Even before COVID-19, you could expect at least some of your job interviews at Klook to be conducted via a video call. Why? Many of our teams are distributed: while you might be based in Hong Kong, your manager could be based in Amsterdam and your teammates could be based somewhere elsewhere entirely (talk about international, huh?). Getting everyone in the same room for a job interview sometimes just isn’t an option.
So naturally, recruiters at Klook have seen it all when it comes to remote interviewing. We asked them for their best advice on how to shine in your next online job interview and land that dream job. Here’s what we learned.
1. Find the right spot
Pick a quiet spot so you and the interviewer can hear each other loud and clear, and be fully present in the conversation.
“Ideally you should take the call in a private place where you can be alone and not have any potential distractions,” says Gisele Ho, Senior Talent Acquisition Manager.
You heard that right: children, roommates and pets should be banished from the call. Put up a “Do not disturb” sign on the door if you have a home office or, if you’re short on space, coordinate with your household to get a quiet room to yourself.
2. Test the equipment
This one is especially important if the interviewer is using video call software you’re not familiar with. Make sure to download the software beforehand and organize a test call with a friend to learn the ropes. In particular, you should test your microphone and camera settings — it will save you the awkwardness of trying to figure out how to turn the mic on while you have the interviewer on the line.
It might be a good idea to download the software on more than one device. In case your laptop fails, you could still have a call on your phone or tablet.
3. Know your best lighting
It’s called a video call for a reason so turn that camera on! And while you’re at it, make sure the interviewer can actually see you.
“The right spot for an interview should have good lighting to allow the interviewer to see your facial expressions clearly,” says Gisele.
Facing the window will give you good natural light
Avoid any backlight, such as a window directly behind you, as it might cast dark shadows on your face. Cool for a villain reveal, not so cool for a job interview!
4. Use headphones instead of your computer mic
It doesn’t matter how well you prepared for the interview if the interviewer can’t hear you well. Instead of using in-built laptop speakers (which can pick up a lot of background noise and sound distortion), use headphones with a mic.
If you don’t already have a pair, they might be worth investing in for all the remote meetings you’ll be having once you land the job!
5. Dial in five minutes before the call
No matter how thoroughly you tested your gear the day before, it’s still a good idea to dial in early and double-check that everything works. It also gives you a couple extra minutes to make yourself comfortable and prepare mentally for the interview. Plus you don’t want the interviewer to dial in first and have to wait around for you!
6. Make eye contact
While it may feel more natural to look at the picture of the other person on the screen, you should actually look straight at the camera as much as possible. That way, you replicate the real-life feeling of making eye contact. Looking at the screen can make it seem like you’re looking away or staring off into space, making you seem disengaged or distracted.
Job interviews are always stressful but try to build a good rapport and have fun!
To amplify the eye contact effect, try stacking books or boxes under your laptop to elevate the camera to your eye level. You can play around with the setup to find the height that feels most natural and comfortable.
7. Show your enthusiasm
We heard from our recruiters that a common pitfall is sounding monotone or robotic. Speaking in a monotone voice makes it harder to follow what you’re saying. Besides, if you don't seem to be interested in what you're saying, why should the interviewer?
A strong interest in the field is always an advantage so don’t be afraid to show your enthusiasm! It's important to stay professional but it's equally important to let your passion and drive shine through.
8. Don’t read straight from your resume!
After speaking to several Klook recruiters we learned the biggest no-no of online interviewing: do not read straight from your resume! It’s easier to tell than you think.
“We're always looking at the candidate’s resume during the interview so it’s obvious if you just read from it word by word,” explains Gwynna Ho, Talent Acquisition Manager.
And aside from that, your resume won’t give you the right answers! The interviewer has already seen it and they want to dig deeper than that. Rather than recounting your professional history, you should talk about specific projects, results and impact, and always make sure you're answering the question.
9. But DO prepare notes
Having said that, there is nothing wrong with preparing a little cheat sheet. Dot down a couple of keywords and data points you can quickly glance at if your mind goes blank. You might not even need it, but knowing it’s there will probably put you at ease.
Important: your notes should be short and sweet. Don't write an entire script you intend to read out loud to the interviewer.
Write your notes on post-its and stick them to the wall behind your laptop
10. Ask even more questions
Typically when you come in for an on-site interview, you learn a little bit about the office just by being there. You get to see if it's open-plan or with cubicles, if it’s quiet and focused or vibrant and collaborative, and you may even catch a glimpse of an office event. But with an online interview, you’ll likely just see the interviewer at home or in a phone booth.
“Questions like What's the work environment like in the office? or What are some of the initiatives to promote company culture? will give you a sense of the office environment and team vibe when you're not visiting the office for an in-person interview,” says Olivia Lau, Talent Acquisition Manager.
And if the role you’re applying for is remote, ask questions about that too! From how the team stays connected to what the remote management style looks like, there are many things you’ll want to learn about at this stage.
And there you have it, now you’re ready to ace that online interview. Best of luck!
Ready to test out your online interview skills?
Posted by Klook Careers