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Hybrid working: starting in the workplace
Hybrid working: starting in the workplace

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2.3 Online interviews

When applying for a job in a hybrid workplace, you will often be invited to an online interview. Some employers will have every interview online, while others may ask you to do online competency tests as part of the selection process, before holding the first round of interviews online and then invite you to the office. Either way, preparation is crucial.

  • Make sure everything is looking neat and tidy in your virtual workspace.

  • Find out which platform or application your online interview will use and familiarise yourself with it by downloading the app and testing your connection with a friend.

  • If you are using browser-based software rather than an app, make sure your web browser is up to date and meets any compatibility requirements.

  • Use a good quality webcam, so you are clearly visible, and make sure your microphone is working.

  • Try to ensure that you are in a quiet location, with no distractions or interruptions. If you live with others, make them aware you are being interviewed. If you have pets, ensure they are in another part of your home, if possible.

By having a well-prepared virtual interview space, you will improve your chances of making a great first impression on the interviewer.

A really good idea is to research the company well and prepare for likely interview questions. In the following video, Zainab and Ploy from iungo Solutions describe their interview experiences, including tips for neurodivergent candidates.

Download this video clip.Video player: hyb_8_2022_sep102_preparing_for_interviews_compressed.mp4
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Were there any useful techniques that Zainab and Ploy mention in the video that could help you?

You should write down everything you think you would have to do in the job. The job description should help you to do this too. Prepare answers, showing how your skills and experience match every single aspect of the job. For example, if one of the parts of the job is ‘communicating with clients’, prepare an answer that explains how you have had experience in communicating with clients in the past, and how your communication skills make you a perfect candidate for this new job.

As well as preparing skills-based answers, you should prepare generic interview answers in case you are asked classic interview questions such as those shown in Table 1.

Table 1 Classic interview questions
‘Why do you want this job?’ Your answer should demonstrate how you meet the job description, and why you want to work for that organisation.
‘What is your biggest weakness?’ Your answer should demonstrate awareness of your weakness, how you mitigate the impact, and how it can be used as a strength.
‘Which three words would you choose to describe yourself?’ Think about why you chose the words, and have examples as you may be asked to expand on these.

You will probably be asked at least one or two of these during the interview, and if you have a good answer prepared, you will have a much better chance of getting the job.

You should practise with a friend or family member. Have them ask you different questions about the job, and practise answering in front of them. Sometimes you can have a brilliant answer written down, but when you try to say it out loud it sounds terrible. Only by practising answering questions out loud will you be able to properly prepare for a real interview.