On-line interview

Sometimes the employer will offer you an on-line interview. There could be various reasons for this choice: the job is in a different country, impossibility to have a face-to-face interview, etc. In this case, there are certain aspects to think about before the interview:

Make sure you won’t have any technical difficulty

It is important to have a fast internet connection to avoid any interruptions. Also, make sure that your computer has a good microphone and good speakers/headphones. Your camera should provide a good quality image. If you don’t own the right computer you can use somebody else’s (maybe a friend’s or an on campus computer).

Alina’s tip: when I had my interview, my laptop battery went low and I had to ask the interviewer to wait for me to get a charger. This is rather embracing, so make sure you have it plugged before the interview starts.

Set-up the right environment

Choose the proper place for the interview. Make sure that is quiet and tidy. Get the right light; try not to place the light source behind you so you won’t appear as just a black shade on the interviewer’s screen.

Alina’s tip: the on-line interview gives you the chance to customize the environment. Having this in mind, you can leave “by mistake” things in the background that say something about you. When I had my interview, I left my juggling pois on the wall behind me to emphasise my passion for juggling, as it was listed in my CV.

Your outfit is still important

Choose the right clothes for the interview. You can dress smart or casual, depending on the job you are trying to get.

Alina’s tip: even if it’s online and the camera shows only your upper part of the body, put something decent on your bottom part as well. Experience taught me that unexpected things can happen and you might need to move away from your chair. Try not to show your interviewer a nice, smart shirt matching some cartoons printed underwear.

Cheats allowed

Given the fact that you can set-up the environment, you can think about questions that the interviewer might ask you and write the answers down on post-it, which you can place behind the screen, on screen, on table, etc.

Alina’s tip: use bullet points to make it easier to find things.

Be there on time

Even if is an online interview punctuality is appreciated, therefore get online 10 minutes before the agreed time.

Be prepared for the unexpected

You can encounter different unforeseen situations. The interviewer might keep his/her camera off and ask you to keep your on. Accept the challenge and make the most out of your interview. Do not get intimidated; think about the fact that you are in your own environment, not in an unfamiliar office.

Alina’s tip: at one of my on-line interviews I was asked to speak both English and Spanish, even though the interview was supposed to be in English only. The company was a Spanish one and in my CV I listed Spanish as a language I can speak. I was lucky to practice it a day before the interview and watched a Spanish movie to train my ear as I did not use Spanish for a long while. Get ready for this kind of surprises.

Good luck!If you have any tip please share it with us by leaving a comment.

Looking for a placement

What to look for

When looking for a placement don’t get confused by the way the job is advertised. It is the same thing even if it’s called Internship, Placement or 12 months undergraduate job. If you google it, you can use all of this terms to name it to increase the chances to find the job you want.

Where to look

You can always use the placement websites where most of the companies advertise their vacancies but don’t rely on these only. Many companies do not advertise. There are many reasons for this choice, but some of them are:  the company is interested in those students that show interest in the company and approach them, companies do not know about the possibility of employing a undergraduate for a placement year or the company does not realise the need of a new employee.

Target them

You could make a list of companies that you find appealing and try to approach them even if they don’t advertise a placement opportunity. Try to contact them on-line through email, explaining why you would love to work for them. If possible, you can even go and pay them a visit to their office to make a stronger impression. The advantage is that you could show them you are passionate and determined. Companies need people that enjoy working for them and show passion and ambition in what they’re doing.

Don’t underestimate yourself!

If you find an opportunity offered by a big, well-known company apply for the position. Do not underestimate yourself or think that you won’t get the job because they are so big! Think about the fact that other students may step back because they have the same fear which gives you a bit of advantage. The company, even if it’s big, is advertising for student’s placement, which means that they know you do not have a impressive experience or strong knowledge, so they do not expect you to know everything. So don’t be shy, you have nothing to lose if you give it a go.

This is a short list of places to find placements

  • your university’s placement page (if you have one)
  • ratemyplacement.co.uk
  • studentemploymentservices.co.uk
  • placement-uk.com
  • talentsearchpeople.com

Go on company website

In addition, always visit companies’ websites and look in career’s section to see if they have any job advertised. Many companies prefer advertise on their own website, hoping to be discovered by interested prospect employees.

Good luck! If you have any tip please share it with us by leaving a comment.