Finding a new job, or that first role out of university, can be a challenge at the best of times, in these times, it just got harder.
Graduate jobs, as we all know, are particularly competitive with as many as 70 applicants for every job posted.
With the UK emerging from lockdown into the post-coronavirus world, the recruitment process may well have been transformed, potentially for ever.
In order to adhere to social distancing measures, jobseekers’ interviews have moved to online portals such as Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts as virtual meetings become the new normal.
However, despite the change in format, it is still just as important to prepare for your job interview in much the same way.
What to expect from the online experience
Here are some of the common questions asked and some top tips for passing a virtual interview.
There are two main types of virtual interviews:
The first is automated. Questions flash up which you are filmed answering. This is often used at a more preliminary stage.
The second is a more traditional meeting with an interviewer, albeit an online platform. Make sure you know which one is being used beforehand.
Take into account online timings can be interrupted by many factors and leave enough time to access a meeting, find out if it requires a password, and for you to get settled and comfortable.
Probably the most important thing to bear in mind, is that it’s just the same as any other interview, try not to be put off too much by the format.
Being flexible and adaptable, can settle nerves and help you focus on the purpose of the interview and get the outcome you want from it.
Prepare in the same way you would for a ‘physical’ interview and ensure you have to hand the knowledge and experience of why the role is perfect for you.
Have relevant examples of your skills ready to discuss.
Place cue cards behind or around the screen to help prompt you with examples or key points you want to talk about.
Where should I set up for the interview?
A private space is best, somewhere quiet and where you are unlikely to be disturbed by other members of your household.
Using the place you study or somewhere that is work related may help you focus and put you in the right frame of mind.
Take note of what’s behind you and try to make it as plain as possible. You want the interviewer to focus on you, what you’re saying rather than any snazzy wallpaper or what books you’ve been reading.
Make the right impression.
The interview may be getting done in your home but you still need to make yourself as smart and presentable as if you were there in person; iron your shirt or dress to so that you’re presentable, smile and come across as positive.
Don’t waffle, remember it is your knowledge, experience and personality that defines success. Try to be personable and answer every question as fully as possible.
Use the job description and person spec to anticipate potential questions and to identify the skills, attributes and experiences which are required for the position.
Use the CAR framework
Context: describe a situation or set the scene for a relevant example from your past. Choose an example that demonstrates clearly the quality or skill the interview is asking about.
Action: explain an action you took in response to this kind of question. Be very specific, don’t make vague statements; outline the rationale and then the steps you took.
Result: detail the outcome of the above action. Proffer explicit facts in relation to the result e.g. figures, statistics, or feedback from a line manager, that back up what you’re saying.
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