Very few job hunters excitedly count down to an interview.
The fact is, most of us feel sick to the stomach about shouting about our skills to one, two or maybe three people. Add to that the fact the Covid-19 pandemic means interviews may now be hosted remotely and you have a little more to think about when it comes to preparation.
Your pre-interview fears may be exactly the same if you’re logging on virtually to meet your prospective boss. You may worry about stumbling over your words, nervously neglecting to tell the interviewer crucial parts of your job industry and expertise, or even fluffing an answer.
There’s a huge possibility that you may absolutely ace your remote interview, though, beating stiff competition to bag your dream role. With our top tips tucked away in your arsenal, you won’t go far wrong.
Fail to Prepare; Prepare to Fail
Failing to prepare really can mean preparing to fail.
Be ready and raring for your interview – with your friendly recruitment consultant here at Life Science People or your would-be employer – and we can pretty much guarantee the outcome will be positive.
Life Science People’s Harpreet Heir has some great tips, the bottom line is this: you should treat your virtual interview exactly the same as you would a face-to face, ‘real life’ in normal circumstances interview.
She says you should do plenty of research about the company and the interview panel, having a few pointers close to hand that you can bring up when the interviewers inevitably ask: ‘So, what do you know about our company?’
“You should also keep the job description and your CV close by”, says Harpreet. Doing so will give you a little extra confidence, she says, as you can be sure you won’t forget any important details about your previous roles and make the comparison to the requirements of the job you are interviewing for. “Many people get so nervous that they draw a blank.”
You could also prepare key technical questions so the conversation is able to flow nicely, adds Harpreet, who says Life Science People candidates will have the opportunity for a practice run ‘interview’ with a member of the team.
Spend Time Setting Up
In pre-covid times, you’d turn up at your would-be office and wait in the reception area to be called in for your interview. But that can also mean a worrying commute to an area you’re not familiar with.
With virtual interviews now part of everyday life, you don’t need to consider taking a day out of your current role and navigating your way to an office, meaning it will slot into your schedule much easier.
There’s also something quite nice about being interviewed while you’re at home. You’re in your natural habitat and you’ll probably feel more at ease – but don’t be too comfortable, says Harpreet.
Spend some time setting up prior to your interview, ensuring your background is ‘free from distractions’ and ‘everything looks tidy in the view of the camera. It’s better to use your laptop for a virtual interview, too, adds Harpreet. “If you use your phone and don’t have a steady hand, it doesn’t look professional.”
“Test the technology, too.” advises Harpreet. “Ensure you have a good Internet connection, and you know how to use the app for your virtual interview in advance and make sure it’s fully downloaded before your virtual interview. Click on the link five minutes before, so your interviewer knows you’re on time and waiting.”
It also gives you five minutes to take a deep breath, collect your thoughts and calm your nerves before the virtual interview starts.
The Internet can be temperamental at the best of times, so ensure you’re set up and ready to go in advance.
Remove any distractions in the background and close the door to the room you’re in, too – letting anyone in the house know you’re about to start your interview, adds Harpreet.
You may be in your comfort zone, but acting professional is a must; you’re still being interviewed for a role, after all.
“Remain professional and alert at all times,” says Harpreet, who suggests keeping a glass of water by your side in case your throat dries up.
“Remember: your interviewers haven’t met you in person, so be aware of body language; look at the screen instead of at the camera, making regular eye contact.”
Being professional also includes dressing smartly. “Make sure you are wearing something smart and professional”, says Harpreet, who adds that it’s the little things that can make a big difference.
Now, go and ace that interview…good luck.
Want to discover more about how Life Science People can help you prepare for your next big career move? Do not hesitate to get in touch with our team.