Nailing Zoom & Online Interviews – Mastering Your Online Impression
While most places continue to cautiously ease the restrictions on social distancing, online presentations or communication settings remain relevant in our world. From business presentations to even interviews, online platforms (such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams) continue to be key alternative platforms to communicate safely. We have shared previously about the general techniques to boost your online communication (check out our article here!). Today, we want to dive deep into a specific communication scenario – the dreaded interview!
We continue to receive questions from our learners about the various methods to ace that interview online. A face-to-face interview is difficult enough as it is; losing that physical touch can bring your difficulty to the next level. Unlike an online presentation, you are unlikely to have access to other ‘distracting’ elements such as slides, videos, or polls. How can you stand out? To help you along, here are three tips you can keep in mind for your next online interview!
Tip #1: Frame Your Focus
Like how an online presentation or lesson needs to have a clear attention plan, your interview should have a clear, structured framed focus. As you are the sole engagement point for the interview, it is important to ensure that you are engaging – both in terms of what you are delivering and how you are delivering your responses. Balancing both may require you to adjust your setting or your prepared responses to engage the interviewer.
The two aspects you can focus on to frame your focus is your eye contact and answer structure. For the former, it may be tempting to set up scripts or open internet browser tabs with all the content that you need. After all, the interviewer may not be able to tell that you are reading off something, isn’t it? Remember that distracted eye contact can still be obvious to your online audience! For the latter, keep your focus on the specific answer and be alive to your interviewers’ attention or interest in your responses. Be ready to adjust and switch focus to a different perspective!
Tip #2: Frame Your Body (Language)
With you as the main star in an online presentation, the challenge is to replicate the same engagement level as a face-to-face interview. One oft-neglected area is our body language. Your body language habits need to be adjusted in an online setting to ensure that your delivery mode complements your message. This applies especially in an online interview setting, where the interaction is a direct conversation between you and the interviewer.
For your next interview, focus on your hand gestures and sitting posture in delivering the best engagement value. In terms of hand gestures, frame your body such that your natural hand movements are captured online (e.g., circular movement as you speak). Our hand gestures are often the more energetic body language in a face-to-face setting, and we want to keep that energy, even for an online setting. In terms of posture, remember to maintain a comfortable but firm neck and back position. Project confidence even through your screen!
Tip #3: Frame Your Outcome
Moving away from your body language, interviews are also about the substance you bring to the table. While there are different techniques to deal with specific questions, we understand that it may be impractical (or even impossible!) to remember all of them during the interview itself. The challenge is finding a consistent and applicable method that you can use for the various types of interview questions and in an online setting!
We encourage you to think about how you frame your outcomes in your responses. Think of it as a summary or a deliverable that is directly relevant to the interviewer. This applies with greater force in an online setting where Zoom fatigue or general screen tiredness may distract your interviewer from your sharing, especially if it is a long, unstructured response. The next time you give an answer in an online interviewer setting, conclude by reminding your interviewer about the key points of your response!
Ace that Interview!
An interview alone can be a challenging high-stakes communication setting. Throw in an online setting, and you may find yourself struggling to present confidently on the online platform. Remember that the challenge is not to revamp your speaking style; the aim is to tweak and adjust your existing habits to fit the setting. So, the next time you encounter an online interview setting, try out the three techniques!
WATCH our YouTube video on: “How To Impress with Elevator Pitch”
By The Way…
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