Getting ready for graduation is an exciting time, but it can also add extra pressure to perform at the next level, especially when it comes to interviews for your future career. Since the global epidemic of 2020, many job interviews and opportunities have become virtual. This means you have additional skill in job search pick up or sharpen.
So how do you stand out behind the scenes during an online interview?
Fortunately, going back to school means logging in online to communicate with teachers and peers in virtual classrooms, not to mention keeping in touch with family and friends at home. Keeping in touch in the months leading up to graduation provides more opportunities to practice online presence and professionalism.
Taking advantage of these regular interactions and identifying opportunities to answer questions more clearly, connect the dots and follow up on thoughtful questions relieves some of the stress from the official practice of job interviews towards graduation.
Here are some ways in which you can apply everyday experiences as a student to your online interviewing skills to become a better interviewee before graduation:
Schedule video calls
Unlike the time it takes to physically travel to a meeting, it only takes a minute to get into a video call, so there is no excuse for being late. Get into the habit of taking your call times seriously by making them official and adding them to your schedule or calendar the same way you would in an online interview.
Apply a little pressure to be prepared and make an appointment ahead of time, even if it’s just to catch up with friends and family. Let them know that it will help you prepare if they also arrive on time for the meeting.
Need to reschedule a call? Create a system for changing call time that is similar to how you will handle it in a professional setting. This will keep you from freezing or stressing when the time comes for the real deal.
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Set to show time
Before you get into a video call, make sure you and your environment are prepared for success. After choosing a formal outfit, (yes, you should get used to looking and feeling your best on camera to ensure you look natural), use the video preview before each call to fix the room lighting and clear the background of any clutter. Finally, let your family know that you will be in the conversation and appreciate the quiet space for the duration of the conversation.
During your next online video calls, notice how others present themselves on camera. By creating these habits for conversations with friends and family, you will likely stress or miss a detail when setting up an online interview.
Practice active listening
Since an interviewer will not be with you physically during your interview, you must learn to make him feel that he can connect with you through the screen.
Even when you are just casually chatting with friends and family, be aware of your listening skills and show that you are giving them your full attention. Actions like nodding your head at appropriate times and asking thoughtful follow-up questions can be a great way to prove to a caller that you are completely attentive.
Eye contact is also a powerful way to show that you are listening and involved in the conversation. This can be tricky during an online interview. Looking into your camera to connect with a person almost needs some practice to feel natural. Notice where your gaze falls during casual conversations. Remember, if you look at your screen, you seem to be looking away from the viewer from his point of view.
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Staying professional, even through zoom, is an important step in presenting the quality of your work in an online interview. An important part of the online interview experience is through written communication. Emails with spelling and slang errors are unlikely to be ignored, but emails that show professionalism are likely to be answered.
Communicate with everyone in whole sentences to make sure your grammar and communication skills stay sharp. It’s easy to use by default for shortcuts with friends, but when sending messages to recruiters, it’s important to convey your professionalism via the keyboard.
If you are not used to communicating properly through writing, it will probably sound too forced or run too much. Learn how to be direct and communicate clearly through natural and professional writing, even with friends and family.
As we move into a more digital world, it is more important than ever to create a professional online presence that will showcase your capabilities to companies that recruit employees. Consistently work on your online interview skills to set yourself up for success once you land your next interview.
Next time you sign up for an online zoom interview, you can count on your online interview skills to be sharp enough to help you get the job of your dreams!
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