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You have been invited for an interview for your dream job in a wonderful organisation.  You know that you have the relevant skills and experience and you are more than qualified for the role.   However, the interview is taking place online and if this is a daunting prospect for you, then read on. In this article, I will outline how to prepare effectively for online interviews and how to complete online interviews successfully. 

Remember an interview is an interview. So whether you are invited for an online interview using Zoom, Skype, MS Teams or Google Hangouts, interview preparation is the key to your success. 

 

 How to Prepare For Online Interviews 

Location

  • Identify the best location in your house for you to complete your interview.
  • Find a quiet room with minimal distractions that has adequate lighting.
  • Eliminate any distractions behind you, ideally a blank wall is best.

Check the Technology

  • Get familiar with the video conferencing tool that will be used during the interview.
  • Make sure the microphone, speakers and camera are working correctly.
  • Check that your internet connection supports high-quality live video.

Test Call

  • Schedule a test call with a friend or family member ahead of your interview.
  • Get them to check the sound quality so that they can hear you effectively when you are speaking.
  • Get them to check the video quality so that you can be seen clearly.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

  • You cannot be over prepared for an interview. So do your homework by doing some research about the job and about the company.
  • Prepare answers for interview questions and practice speaking your answers out loud.
  • Prepare at least 2 questions that you can ask the interviewers. A simple question could be “what is the next stage of the process”?

Be organised for your interview

  • Make sure that you get all the information about your interview.
  • Know who you are meeting and what time your interview is on at.
  • All of these things seem basic, but it is important that you make a good first impression so be clear on all these things.

Now that you know how to prepare effectively for online interviews, I want to share some tips on how to complete online interviews successfully.

How to Complete Online Interviews Successfully 

Control your environment

  • For the duration of the interview ensure that you eliminate any distractions and noises.
  • Turn off any notifications from your phone, email and apps.
  • Have a contact number and (or) email address for the interviewers as a back-up, in the event that there are any tech issues.

Dress professionally

  • Dress as if you were going to a physical premises.
  • Wear something clean and business casual.
  • By dressing the part, it will highlight your professionalism and communicate your interest in the role and organisation.

Eye Contact

  • Making eye contact during an online interview will help to build rapport with the interviewers during the interview.
  • When you are answering the questions make eye contact by looking directly into the webcam instead of at the interviewer’s face.
  • When the interviewers are asking questions, nodding and making eye contact will show the interviewer that you are involved and listening attentively.

Body Language

  • Sit up straight and be aware of your non-verbal gestures.
  • Remember to smile and nod when the interviewer speaks.
  • Take a deep breath before the call and try to remain calm during the interview. You will make a much better first impression when you are relaxed.

Honesty is the best policy

  • Don’t lie or exaggerate about the work experience that you have gained previously.
  • If there is something that you are not familiar with it is much better to say the truth than to lie.
  • The truth will come out in the end.

 

Once you have completed your online interview, it is always a good idea to follow up with a thank you email.  I hope you enjoyed reading this article and that you have gained some tips that will help you with your upcoming online interview.  

 

If you feel you could benefit from an interview skills training session ahead of  your upcoming interview or you would like to complete a mock interview with a professional who has completed thousands of interviews, feel free to get in touch with me. 

 

Creating a CV that highlights your skills and experience effectively is the first step you need to take when looking for a new job.  The purpose of any CV is to get you invited for an interview.  If you have submitted your CV to lots of jobs (that you have the experience for), but you have not been invited for interview, your CV is the issue and it needs some work. 

 

Your CV has roughly 12 seconds to make a positive impression.  It is important that the layout and content of your CV is easy to read and understand within a short timeframe.   In this article, I will outline some simple tips on how to create a CV that makes a positive impact.  

 

Tips to create a CV that makes an impact  

CV Layout

Regardless of the amount of experience that you have gained over the past number of years, your CV should be a maximum of 2 pages long.  Any CV that is longer than 2 pages will reduce your chances of your CV doing its job i.e. getting you invited for interviews.  It is quality over quantity when it comes to CV writing.  When you are writing your CV, consider if the information will increase or decrease the chances of your CV doing its job?

 

Professional Photograph

There is no need to include a professional photograph on your CV if you are applying for jobs in Ireland.  Including a professional photograph does not add value to your CV and it takes up valuable space.  However, the requirements are slightly different if you are applying for jobs in a European Country so include a professional photograph on those applications. 

 

Reverse Chronological Order

The content of your CV should be presented in reverse chronological order, starting with the current and most recent work experience and working backwards.  Presenting your CV content in this format highlights your career growth and development, it emphasises the most recent jobs that you held and it is easy for the reader to understand if and when there were any career gaps.  In relation to the education content, you have a choice to either highlight this information in reverse chronological order or you can highlight the most relevant education for the job you are applying for first.  It is a personal preference but both options are accepted.

 

Relevant to the Job

One of the biggest mistakes jobseekers make when they are applying for jobs is that they submit a generic CV to lots of jobs.  This is a recipe for failure.  In order to avoid this error, spend time updating your CV for the job that you would like to apply for.  This will take time but it is time well spent, as this will increase your chances of being invited for interview.  It is much better to apply for less jobs and to spend the time updating your CV for those jobs, than to send a generic CV to lots of jobs.

 

Grammar and Spelling  

Once you have created a CV that is relevant for the job you want to apply for, check your grammar and spelling before you submit your CV for any job application.  It is easy to oversee these errors when you are creating a CV, but it will be the first thing the reader will spot immediately.  Perhaps even get a family member or friend to double check your CV for these errors. 

 

Once you have been invited for an interview, your CV has done its job.  It will then be up to you, to sell your skills and experience effectively during the interview in order to get a job offer. 

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and that you have gained some tips on how to create a CV that makes a positive impact.  Please share this article with anyone who might benefit from it. 

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