2020 has been a year of huge change. We have had to adapt the way we work, change our work environments and communicate mainly through technology, embracing modern practices and software we have never used before. It has also been a year of huge unemployment meaning more and more people will be interviewing for new positions as soon as the economy picks up. Don’t worry if you’ve never done a virtual interview before, our handy guide will help you through from start to finish.
What to wear
If you’ve worked from home in the past, you’ll know how relaxed the uniform policy is! Unfortunately, when you’re taking part in an online interview, you cannot get away with pyjamas or comfortable loungewear. When you’re picking an outfit for an online interview, try to dress as if you are meeting the interviewer in person. They may not know what you are wearing from the shoulders down but dressing appropriately gets you in the right frame of mind for a professional and informative interview. Make sure your hair and face are clean, don’t wear too much make up and minimize accessories to ensure the interviewers attention is on your CV rather than your appearance.
How to connect
When your interview time and date is set, you should immediately familiarise yourself with the technology the employer has suggested. Zoom, Teams, Google Hangouts etc, all have the same function but very different layouts so it is important to test it out in advance to save yourself a last minute panic on the day. Download the correct software and ask a friend to do a test call a couple of days before. If you have any trouble or need further assistance, ask the interviewer for help in advance, not 2 minutes before the interview is scheduled; This will also prove your organisation and preparedness skills. After your initial test, log on 10 minutes prior to the interview time to ensure there are no technical glitches. Make sure to test your audio and camera
Where should I be?
It’s easy to say that interviews should take place in a quiet room with no distractions but that’s easier said than done when you’re working from home. Try to sit at a table or desk with your phone, laptop (or whatever device you’re using ) propped up at eye level. Holding it in your hand or balancing it on your lap will be shaky and cause distraction for both you and the person you are speaking to. If you live in a shared home, tell housemates or family members that you are interviewing and you shouldn’t be disturbed. If you can, try to make your background as neutral as possible, against a blank wall or door. Try to remove children and animals from the environment. They may be cute but it’s not very professional!
Treat and prepare for your virtual interview as if it were in-person.
- Switch on your camera so the interviewer can see you and smile to convey your friendly and approachable nature.
You can turn off the on-screen ‘selfie’ camera if looking at yourself distracts you.
- Interviewers can tell a lot from body language so try not to fidget.
- As always, interviews are professional conversations between real people and sometimes mistakes happen. We understand you are nervous and no one is trying to trip you up. If something does go wrong; explain, apologise and move on.
- If your internet connection is bad, switch off your camera to improve the connection speed. While face to face contact is preferrable, your message is the most important thing to get across.
- As in a traditional interview, you should have your CV to hand and have some questions prepared to ask the interviewer.
- Above all else, practice! Try to do some research about the company and memorise some key points. Practice common interview questions and have an answer in case they are asked. You won’t predict everything that will come up but it’s better to be prepared than shocked.
PREM Group Careers specialise in hospitality and hotel jobs in Ireland, UK, Belgium and The Netherlands. We have a wide range of job opportunities in the industry and are keen to hear from talented individuals who fit in with our ethos of ‘Do the right thing, always’. If that’s something you’d be interested in, see our open vacancies.