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How to Prepare for your MS Teams Interview

Virtual job interviews are like the traditional, in-person kind we are used to, and they have been popular for some time now. However, there are some considerable variations worth preparing for. Meeting a panel via Teams is somewhat different from doing so in person, but it does not have to be a difficult challenge. Despite the differences between in-person and online interviews, your goals are the same — to set yourself apart from other candidates and secure the desired position. Below is a collection of tips and techniques to ensure your online interview success.

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Before the Teams Job Interview

There are many things to consider prior to the day of your interview that you do not need to think about for an in-person meeting. Below are some things you can do ahead of time to make sure your teams job interview goes smoothly.

Know the details.

What is the duration of the interview? How many people will interview you? It should be noted that university interviews usually consist of larger panels.

Decide on a location for your interview.

A vital aspect to consider when preparing for an online job interview is your environment. A cluttered environment will probably be distracting to your interviewer and will appear unprofessional and disorganised. Find a space with a neutral background such as a blank wall, where you can be seen on camera from the waist up.

Have good lighting.

Lighting positioned in front of you — one slightly to your left and the other slightly to your right — is the perfect home setup. A window is ideal, but table lamps will be fine. Avoid lighting that will create shadows or a glare if you wear glasses.

Figure out which of your devices will work best.

Use whichever one of your devices has the most reliable technology and the one you are most comfortable with. Usually this is a desktop computer or laptop, but you may discover that your phone has a far better camera. If this is the case, prioritizing a superior camera over a large computer screen is recommended.

Do several test runs.

If you do not already have one, sign up for a Microsoft Teams account. For added preparation, install the same software on an additional device in case you have trouble with one. It is advisable to wear earbuds during an online interview to lessen noise pollution for everyone involved and testing them out beforehand is recommended. The best way to test everything at once is to run a trial interview with a friend, allowing you to test the video service, earbuds, lighting setup, wireless connection, and sound, ensuring everything is in working order and running smoothly.

Carry out traditional interview preparations.

Make preparations as if for a face-to-face job interview. Thoroughly research the university and prepare some questions you might want to ask in return. Review the job description and your own CV to help you match your answers to their specific needs. Do a little research into the people who will be on the interviewing panel.

Interview Day

It is quite straightforward for an interviewing panel to get a sense of your personality, capabilities, and motivation with an in-person interview. However, online interviews present a unique set of challenges. As a candidate, you will need to be mindful to show an employer who you are and why you will be a great asset to the institution while staying aware of your devices and environment. Below are some tips for ensuring your interview day is a success.

Dress professionally. 

Treat a team’s job interview the same as an in-person interview. A professional dress code will make a good impression as well as boost your confidence and self-determination. Neutral, solid colours always work best.

Eliminate distractions.

The interview environment must be distraction-free. and interruption as possible. It is also highly important that there is nothing in the room with you that will distract the interviewing panel.

Technology testing.

About thirty minutes before your interview, test all aspects of the technology which you are using. Ensure the lighting set up is as flattering and professional as possible.

Body Language.

Your body language is more noticeable and important in an online interview. All the same rules apply here as with an in-person interview. Sit up straight with your shoulders back and relaxed, chin up, legs still. Try to keep your hands visible, and maintain natural, attentive eye contact. Make a conscious effort to look clearly at the camera and lean into the conversation to show interest.

Log on early.

With in-person job interviews, you’re advised to show up at least fifteen minutes before you’re scheduled to be there; similarly, for an online interview, logging on at least ten minutes early will afford you the chance of making sure everything is working.

Interview space. 

Make sure you have some water, paper and a pen for notetaking, scripted answers to common interview questions nearby. Have a copy of your CV within sight in case you need to reference dates, job titles, or qualifications. Post-it notes are very useful also as they can be stuck directly onto your computer screen or on a wall behind your computer, invisible to your panel.

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