3 tips for jobseekers to ace an online interview in 2020

Jobhunting? Keep these tips in mind when you're calling for an online interview. Source: Loic Venance/AFP

By U2B Staff 

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Every industry is seeing changes in 2020 as COVID-19 take over countries, grinding economies to a halt and forcing people into lockdown.

Recruitment and jobseeking are also affected in many ways, and remote hiring is becoming the norm. With unemployment rates skyrocketing, there is high competition for job roles in industries that are thriving and consistently hiring during the pandemic.

While lockdowns are slowly easing in some countries, social distancing measures are still in place to curb more waves of the deadly and contagious virus.

Chances are, if you’re lucky enough to score an interview, that it will be conducted online. According to CNBC Make It, companies such as tech giants Google, Amazon and Facebook, along with recruiters PageGroup and Robert Walters, are among the global companies that have announced a move to online job interviews for the duration of the outbreak.

Glassdoor’s community manager, Jo Cresswell, told CNBC Make It, “In an effort to reduce some of the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on their businesses, companies are turning to technology to maintain business continuity during this time of uncertainty.”

So how do you set yourself apart from the competition and truly nail an online interview?

Here are some handy tips to keep in mind that can help you ace an online interview and land your dream job.

Highlight your new skills

During disruptive times, we often pick up new skills or further develop existing ones. One of the best tips for acing an online interview is to bring these new skills up, especially if you’ve learned them in lockdown by upskilling via online courses or other means.

Even if you haven’t completed the course yet, use it as an opportunity to sell yourself with your brand new set of skills.

Don’t just tell the hiring manager the names of the online courses you have taken or webinars you have attended – but tell them what you have learned and how you can apply them to a new role. If you had to complete a project for the course, elaborate on what you’ve learned and the new skills you developed.

If you are still working during the pandemic, it’s also a good idea to tell them how you have helped your company pivot during the crisis and any initiatives you took to help the company stay afloat or even thrive. Even if you were laid off or made redundant, you can still show a new employer that you’re a team player with innovative thinking to find new solutions.

Your shiny armor of new skills will show them that you’re an eager learner who takes the opportunity to self-improve both personally and professionally.


Be open to change

Businesses have shifted with the pandemic and job roles may have, too. If you find out during the interview that the job role may not be what you expected it to, try to keep an open mind and show a willingness to adapt.

Adaptability is seen as a valuable skill by employers as it shows resilience to change when there is disruption. Show a keen interest in changing job descriptions, roles, or company direction and keep up a positive attitude when discussing these topics in an online interview.

Be presentable and prepared

One of the most important tips for acing an online interview is to be presentable in an online interview, even though you’re at home.

Dress smart and make sure there is good lighting so you’re not hiding in the shadows. Make sure your background is also neat and distraction-free during an online interview.

Also, while you can have all your notes handy when you’re in the comfort of your own home during an online interview, you should still be prepared. An employer can tell if you are unprepared and are fumbling for your notes – so practice beforehand and do plenty of research to prepare yourself for an online interview.

It can be more challenging to impress a future employer through a computer screen, but with confidence and preparation you can still leave a strong impression that leads to getting you hired.