to stand up at some stage to correct an IT issue or fetch a document. As such, be dressed well from top to bottom, just in case.
Don’t neglect to tidy the area where you will be sitting for your interview either. Clean up any big piles of mess and rubbish that could turn interviewers off, and think about taking down any potentially inappropriate artwork, posters or the like in the background which could give off a vibe you don’t want.