The How To Guide for Online Interviewing Part One

By Justine Eden, Director, Eden Ritchie Recruitment 

Justine Eden

Justine Eden

Chances are when you next interview for a career opportunity it will probably be conducted online. Over the past five months of COVID craziness the ERR team have been busy with online interviewing. In the past we would have screened around 40% of candidates online, lately that’s increased to 100%.  So how prepared or effective are you when it comes to conducting an online interview?

With all the interpersonal nuances and cues of in person interviews removed, online interviews are a different ballgame altogether and there are of course pros and cons. There are lot of funny stories of video meetings going wrong– naked partners in the background, trips to the toilet being captured on meeting audio, kids being kids, a boss turning themselves into a potato unable to switch back to human…..

So given online interviews may become the “new normal” I asked the ERR team (special thanks to Linda Parker and Susanne Flaherty) to share any tips, tricks or pitfalls. There are so many that I decided to create two parts to this, and even though some of these sound like a given, you would be surprised how many people didn’t do it.

From the outset:

  • Know the details and timing for the interview process and make sure you know how to use the technology.
  • If you are doing the interview while at work, double check about software permissions and make sure you download and test them ahead of time.
  • If using a separate meeting room make sure to download your user profile onto the computer you will be using before the interview.
  • If you are in a hotel or other accommodation make sure that if you are using the hotel WIFI it is strong enough for a virtual meeting and that there is enough data allocated to your room to go for the entire interview.
  • If you do not have multiple screens print out key documents such as the role description or notes on key headings or use another device to enable access to information. That does not mean have 10 websites open to the side.  it is just as important to be organised, to know what you want to say beforehand and not be dependent on prompts and new information.  You will still not have time to read and integrate new information just because the panel cannot see that you have websites open.
  • If your family members or others are in the room with you when you are on your interview make sure they do not walk in and out of the background and that they know that they can be heard by everyone.
  • If you would not do it at a face to face interview don’t do it at home; don’t eat, have a cup of tea, leave your phone on, answer kid’s questions, answer the front door or sign for packages.
  • Find a place at home that is not likely to be disturbed by people mowing, the kid across the street “playing” their saxophone, construction noise or furniture removals.
  • Digital backgrounds can be very disturbing if the person is pixelating in and out of the background
  • Use a stationary camera.
  • Make sure your background does not give away obvious details about your location, and know that people will look at the photos, paintings and artefacts behind you in your camera shot

Stay tuned for Part Two…..

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