With the COVID-19 pandemic, a majority of working life now happens at home. With the advancements in technology, we now have a wide range of ways to contact our colleagues.
Another way these platforms are now used is to conduct interviews. Online interviews are now the norm, and may even be conducted this way when lockdowns are over. They are completely free, and in some ways easier to conduct for the employer.
Yet for the interviewee; it can be just as unnerving as face to face. So how do you make a good impression and what should you do to prepare? Here at 360 Apprenticeships, we have 7 tips to help make your online interview the strongest it can be.
Find a distraction free zone
You don’t want noise and busy bodies in the background when doing your interview. So make sure that you have a quiet area. If you have you back to the room, make sure that is neat and tidy. Untidy and dirty backgrounds look unprofessional and will distract the interviewer when you’re asking questions.
If you have never used Zoom, Microsoft Teams or any other video platform, get familiar with it. You can use YouTube as a guide or test the platform with your family/friends. Once you know it works, you have the security of not having any issues when the time comes. Try and give yourself 10/15 minutes to get set up, so then if you do have any issues you can resolve them. But don’t sign in until closer to your time, otherwise you may cut another call or interview and that can look bad.
You may not be face to face with the interviewer, yet you still need to look professional. With an online interview, you do have the advantage of only showing your top half, so you can wear something of comfort below the waist. But we advise that you are dressed to impress anyway. Wearing a full outfit may give you the confidence and drive you need to make a good impression.
Whether you are face to face or on a video call, body language is everything. By looking slumped or relax, it doesn’t look professional and can give the impression that you aren’t interested. Here are things to consider when looking at your body language:
- • Make sure that you are sitting either on an office or dining chair with supportive backs. If you need to be elevated, find some cushions or raise your chair to a desirable hight.
- • Avoid sitting on sofas or the bed; these are areas we associate with comfort and won’t give the support or professional look you need
- • Eye contact is still very important when it comes to video call interviews. Look into the camera instead of the screen as that will give them direct contact.
- • Don’t tap your feet or hands – can make you appear stressed or nervous
Not every connection is the strongest so when you are speaking ensure that you a clear. But be careful that you don’t shout or sound like you are mocking them. If they ask you to reiterate, that is fine but make sure that it doesn’t happen too often.
Have questions ready
Just like any interview, have a number of questions ready that you can ask the employer at the end. However, avoid asking about wages, incentives, holidays etc. If at any point during the interview you need a question to be repeated, don’t hesitate to ask. They would rather you ask than mess up your answer.
Thank them for their time
At the end of any interview, a handshake is a way of thanking the employer for their time. Of course you can’t do that through a screen, so when your interview is coming to an end, thank them for giving their time to speak with you. It shows your appreciation and the understanding that you know how busy they are. But how you say it can make a difference, so avoid saying anything such as:
- • thanks / cheers
- • see ya’ later
- • Alright
These are terms used for informal chats and not formal interviews. Try finishing with:
- • Thank you for having me / the opportunity
- • I’ve enjoyed my time today
- • I hope to hear from you soon
- • Have a nice day
No matter where your interview is taking place (at the location or online) being ready is always a must. You’re there to sell yourself as the perfect candidate and make them choose you. So if you don’t prepare or make any effort, then the employer won’t take your application further and you will miss your chance. These may seem like common sense but reading and following these steps will ensure that your interview is the best it will be.
How 360 Apprenticeships can help
The year 2020 has been a difficult and scary time, yet apprenticeships are on the rise and needed more than ever. Whether you are an apprentice or an employer, 360 Apprenticeships can help. We provide a free service from first point of contact to the successful placement of each apprentice. Every apprentice who is successful will only be placed with the best training providers (Graded 1 and/or 2 by Ofsted) so you know that they will be in safe hands.
You can find out more regarding the apprenticeship scheme on our website. To speak to one of our recruiters directly, you can contact us on:
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