How COVID-19 changed the recruitment process and increased work from home opportunities.
The outbreak changed a lot within the past months, economically and socially. Thanks to technology, more people can work remotely and continue supporting their businesses from their homes.
An online interview is a new arrangement for companies to hire; it minimises the risks of spreading COVID-19, saves time to measure the compatibility against the job role, and money. Virtual interviews are now becoming the norm. Post COVID-19 interviews may come back to face to face meetings in the future, yet the recruitment agencies may use virtual interviews as an advantage of an early stage of interviews to speed up the recruitment process.
As a recruiter, I have been observing potential ESL teachers through conducted interviews. The time you put in your preparation will reflect on your performance. The practice is a critical component in achieving your success.
Here are my 5 tips to prepare for an online interview:
Minimise distractions. Make sure people you live with are aware of your meeting. Find a place where there is little to no noise. I have interviewed a potential employee who had friends over while having an interview. I already made a judgment on this individual’s work ethics and how uncommitted she came across. What you do need is a quiet place where you can focus and concentrate.
2. Camera position
Your camera is your eyes now; this is how your recruiter will see you. Your camera should be at the level of your eyes. In a face-to-face interview maintaining eye contact is crucial; the same rules apply for an online interview. It’s worth mentioning that you should be looking into the camera during an interview, not at the video where you can see the recruiter but the camera. Eye contact builds trust, rapport, your credibility and engages both parties. Body language rules still apply.
I strongly recommend buying a ring light; I use it every day, not only in teaching but also in interviews. Daily light might be quite awkward and disturbing; bright sunlight can make you squint- not a good picture. Take control of your image. Position the ring light in front of you, above your head, as any light positioned below your head will create shades. You have a wide selection available on Amazon https://amzn.to/35oUlfQ .
Virtual backgrounds might be challenging to set up if you are not savvy tech. Your background should be clean and appropriate. Make sure your background colour doesn’t clash with the colour of your shirt/dress you chose to wear. What should be visible is YOU. Reduce distractions; YOU must be at the centre of attention.
3. Test your devices; microphone, headset
For an online interview, I strongly recommend a headset with a built-in microphone. A headset diminishes distractions; you pay more attention to what you hear rather than your surroundings. There are several available headsets you can purchase online; don’t go for the cheapest headset you can get; treat this as an investment.
Do check your devices before the actual interview. Familiarise yourself with the platform. Start your computer at least 30 minutes before the meeting. Make sure all the updates your computer needs are completed beforehand.
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4. Self-preparation, cheatsheet
Preparation is the key. What are your strengths? What will you contribute to this company’s success? Don’t be afraid to use a cheat sheet for what you want to say. Use it to your advantage. Interviews can be stressful; you will be put on the spot; you will forget the words. Take notes, ask questions you would like to ask. Look at the job ad and go through what is expected in the job you have applied for. Look out for the buzz words and do use them in your answers. How can you use your transferrable skills? What will you bring to the table? Why should you get hired? What questions do you want to ask them? How about career development? What does the company offer in terms of training? How can you progress within the company? What is their vision for the next 5 years? What makes their best employee stand out? Asking questions will make you look serious about the job, interested, and committed. An interview is an opportunity for the company to find the right person for the right job and for YOU to find a company where you can grow, develop, and progress.
The cheat sheet should not be read, however. Record yourself- this is important. How do you sound, how do you look? By recording yourself and reviewing the video, you have a chance to change the things you don’t like, something you can improve. Think about your body language, your position. Don’t lean on your desk; it makes you look sloppy. A recorded video is a brilliant tip where you can see yourself and make amendments, act how you want to be seen.
5. Time zones
If you have applied for a company where the head office is outside of your country, do make sure you have calculated the time zones. Not all recruiters are flexible with rescheduling the interview just because you got the date wrong. Check the time zones, put it in your calendar, set a reminder.
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I have carried out a lot of interviews via online platforms. I have noticed many mistakes people make; these can be easily prevented with work and time. Maximise your performance by self-preparation.
To your success!
Author : Veronika Pyszora
An ESL teacher, a recruiter and a free thinkerRecommend0 recommendationsPublished in