Now that we are months into the Covid and post Covid and back to Covid periods, more and more business encounters continue to occur online. Although online job interviews have been taking place for awhile, there is less and less chance of meeting in person and more and more people looking for jobs.
Currently, almost 1 million Israelis are unemployed. In February, before the pandemic, unemployment stood at 3.9%. By May, it had already risen and fallen slightly to a staggering 23.5%. High unemployment is the norm for most of the world at this point. Many companies are streamlining and making do with fewer workers. That means a very competitive market for the jobs available.
Therefore, it is essential to know how to present your best self online for job interviews.
Here are some top tips for job candidates:
- Do the research.
Look up the company online. Learn what they do, what they need. Look up the interviewer on Linked In.
- Don’t recite your whole CV.
One of the hardest questions is: “Tell me about yourself”. Do not answer with your entire CV, starting with Kindergarten. Give them the highlights — projects that demonstrate your abilities and strengths which relate to the job. Use stories and specific examples to show where you shine.
- Check the frame.
You are on camera. They see you. Are you in the middle of the frame? Are we looking at your nostril hairs? The camera should be eye level. We do not need to see your messy bed behind you.
- Smile and speak conversationally
Although you are looking at your computer or phone, you are talking to a real person. Look directly at them, smile and talk as if you are in a room together. Bring a cup of coffee. This will help you feel like you are meeting them in person.
And, on the flip side, how can the HR people ensure that the interview will be efficient and relaxed for the applicant?
- Take into account the stress of the applicant.
Not only are they interviewing for a job, but they are talking to a camera. Use an ice-breaker. “I know this is not easy. I appreciate you doing this online.”
- Have a little more patience.
It might take a little longer to get them focused. Try to be clear with the questions. Give them a second chance if necessary.
- Send clear instructions and info about the position and the actual interview.
Give them the possibility to be prepared. They will know how the interview will be conducted and what you are looking for.
- Tell them to have a cup of coffee, tea or water for the meeting.
This will put them at ease and remind them they are talking to an actual person.
HR people need patience to get the best out of their candidates’ interview. And candidates need to sparkle in this brave new world of online interviews. The competition is fierce. Present your best self.