COVID-19 SPECIAL

Experts offer tips for excelling at online job interviews

A job-seeker during a video interview at the Adapt and Grow Career Fair at the HDB Hub on July 2, 2019.
A job-seeker during a video interview at the Adapt and Grow Career Fair at the HDB Hub on July 2, 2019.ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Mr David Leong, managing director of human resource firm PeopleWorldwide Consulting, told The Straits Times last week that face-to-face interviews are now nearly impossible in this circuit breaker period.

But video interviews can be just as effective, he said. Eye contact is the one important part of an online job interview.

"Do not place a script in front of you to read off to the interviewer. Your eyeballs and distractions will tell it all. It's a big demerit for your interview scoring," he added.

Mr Daniel Soh, managing partner of executive headhunting firm Leadership Advisory, said eye contact conveys confidence.

"But many of us tend to look into the screen, and not the camera, of our desktop or laptop during the video conference, resulting in us looking away from the interviewers rather than directly at them."

Another aspect to consider is dressing, said Mr Soh.

"How we dress during a face-to-face interview versus a video conference can also make a difference. For example, silk blouses for women can actually create unnecessary distraction during a video conference, because of the shiny and reflective surface of silk," he said.

 

The only way interviewers can gauge the energy level of applicants during teleconferences is through the tone of their voice, he added.

"Hence, there is a need for the applicant to keep himself or herself in a quiet and undisturbed environment, so that both parties can hear each other well. There is also a need for the applicant to speak slightly louder and faster," he said.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2020, with the headline 'Experts offer tips for excelling at online job interviews'. Subscribe