Unfortunately, these days it is hard to write an article without mentioning the dreaded Covid word, and this one is no different.

There’s no doubt that the pandemic has changed the recruitment process drastically with remote interviews and even fully remote jobs becoming the ‘new normal’.

With a lot of companies embracing the remote recruitment process; potential candidates have gained more flexibility meaning location is no longer a barrier.

Before the pandemic, people may have missed out on roles through being on holiday or not being able to make it to the office during a company’s allocated days to the recruitment process. But now, as long as you have a laptop and a good internet connection this is no longer an issue.

It is also important that you prepare even more for these interviews than you would for any face-to-face interview and below you will find five tips on how to do this.

Test your equipment

One of the challenges that comes with online interviews is the fact that technology can be very temperamental at times with internet connections going down and cameras and microphones not working.

This makes it vital to test your equipment beforehand. Make sure you have a good quality microphone and camera as there’s nothing worse than crackly audio and camera quality when you’re trying to make a good first impression.

You should also practice using the software that the company has allocated for the interview to make sure your familiar with it and to mitigate any last-minute panic.

Finally, it is good practice to have a short remote call with either a family member or friend beforehand so you can get a second opinion on the quality of your tech and also check that your internet connection is of a good speed.

No to dodgy backgrounds

It is very important to choose your background wisely. There’s nothing worse from an employer’s perspective than looking at a distracting TV on in the background or a messy room as this makes you look unprofessional.

It’s good practice to have an area in your home dedicated as an office even if this is just your kitchen table staged to look like an office.

You could even set things up in the background such as a bookshelf to make yourself look more educated.

Finally, don’t use a virtual background for your interview as again, this could be distracting and ruin a first impression if the person interviewing you is not a fan of your pick.

Dress to impress

With a virtual interview it is very easy to forget how you would normally dress for an interview as you are not leaving your home.

Just remember that first opinions are important, and appearance is a big factor in this. Get ready for the interview in the same way you would for a face-to-face interview. Dress in a way that’s fitting for the job and company you are applying for.

Don’t do the classic: smart on the top, joggers on the bottom as there could be a situation where you have to stand up and this will cause embarrassment and shatter that all important first impression.

Eye contact, body language and posture

Again, first impressions are vital and eye contact, body language and posture are all important factors in giving a good one.

Make sure to sit up straight and smile. Going into an interview with positive posture and body language will increase your confidence and help you grow into the interview.

Look into the camera rather than the screen as you don’t want to look like you’re looking down at your interviewer.

You can practice your eye contact, body language and posture before hand by having a practice call with a friend or family member. It is also good to get feedback on how you can improve these to give an even better first impression.

Have your notes to hand but don’t rely on them

One advantage to an online interview over a face-to-face one is that you can have your notes available to you without the interviewer being able to see them.

You may want to have things readily available that you normally struggle with in interviews, and you may also have questions written down that you can refer to at the end of the interview.

Asking to have a look at your notes with your questions on can even give you an advantage as it shows you have done your preparation and put thought into your questions.

However, it’s important that you do not rely on your notes for all your interview answers as it will appear that you are reading from a script and will also break eye contact.

Finally, take a drink with you to the interview; if you feel you need some thinking time for a question, it can be better to take a sip whilst thinking about the question rather than looking at your notes.

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