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Become an expert in online interviews



The art of nailing the do's and avoiding the don'ts.


Photographs: Pexels

Text: Luke Hannon


I've been in the recruitment industry for over eight years now.


That's over a quarter of my life! In this time, the industry has been transformed by online interviewing. The Covid lockdown has only transformed even faster and more widespread. Even so, I still see people making the same mistakes and harming their chances of landing their dream job.


These five dos and don'ts will help you become an expert in online interviews!


Do: Remove all distractions

Slack, email, and social media.


These three things have caused more failed interviews than I can count. We live in a world where people are online 24/7, which often means they are tied to their emails and Slack messages. If you can't be away from your emails for the duration of the interview, you need to rearrange. I've been in interviews where the interviewee's focus has been split between the manager's questions, incoming emails and listening out for the mailman.


Not removing distractions meant that he didn't focus entirely on the interview he was a part of and didn't get the job he was, on paper, perfect for.


Always remember: When you're in the interview - be in the interview.


Do: Treat it as a "proper" interview

I once had an interviewee interrupt the manager because they were in a queue at Starbucks.


Needless to say, she didn't get the job. Many people still see an online interview as less critical than an in-person one. This attitude is holding so many people back from landing the job of their dreams. Just because you're not physically meeting the interviewer, you should treat it as if you are. This means finding a quiet place for your call. It means coming prepared, having researched the company and prepared a list of questions.


Always remember: A video interview is still an interview.


"Nothing gets an interviewer’s blood boiling more than constant interruptions."

Do: Show the correct virtual body language

55% of communication is body language.


38% is your tone of voice, and the remaining 7% is what you say. This means that your body language greatly affects how you come across in an interview. You can maximise your chances of landing the job by nailing your body language in a video interview.


This means:

• Hold "eye contact"

• Use "open" body language (no crossing your arms!)

• Have good posture

• Smile


These simple things will hugely increase your chances of nailing your online interview.


Always remember: 55% of what you communicate isn't from what you say.


Don't: Interrupt

Nothing gets an interviewer's blood boiling more than constant interruptions. Sometimes, delays caused by technology can mean you and the interviewer talk across each other. Sometimes, you're so eager to answer the question that you forget to wait for the interviewer to finish.


That's okay! Once. Twice max. Just don't make a habit of it! To avoid this, all you need to do is relax and take a pause. A few seconds is all you need to make sure the interviewer has finished, and you can give yourself a little time to think of the best answer you can. Many people interrupt because they feel that they need to answer the question immediately. This isn't true at all.


So, take a breath, take a moment and then respond.


Always remember: If you want the job, don't interrupt.


Don't: Forget to charge your device

Imagine being 30 minutes into a 60-minute interview.


You're wowing the interviewer with your "great attention to detail" and by how "tech-savvy" you are… and then your screen goes blank. You bash the keyboard in a panic before you realise that your laptop is out of charge. You spend five minutes to find a charger and another ten to turn the computer back on, the interview is over. Much of your hard work until now has been undone by not charging your device ahead. It may not seem like a big deal, but why run the risk? Always remember: Don't forget your charger.


There you have it! Nail these dos and don'ts, and you'll be sure to land your dream job before long! Stay tuned for next month.

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