We live in a digital age.
Interacting with people face-to-face is no longer required – in fact most of us have colleagues located in another location.
Sometimes even on the other side of the world!
With that being reality – meetings are now conducted via the web on services such as Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, and Go-To-Meeting.
Interviews are no exception.
Conducting an online interview requires a different skill-set than a traditional face-to-face interview.
In this article we give you seven tips on how to improve your online interviewing skills!
#1 Properly Schedule the Interview
Yes this is actually one of the biggest blunders men still make when planning for an online interview
I can't tell you how many times I hear horror stories of someone missing a critical interview because they got the time zones mixed up.
Guys this is an easy one to fix by following this approach:
- Use an Online Scheduler – I personally use one from my good friend Remi called Schedule Once. It properly schedules all my meetings while calculating the differences in timezone
- Use Google Calendar – A free tool that you should take advantage of. Google calendar also calculates time zones and offers many customization options.
- Manually Check Your Calendar – Sometimes you just have to double check your calendar periodically to ensure the meeting is properly scheduled. Double important if the interview is a showstopper.
- Batch Up Your Meetings – A strategy that works wonders for me. Instead of having meetings spread throughout the week, try to block off a day to have all of your online meetings on.
- Format of Online Interview – Lastly but very important. Know what if the online format will be audio or audio AND video. Nothing is worse then being caught in your pajamas during the meeting!
#2 Check Your Hardware & Software
Ever had an online meeting about to start only to realize in horror the software won't properly run on your computer?
This is most likely the result of your computer not being able to handle the software being used.
You need to ensure that the computer has enough RAM and computational speed to run the meeting smoothly.
If you have any doubts at all, test it out a few days before.
If you have an older computer be sure to close inactive programs to avoid it taking up much needed resources.
Lastly, ensure you have a great microphone. Don't use the microphone that comes standard with your computer as it's not the best quality which can lead to all sorts of problems.
#3 Understand Your Connection Speed
When preparing for an online interview most men are concerned with the download speed of their internet connection
Many forget about upload speed.
Upload speed is important as it's the direct signal you are sending out to recipients during an online meeting. Not having enough upload speed during a video call can make you seem pixelated or worse lower the quality of the audio resulting in a communication mess.
You should also know what your peak times are in your neighborhood to avoid slow internet times.
If you have a really important interview coming up, you can setup a backup internet source such as a tether from your smartphone.
#4 Control the Situation
There are many things you can't control.
Try to nail down the things you can during an online interview.
Many interviews these days are conducted at home.
This leads to all sorts of problems from your children running around to the dog barking.
If this is the case, ensure the people on the line are aware well before hand.
The best case scenario is to plan ahead and think up any risks prior to them becoming issues.
#5 No Multitasking during the Interview
Multitasking isn't the productivity solution we all thought it would be.
It is important you give your undivided attention.
It doesn't matter if you are the interviewer or interviewee.
Your phone should be off and you shouldn't be typing away trying to get that email out while in the interview.
Believe me – the people on the other end will notice
It is important to show respect and provide your full attention to understand what is asked of you with the ability to respond accurately.
#6 Practice for the Interview
Any situation you find yourself in can turn in your favor with some practice.
With online interviews, it may be hard with the variety of software available but you should practice the popular ones such as Google Hangouts and Skype.
Learn how to navigate the interface and learn what all the controls mean.
It's always best to take charge of the situation
#7 Dress Sharp for the Interview
When you dress well regardless if you're with a large crowd or alone a funny thing happens.
You end up feeling great.
This new found confidence will become contagious even if there person is across the globe!
Showing that you pay attention to the details and respect the people on the line by dressing well will earn you some bonus points.
Online interviewing will only become more common as time passes.
Learn how to be an expert in conducting interviews online and you'll be able to leverage this skill-set in meetings, managing others, and in day-to-day communication.