By Tristan Coleman
If you had to compare the difficulty of in-person interviews to online interviews, you’d be comparing
T-ball to the MLB. Making that lasting impression over the computer can be deemed very challenging, especially for newly graduated students. Although this may not be the case for everyone, the challenge of online interviews can be difficult for anyone of any age and level of experience. In this blog, I’ll be explaining a few do’s and don'ts when being interviewed virtually. I developed these tips over years of not landing a job due to my own online interview mistakes. I hope these tips and tricks can save another young adult from bombing their online interview and help you land the job of your dreams.
1. Don’t rely on the notes you’ve written in preparation of the interview.
I thought it would be a great idea to write out my answers to the questions for my interview. Little did I know, my nerves would make me appear like a robot with a monotonous tone and deer-in -headlights look. This is one way to guarantee that you have lost your chances at getting the job, because who wants to work with a robot with no personality?! It’s alright to have a few things jotted down, but by adding higher vocabulary words and memorizing your answers like a script, nothing about the interview comes off as unique or authentic.
2. Do make sure to use those practice answer rounds.
If you have the option to practice your answers before submitting them, take every practice round you can get. I cannot express this enough! Every online interview I didn’t do well in was partly because I didn’t take the practice rounds. Taking the practice rounds allows you to get a little more comfortable with the questions and sound more confident in your answers. If there isn’t an option to practice your answers in a practice round, don’t worry. In-person interviews never have practice rounds, therefore your online interview is already being treated more like an in-person interview. But, do take time to practice potential questions and answers with friends or family so that when you are interviewed you will be quick with your words and thought process.
3. Don’t wear casual clothes just because you are in the comfort of your own home.
This is as simple as it gets. Dress to impress; it’s not too hard. Believe it or not, I have heard from numerous friends and colleagues that they didn’t see a problem in dressing “comfortably” during an interview because it was at home. With that mindset, you might as well show them your dirty kitchen because you’re in the comforts of your own home. At least dress up from the waist up. Dressing nicely for an interview makes you seem more professional and shows the interviewer that you are taking this interview seriously.
4. Do your research prior to your interview.
Most of the time, companies will usually throw in at least one question that involves the company itself. These questions usually involve a question as to why you want to work for that specific company. Knowing a little bit of information about the company such as its history, values, products and distribution channels will set you apart and give you a higher chance at landing the job. This is such a simple task to complete and ultimately could make you stand out in comparison to other applicants, making your interview sound more cohesive and professional.
5. Triple check your microphone!
During an interview for my dream job a couple years ago, I had the option to view my answers after they were submitted. Low and behold, every question I had submitted, I was muted. Fast forward a week later, I received my rejection letter. Of course, not checking if my mic was properly working didn’t come to mind due to the large number of other things on my mind in preparation for my interview. The little things truly end up becoming big things, therefore it is vital to have somewhat of a checklist when going over what is needed for the online interview (including reading this blog).
There you have it. With all of this knowledge under your belt, you are sure to set yourself apart from other applicants and get yourself that much closer to the job you're chasing after. Although some of these tips may seem like common sense, someone, somewhere didn’t know them and had to learn from their mistakes the hard way. Similar to how every job is different, every job interview is different. Hopefully, some of these do’s and don’ts for Zoom interviews was helpful and has made you feel more confident prior to going into an online interview.
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