Let’s face it, interviews in person are nerve-wracking. You’re left wondering if your handshake was firm enough or agonizing over if you were too jittery. Thankfully, online interviews are becoming increasingly common. Since 2011, online interviews have increased by 49%. When factoring in the pandemic, online interviews are the norm. 86% of recruiters have conducted online interviews due to COVID-19. Recruiters anticipate online interviews to streamline interviewing in the future. Gone are the days of sweaty palms! Now you can interview in the comfort of your own home.
Online virtual interviews may take away some nervousness, but it’s still an interview. It’s more important than ever to come across as competent and excited about the role through your computer screen. One of the best ways to convey your interest? Preparing great questions for your interviewer. As a job candidate, asking the right questions will give you a better idea of the job and create a strong dialogue with your interviewer.
Not sure how to prepare for Zoom interviews? Fire up that laptop! Proper research is the first step to a successful online interview.
Know Your Facts
First, research yourself! You may have written your resume and cover letter weeks ago. Study it and make sure you know it well. Look at your major accomplishments. Jot down some short stories that illustrate them.
Creating a narrative allows you to use the STAR method. This behavioural question strategy stands for situation, task, action, and result. You will describe a relevant work situation, the task at hand, the action you took to resolve it, and its result. The STAR method keeps your answers on track and demonstrates your value. No more worrying about putting your foot in your mouth!
Research the Company
Next, dig into the company. You should be able to recall the company’s mission and vision if asked during the interview. Know exactly whom the company serves or who the target audience is. Check up on their investors, who funds them? What about their major competition? Is their competition doing something better than them? Keep this in your arsenal for later. Check the news for recent company events. Your interviewer may be very impressed if you’re able to connect with the projects they’re working on right now.
Also, make sure you know the role just as well. Look up the job description again. Print it out and highlight the main keywords. You’ll have no problem using the STAR method. You know exactly what skills the employer is looking for!
Look Up Your Interviewer on LinkedIn
It’s a good idea to know whom you’re talking to. Check out the LinkedIn profile of your interviewer before your interview. Find out their job position and how long they’ve worked at the company. Knowing the interviewer’s role will help you understand their expectations. Maybe you’ll discover you have the same alma mater. This could make for good conversation and help you stand out!
If you’re using a staffing agency, recruitment agency, or hiring company, ensure you know the company your recruiter is hiring for. You don’t want to accidentally prep your research around the job placement agency. It’s also important not to go overboard here. Your interviewer shouldn’t feel creeped out by all the information you know about them!
When thinking of questions to ask a recruiter, remember your research. Never ask questions that you can easily find online. The questions you prepare for the interview should prove that you’ve done the work and know your stuff! Ask role or project-specific questions as well as company-specific questions.
Role or project-specific interview questions allow you to understand what kind of work you’ll be doing. These questions also show you where you can add value to your team. Ask bold questions that illustrate your excitement and ambition.
Question 1: What do successful first 30, 60, 90 days look like in this position?
Question 2: Is this a newly created role?
Question 3: What skill gap is currently missing from this team?
When considering the questions to ask in a job interview, the company matters too. Use your company research from earlier to ask informed questions about the company’s culture and future.
Question 1: I’ve researched that you have several big competitors. Who would you say your biggest competitors are?
Question 2: Where do you see this company going in the next 5 years?
Question 3: What makes you excited about the future of (X) company?
3. Stand Out
Your questions can help you stand out as a candidate. Make sure it’s in a good way! There are several ways to set yourself apart from the competition.
Ask Solution-Oriented Questions
It’s one thing to passively accept the training period of your new role. It’s a whole other ballgame to actively provide solutions to your team. Companies want to hire active team members. Be elaborate and deliberate in your answers to prove your value. Prove that you’re actively trying to solve company problems. You will blow the competition away!
Focus on the Company, Not Just Yourself as a Candidate
The interviewer knows you’re awesome. That’s why they’re interviewing you! Conventional interview advice tells candidates to harp on their skills. Of course, it’s important to demonstrate your skills and experience for the job. But what will make you stand apart is connecting your value to the company. Show value to the interviewer through examples. Don’t just tell.
It’s cheesy. But it’s true. Get over interview jitters and have a real conversation with your interviewer. You’ll be miles ahead! No one wants to hire a robot. Companies want to hire likable team players. Connect with the interviewer and smile.
Thorough research allows job candidates to ask better interview questions. Whether you’re looking for full-time work, freelance work, or consultant work, put these tips to the test for results. If you’re looking to connect with great companies for freelance work, consider freelancing websites like Oomple. Oomple offers on-demand consultant work on your own terms. Check out Oomple today to kickstart your career!