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How to Nail Your Interview and Land Your Dream Job

Job interviews. That scary, sweaty palm-inducing yet necessary process you need to go through to land your dream job. We know, and we can totally relate! 

If you’re reading this now, that means you have impressed the client with your resume, and perhaps you even aced the test that landed you to the next phase – the interview.

Kalma, teh! Breathe in, breathe out. You’ve made it this far, which only means you have a better chance at scoring the job you’ve always wanted. You only need to think of nailing the interview and you’re good to go. Sounds easy peasy, eh? But really, it’s a struggle we have all been through.

Fret not, because we got you, bestie! Here are some of the best interview tips we’ve gathered from our pool of highly-skilled freelancers. Learn how to rock an interview and land your dream freelance work online:

  • Follow instructions

Yeah, we know, this one sounds too basic out of all the
job interview tips you may be looking for. But hear us out first. Following instructions is easy. But doing it half-heartedly or completely ignoring it only demonstrates one thing – you don’t like following rules. And that would say a lot about your work ethics, don’t you think?

If the client says ping them five minutes, ping them not two or three but five minutes before your interview. Trust us, they will notice. If they don’t reply, show initiative and message them again. Always be the first to lose in the waiting game!

  • Perform a technical check before the interview starts

There’s nothing worse than
getting ready for an interview, only to find out that your mic or camera isn’t working when the call starts. Imagine spending hours perfecting your cover letter and securing an interview, only to throw all your efforts away just because you’re experiencing tech issues.

One good starting point is to set up the tool or app you’ll be using maybe 30 minutes before the actual interview time. If you will be using Skype, take advantage of the Skype Test Call feature to check your settings.

  1. Once you’ve logged in to Skype, go to the Contacts menu and select Echo/Test Sound Service. 
  2. After the beep, begin the call and talk into the microphone. 
  3. If you can’t hear anything you’ve recorded, your microphone or settings may be off. 
  4. Your connection is also tested by the echo/sound test.

  • Check your internet connection

Test your internet connection before starting your interview. The last thing you want is to be in a situation where you can’t connect, especially because technical proficiency is one of the top qualities employers look for. 

We recommend performing a speed test online. There should also be a plan B prepared, in case your plan A fails. It could be a backup connection, or if you think your internet is fluctuating, find another location where your interview won’t be interrupted in any way. Simply put, you must find a way. 

Helpful Fact: A minimum speed of 540 kbps is required for a video stream to be transmitted. 

  • Don’t be late

There may be a pressing temptation to stay true to the Filipino time tradition, but please,
huwag ngayon, besh! We feel you, a sense of urgency isn’t really that emphasised here in the Philippines, but since you’re applying as a global freelancer, being on time for your interview is non-negotiable. It speaks volumes about your commitment to the job. Remember, first impressions matter. In fact, a 2022 survey by Standout CV reveals that 84% of interviewers regard lateness (without forewarning and explanation) as the worst interview offence possible.

how to rock an interview by dressing up nicely
  • Dress up nicely

A smart-casual outfit should work, but make sure it’s presentable enough to create a great lasting impression. Donning a suit and tie won’t be necessary, but putting on a blazer won’t hurt at all. 

  • Answer questions from the heart

Interview questions have their way to wreck your nerves, don’t they? There’s really no easy way to tell which questions will be asked during the interview, but it’s best to be ready for anything. If you really want to know
how to rock an interview, take note that you don’t have to memorise your answers. That might even turn off the interviewer if your answers sound too robotic or pre-planned.

What you can do is research possible questions and think of what possible answers you can have for them. For example, if you’re applying as an email designer, be prepared to answer how you design and format an email on Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor after the content team provided you with the copy. Or if you’re applying as a content writer, the client will highly likely ask you about your writing process or how long it takes for you to finish a 500-word article about a technical topic like Cryptocurrency. Draw from your own professional experience and knowledge to make sure your answers align to what the interviewer is looking for. The best way to prepare for interview questions is to research your prospect client company’s business nature and primary function so you can forecast what may be asked and even personalise your answers where possible. 

  • Use an actual computer

Smartphones are on the rise, we get it. But then, keep in mind that there will always be limitations when using one for a job interview. Clients will know if you’re not using an actual computer (trust us, they do!) and you don’t want that to be the case.

You’ve worked so hard to get that one interview, so why throw it away by getting ready for an interview on your phone? You’ll be more comfortable and efficient answering questions and making a good conversation when you know you’re using equipment that won’t suddenly hang, crash, or go on a dead battery.

  • No to chicken noises, please!

This one’s obviously too common – but still worth mentioning. There’s no way to stop those backyard chickens from clucking and scratching, but you can do something to find a good spot where you can be isolated. If there’s a room where you can be alone so you can focus better, that’s where you should be. Focus on what you can control 🙂

To add, you should also inform your family members that you’re getting ready for an interview at a specific time. Ask them to tone down their voices, and if possible, let you be while the interview is ongoing.

find a good background when having your online interview
  • Your background matters

This may be an unpopular opinion, but your background matters even when the interview is only done digitally. It’s crucial to set up your background properly now that you’re working  from the comfort of your own home offering your freelance services so that it accurately reflects your professionalism.

If you don’t have a decent background at home, you can buy a nice poster you can attach to the wall and let that be your workstation. Worse comes to worst, you can use a digital background on Skype. And needless to say, being at home is also a requirement when doing your interview. 

Make sure the sun isn’t blinding; keep in mind that this will vary based on what time of day the interview is. Bring some lamps inside for cosier lighting. To block off the bright lights, draw the drapes closed or cover your lamps with blankets. Be cunning. How much duct tape you applied to cover up your fluorescent lights is not something a potential employer needs to know.

Presenting yourself in a different light

When it comes to nailing an interview, it’s all about presentation, and of course, what you can bring to the table. Your dream job should most likely be one that pays more, so it only makes sense to go the extra mile and demonstrate that you’re the most suitable candidate for the job.

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