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Hi there! We are #openforbusiness and recruiting and have seen a positive upturn in the number of companies hiring in the last few months as people realise that this is our ‘new normal’ ( don’t you love that phrase) for the foreseeable future.

Nearly all preliminary interviews at the moment are online. Interviews, which are daunting at the best of times, may feel even more so in this format.

We’ve got ya covered! Here are Employflex’s Top 10 tips:

  1. Prepare: Put a do not disturb sign on your front door in case of deliveries. Make sure that noisy pets are at bay. Invest in childcare if you have young children and ensure that they are off-site. Turn off your phone and all other apps on your computer so that they are not pinging and beeping and distracting you.
  2. Practice: Get to know your video conferencing tool whether that is Skype, Zoom, MS Teams or Google Hangouts – have a few practice runs with a friend who can give you honest feedback. Use a professional user name – consider opening a new account if your user name does not give the right impression – We have seen some interesting ones! Hotmama75, you know who you are!
  3. Be aware of your environment: Ensure that you have the right lighting and that you are not a silhouette on the screen. Ensure a light is shining on you and not behind you. Line up your computer with your face ( put computer on old shoe box) so your eyes are level with your webcam. Review your background – keep it clean with no distractions like clothes on a clothes horse or family photos – a blank wall or a wall with framed certificates/diplomas works very well. Obviously ensure that no-one is going to burst into your room looking for the remote for the telly – find a quiet part of the house and lock the door if possible!
  4. Your look and looking the part: ‘Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have’ Austin Kleon. The same rules apply in an online interview. Dress as if you were going to the physical premises – wash your hair and do your make up – dress smart and sit up straight – dressing well will put you ‘in the zone’
  5. Do your homework: Know exactly who will be making the call from the employer’s side and ensure that you are signed in early and able to connect with them.  Make sure you have researched the company’s website prior to the interview. Look them up on the internet and see if there is any recent interesting PR on them, e.g. job announcements, new product launch or expansion. It also shows the interviewer that you want to work for their company, that you are not just looking for a job, you are looking for a career.
  6. Use cheat sheets:  The benefit of an online interview is that you can have notes in front of you (so long as they are out of sight). Pull up your CV, examples, talking points or other questions in the corner of the screen. If there are 10 points you want to get across in your interview, have them noted somewhere in front of you ( e.g. wall behind computer ) and mentally tick them off while you go. The STAR technique is widely recognised as a good interview tool (specific situation, task, action, and result ) Write your example out and have it behind your computer to prompt you.
  7.  Body language: As in a traditional face to face interview, body language and first impressions are very important. Sit up straight and endeavour to make eye contact with the interviewer. Don’t slouch, fiddle or use your hands excessively. Don’t forget to smile!
  8.  You made it – The End: Once you have asked your questions and the interview has come to an natural end, remember to say Thank you and Goodbye and after the session make sure that the sound and video transmission are disconnected! This is a precious tip.
  9.  Important Note: Make sure that you’ve also got another way to contact the interviewer should your connection fail. An email address and phone number are essential should your app refuse to cooperate on the day of the interview. And if you have too many technical issues- simply be honest with the interviewer, suggest a phone call instead or rearrange the online interview for another day.
  10. But always remember: An interview is an interview! Whether you are being interviewed remotely, over the phone or in person, all the general rules of a job interview apply. Research the company, know your CV inside out, read the job description thoroughly, have a few answers and examples prepared and be ready to ask your questions at the end.

And …. Good luck!