This week, IACCM continues to focus on its latest TASK topic: Job Opportunities & Online Interviewing.
As working from home becomes increasingly commonplace either permanently, or in response to future lockdowns, many employers are asking candidates about their ability and desire to work from home and their strategies to focus on work in their home environment.
The IACCM global team all work remotely and have done so for many years. We recruit new team members across continents and time zones, using various online platforms for all our recruitment and selection activities. We have met online, and recruited, some fantastic candidates who are now part of our internal team. That said, in the process of recruiting our talent over the years, we have had some interesting experiences, in some cases interviewing candidates who have made some audacious mistakes. I have shared some experiences below, along with some top tips to support our members in their job search.
Tip 1: Focus on the interview!
When asking a candidate, “How do you stay focused on work when working from home?” the candidate’s doorbell rang. The candidate excused themselves to answer the door as they were expecting a parcel. The interviewer then overheard the candidate talking while the interviewer looked at the candidates living room wall. Eight minutes later – yes, the interviewer recorded the time in their notes - the candidate returned. The candidate had been chatting to their neighbour and then proceeded to open the parcel in front of the interviewer and show them the contents. The interviewer was left feeling less than convinced that this individual would be able to focus on work in their home environment!
Tip 2: Check, check, and double-check your CV before submitting it to a prospective employer. Ask a friend, family member, or neighbour, to check it for you too.
Be prepared to “talk me through your CV and experience,” a common interview question for both in-person and online interviews. A frequent error made by candidates is miswriting dates on their CV.
Tip 3: Treat an online interview in the same way as an in-person interview.
Following on from Tip 2, when the interviewer has raised questions about inconsistent dates on a CV during an online interview – believe it or not – more than one candidate has paused the online conversation to update their CV electronically mid-interview. Would you get out your pen and do this during an in-person interview on your prospective employer’s premises? We think it’s unlikely. Please don’t update your CV during an online interview!
Read on for some more top tips for online interviews:
Tip 4: Check the platform for the interview and practice using it.
If you’ve not used an online platform before, check you know how to use it and practice having a conversation with a friend or family member before the big day.
Many of our online interviews have got off to a shaky start where the candidate was unable to download, open, or access the platform being used or connect their audio. Frantically emailing apologies or phoning the interviewer on their mobile doesn’t bode well. Make sure to log on to the platform at least 10 minutes early.
Tip 5: Check your background.
As part of undertaking Tip 4, check your background. What can the interviewer see? What impression does it give? What impression do you want to give? Your background is the online equivalent of an in-person handshake.
Tip 6: Dress appropriately.
If you were attending an in-person interview, what would you wear? The same outfit is likely to be appropriate for an online interview, even though it might mean dressing more formally than you would at home. First “video” impressions count. Dress to impress.
Tip 7: Sit still
In an in-person interview, you are unlikely to wander around the room. The same applies for a video interview. Moving around your kitchen, walking downstairs, or getting into your car, puts the focus on your movement, rather than your answers. Find somewhere comfortable to sit, taking into account Tip 5.
We can’t guarantee you’ll get the job, but hopefully, these tips should help you make a great first online impression, good luck!