Attending an interview can be, for some, a relatively nerve-racking experience so the team at Electus Recruitment has pulled together some expert advice on how to tackle the situation. Over the years we have witnessed many candidates’ success at the interview stage by following a few simple tips. Obviously, experience is key but the interview guidance below might be the difference between you and someone else getting the job role!
What type of interview is it?
Is the interview face-to-face or via a Video Call platform?
Virtual Interviews – Tips & Tricks
There are a few things we would
recommend that you do this prior to your virtual interview to ensure that things go as smoothly as they
can on the day.
• Check what Video platform the company is using e.g., TEAMS, Zoom, or Google and Download the App to your computer. If you are unable to install the APP, you can usually use the link provided and access it via your browser. Please note, the preferred browsers are Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome.
1. Test your connection and equipment before the scheduled time.
Technical errors happen and sometimes they aren’t in anyone’s control but if you take the time to
test your connection and equipment before the scheduled meeting then it will limit errors and give
you time to sort out any issues.
Fix your video device in a position that is as level to your eyesight as possible, it’s better not to be
looking down throughout the interview. Checking to see what you look like is something we all do
subconsciously. However, it’s very noticeable on the other end. When speaking to an interviewer via
video chat, make sure you’re looking directly at the camera and not at yourself—this is the only way
to maintain direct eye contact
2. Make sure your surroundings are appropriate
Make sure the area around you is ordered and tidy, try to place yourself in a clear space, perhaps
with a white or soft coloured wall behind you. This will keep their focus on you and not trying to
work out what the picture is behind you. Turn off the TV, radio and make sure your mobile is on
Try to ensure that you’re in a quiet place away from family members and pets, although potentially
humorous a cameo from the cat or child may not help the flow of your meeting.
3. Dress for Success
Even though the interview will be taking place in your own home you should still wear what you
would wear to a face-to-face interview. Professional dress codes are expected in video interviews.
The best way to guarantee your confidence and seriousness in the conversation is to dress the part…
4. Smile, listen and use body language
If you sit perfectly still the interviewer might think that the call has frozen. Sit forward, smile and not
but try not to wave your hands around too much because this could be distracting for your
interviewer, especially if the connection is patchy.
There is usually a slight delay on video calls so make sure that you give the interviewer time to finish
their question before you jump in.
An online interview is just like any other interview so you should come fully prepared. Research the
role and the Company and prepare a list of questions. In a virtual interview a long pause may feel
even longer. Ensure that you have prepared for any possible questions and even have a prompt
sheet on the table in front of you if you believe it will help.
6. Technical Issues
If you experience technical difficulties before or during your interview, close the App and re -join.
General Interview Advice
Before your interview find out everything you can about the company. Go to their website and find out about current events, contracts, and projects and take a look at the ‘meet the team’ section to see who you might be working alongside. This will give you a good overview before you even walk into the interview.
Read the Job Description and Person Specification thoroughly, and really get a grasp of what the job role entails so there are no nasty surprises at the interview.
If you have been set the task of preparing a presentation prior to your interview, give yourself enough time to complete it as well as to rehearse it. There is nothing worse than reading off of a cue card or jumbling up the order. You want to look calm and professional in front of a potential new employer.
Work out what you are going to wear the night before so it is one less thing to worry about on the day of the interview. You should also leave home earlier than usual when attending the interview to avoid being delayed in traffic.
Take spare CVs with you. You can't assume that everyone in the room would have read it and it shows that you are proactive as well as super keen on the position.
Possible interview questions
Before attending an interview you should think about your responses to particular questions that the hiring manager might ask you about your current role and previous employment history. Remember to be positive about yourself, your abilities, and your present employer!
Why do you want this job?
Think carefully about this question. Emphasise the positive aspects of the role which have attracted you to apply for the position. Do not mention the negative aspects of your current job or make it sound like this new job role is just an escape route from your current position.
What can you offer to this role?
This is your chance to shine! Tell the interview panel about your achievements in your previous position(s) which are relevant to the new role and how you would be a great fit. Be sure to refer back to the job specification to say how you might be able to carry out particular tasks the company is looking for.
Why do you want to work for this company?
Emphasise the positive reasons why you want to join the company such as career progression, a new challenge or that you’d like more experience in this area. Avoid comments about more money or shorter hours.
What do you know about this company?
This is your chance to impress the interviewer with the knowledge that you have already researched prior to the interview. Give them a rundown of their products/services, projects, news, company figures, customers, etc.
What can we offer that your previous company cannot offer?
Tread carefully here! Try not to mention any bad feelings towards your current employer, if there is any, and reiterate the reasons for wanting to move up the career ladder or taking a side step into a new industry.
What are your strengths/weaknesses?
Outline several strengths here and explain how these could be put to good use. Don’t dwell upon any weaknesses but do offer one as employers are sometimes looking for honesty within this question.
Questions to ask at the end of the interview
The interview is a two-way process. The company interviewing you will want to find out whether you are suitable for the position and you should also want to find out if the company and position are a right fit for you. Here are some questions you might want to consider:
Where will I fit into the overall organisational structure?
Who are your customers?
What is the company's 5-year plan?
What are the chances of advancement/progression within this position?
What training do you provide?
At the end of the interview, if you are interested in the position, it is important to tell them. Ask what the procedure is to obtain feedback from the interview and when you could expect to hear from them. This shows the employer that you are keen and enthusiastic about the role. Finally, thank them for their time!