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Seven tips to prepare for your virtual interview

Monday, 18 May 2020
Since the COVID-19 pandemic entered Australia, we have been adapting to the new normal of networking with one another through alternative communication methods. This no longer includes face-to-face communication, office drop-ins or socialising in the tea rooms. A large portion of our workforce have been working from home for the better part of a month, with this we have had to adjust the more traditional recruitment practices to engage with our candidates. We have been conducting interviews via either teleconference or videoconference a form of interviewing that is not only new to us but also you the candidates we are interviewing. So with this method of interviewing, how do you prepare, what can you expect, what do we need from you...Read more below:
  1. Test, test, test -  Before the day of your interview ensure you have all the information required to join the meeting, create accounts, test phone numbers or links, test your microphone, cameras, internet connection and the picture on your web cam. Have the information easily accessible to you on your allocated time, you don’t want to be hunting through your email inbox to find the meeting details to only be 10 minutes late. If you are not tech savvy ask your hiring manager to do a test run with you before your interview. Find a well-lit space and be aware of the objects that appear in the background of your webcam, this needs to be appropriate, if not test another!
  2. Presentation matters - Just because you are in the comfort of your own home does not mean that your personal presentation should be lacking. Present yourself as if you were going on site to meet the hiring manager. Now if you’re completing your interview via teleconference your hiring manager isn’t going to see you, however preparing yourself for as if you were doing a virtual interview will help get you in the zone.
  3. Distractions - remove them - Inform your household of your interview, you don’t want anyone knocking on the door and walking in whilst you are halfway through a response to a question. Ensure that you are aware of background noises such as TVs or traffic outside of your window, if you are outside ensure it’s not windy if it is move indoors and silence all notifications on your phone.
  4. Prepare - This step shouldn’t be overlooked, just because you are not meeting the hiring manager on site you are still competing with other candidates for the role in which you are being interviewed for. You should do your research on Barwon Health and read through the position description details. Also print a copy of your resume and cover letter to prompt you for key talking points. You can prepare yourself for generic responses such as: Why do you want to work for Barwon Health? What key strengths can you bring to this role? Tell us a little about yourself and your career history.
  5. Be authentic - We want to get to know all about you and your skills and experiences, be yourself and sell yourself the best that you can, remember to remain positive throughout the process. If you’re interviewing over the phone your interviewer can’t see you but they will notice your tone, and if you are in front of the camera monitor your body language and facial expressions.
  6. Be clear and concise - During any interview process it can be difficult to remain on track and get your best points across. Remember to speak clearly and use the STAR method for developing your responses to questions (Situation, Task, Action, and Result).
  7. Stay calm - Most likely you are going to be nervous for your interview (this is normal) if you have followed the 6 steps listed above you are preparing yourself for a positive outcome. Remember to breathe and remain focused!