You’ve applied for your dream job. They’ve just been in touch, and they’re keen to interview … BUT you’re out of town that day (or there happens to be a global pandemic happening!) Don’t panic: you can interview online!

Teams and Zoom interviews are becoming more common, so here are some top tips to make sure you’re fully prepared before you face a panel of interviewers via the net.

No Teams or Zoom? No Excuse
Zoom is quick, easy and free to download and no account is required to join a Teams meeting! Computer skills are essential to just about every job these days, so being a bit tech-savvy is a good look straight away. And the great thing is, both platforms work on a computer, tablet or smartphone!

Friends or family should be able help set up your account and download the apps – Google and YouTube are very helpful too.

Your unique Skype username
Among Skype’s millions of users there’ll likely be a few with your name. So come up with a unique and memorable username … but make sure it’s ‘work appropriate’. Provide it to the interviewers in advance – and ask for theirs too.

Keep in mind:

  • your username is often different to your display name on Skype
  • email addresses don’t always work when searching, so providing your username is the best option

Remember: it’s the real deal
It’s easy to get a little complacent when you’re not physically in the room. But treat an online interview exactly the way you would a face-to-face one: watch your body language, dress appropriately, make eye contact and remember to smile.

It can be distracting seeing yourself on screen, alongside the interviewer, but don’t let it throw you off. Treat the camera as the eyes of the interviewer – it’s obvious to interviewers if you’re staring at the screen.

Silence is golden
Have you seen the viral video of a live BBC Skype interview with a political analyst who is interrupted by his two adorable children? It perfectly illustrates just how important it is to hold the interview in the right place. Find a nice quiet spot where you can hear and be heard clearly, and make sure everyone knows not to interrupt.

Finally … Test. Test. Test!
Always do a dummy run to make sure your camera and microphone are working correctly before the interview starts. Give yourself plenty of time to get set up; practice with a friend or use the built-in testing functions to make sure the people on the other side can hear and see you properly. And make sure your internet connection is strong – especially if you’re running the meeting on your phone.

Lastly, play around with camera angles and lighting to make sure you are putting your best face forward. And make sure there’s nothing embarrassing visible in the background!

We know interviews can be nerve-racking experiences, in person or sitting at a computer. We have some great resources on our website to help you prepare … and we are always happy to help!

Good luck!
Kirsty and Nikki

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