How to conduct oneself during online interviews and meetings

Corporate Wellness Week is a national awareness campaign that seeks to highlight the importance of developing a healthy work environment (Corporate Wellness Week 2018, 2018).

Written By Mr Muhammed Yaeesh Cassim

Author writes in his capacity as a member of the PsySSA Student Division, a division of the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA).

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the world to relook and re-evaluate how it conducts its daily activities (Newman, 2020). Frankly, it might just have given the world the nudge it needed. As such, many companies and organisations had to reassess how they conduct their daily business (Half, 2020). This has resulted in the moving of interview conducting and the hosting of meetings to online and satellite platforms.

Even though the world has moved online, individuals must remember that professionalism and business etiquette are still vital components to how one conducts themselves online, and the impression of one’s self that it will leave on the participants (Doyle, 2020). To this end, we have prepared a set of guidelines to assist individuals.

Guidelines to assist one when participating in an online interview or meeting:

  1. Test your internet connection
    • Ensure that you have a secure and stable internet connection along with enough data for the duration of the interview.
    • Conduct the interview in a quiet and well-lit environment where you will not be distracted or disturbed.
    • Clear and organise your workspace. You would not want your interviewer to assume that your cluttered workspace would be a sign of how you perform in the work environment.
    • Ensure that the background that the interviewer sees, is clear of anything that might be distracting.
  2. Familiarise yourself with the platform being utilised
    • Many organisations will use platforms such as Zoom or Skype to conduct the interview. Prior to the interview, ensure that you have all the necessary software and hardware, in working condition.
    • If you have not used the platform before, conduct a test call with a friend and become familiar with the way the platform works.
  3. Prepare the content
    • Online interviews carry the same amount of magnitude as an in-person interview. Hence, it is imperative that one prepares themselves accordingly. Ensure that you have basic knowledge about the organisation and its identity along with your own knowledge on the job description, requirements, outputs, and innovative solutions to problems that the organisation might be experiencing.
  4. Control the situation
    • Manage your time correctly to ensure that you do not spend too much time answering one question. If you see that the interview is not going the way you would like it to, go back to points that you have prepared that you know would change the direction of the interview.
  5. No multi-tasking
    • Focus your attention solely on your interviewer/s. This will show the interviewers you are serious and committed.
    • Notify all in your household that you will be unavailable for the duration of your interview and cannot be disrupted
  1. Dress appropriately
    • Dress professionally from head to toe as you never know when you might need to stand up. Again, this will talk to your professionalism and commitment.

References

Doyle, A., 2020. Tips To Practice And Prepare For An Online Job Interview. [online] The Balance Careers. Available at: <https://www.thebalancecareers.com/online-job-interviews-2064216> [Accessed 2 July 2020].

Half, R., 2020. 8 Tips For Conducting A Remote Interview. [online] Roberthalf.com. Available at: <https://www.roberthalf.com/blog/how-to-interview-candidates/how-to-conduct-a-remote-interview> [Accessed 1 July 2020].

Newman, L., 2020. Pressreader.Com – Your Favorite Newspapers And Magazines… [online] Pressreader.com. Available at: <https://www.pressreader.com/south-africa/post-south-africa/20200701/281758451563819> [Accessed 1 July 2020].

Real Men Real Style. 2020. 7 Tips For Web Interviews | How To Conduct An Online Interview. [online] Available at: <https://www.realmenrealstyle.com/how-prepare-online-interview/> [Accessed 5 July 2020].

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