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Mastering Online Interviews: Essential Tips for Recent Graduates & School Leavers

Posted on 1st August 2023

In today's digital age, online interviews have become a standard part of the hiring process, especially with the rise of remote working. For those fresh out of college or university, navigating this new territory might seem intimidating. But fear not! We've got you covered with essential tips to excel in your online interviews and leave a lasting impression on potential employers.

  1. Tech Test Run:  Start with the basics. Before your interview, ensure your internet connection is stable, your webcam is functioning correctly, and your audio is crystal clear. Familiarise yourself with the video conferencing platform and its features. Keep your device charged or plugged in to avoid any sudden mishaps.
  2. Location Matters:  Seek out a quiet, well-lit spot where you won't be disturbed. A clean and clutter-free background is key. If needed, consider using a virtual background that aligns with the professional image you want to project. Eliminate background noises and guarantee privacy for an interruption-free interview.
  3. Dress the Part:  Treat the online interview with the same seriousness as an in-person one. Dress professionally from head to toe, regardless of what's visible on screen. Feeling the part helps boost your confidence and showcases your dedication.
  4. Set Up for Success:  Curate your environment for professionalism and efficiency. Have a notepad and pen at hand for jotting down notes. Remove potential distractions like phones and irrelevant browser tabs. This curated space will enable you to give your undivided attention to the interview.
  5. Express without Words:  Your body language speaks volumes in virtual interviews. Sit up straight, maintain eye contact by looking directly into the camera, and quell the urge to fidget. A genuine smile and nods of engagement are subtle yet powerful ways to convey your enthusiasm. Mirror the interviewer's energy to establish a connection.
  6. Research Thoroughly:  In-depth knowledge about the company and the position is your secret weapon. Understand the company's ethos, values, and recent accomplishments. Familiarise yourself with the job description and be prepared to discuss how your skills align perfectly with the role.
  7. Ace the Questions:  Anticipate and practice responses to common interview questions. Showcase your strengths, milestones, and relevant experiences. Structure your answers succinctly to highlight your expertise and exhibit your suitability for the role.
  8. Stories That Shine:  Develop specific anecdotes from your past that illustrate your accomplishments. Share instances that demonstrate your teamwork, problem-solving acumen, leadership qualities, and more. These real-life stories provide tangible evidence of your skills. And use the STAR method when answering questions which ask about these anecdotes.
  9. Ask with Intent:  A list of thoughtful questions showcases your keen interest in the company and role. Inquire about company culture, team dynamics, growth opportunities, and other relevant aspects. Steer clear of salary and benefits questions at this stage. As it’s an online interview you can stick important points/questions around your screen to help you remember.
  10. Gratitude Matters:  Once the interview concludes, don't forget to send a personalised thank-you email. Express your gratitude for the opportunity and reaffirm your enthusiasm for the position. Use this chance to emphasise any additional insights you've gained during the interview.

In conclusion, the world of online interviews might be new, but it's navigable with the right approach. These tips are your compass to confidently showcase your talents, professionalism, and enthusiasm to prospective employers. Remember, thorough preparation is key to ensuring a seamless and impressive online interview experience. By following these guidelines, you'll be well-prepared to seize the opportunity and secure the job you're aiming for.

If you need help finding your perfect graduate role, contact The Maine Group.