You submitted a bid in VAJobs and you got accepted for interview! You’re all excited and nervous, na halos pinagpapawisan na ang kamay mo ng di mo malaman! Malapit ba ang CR, may tao ba don? Teka ikaw muna diba! Kidding aside, interviews are gut wrenching, lalo na kapag video call! I’ve been working remotely on and off since 2009, and I kid you not when I say I’m shaky when a potential client schedules a video interview. Like me siguro, iniisip mo: Kaya ko ba ‘to? Mapapasa ko ba ‘to? Ano ba ang kailangan kong gawin para makapasa? Here are some tips that will help you ace an interview and increase your chances of hooking your client.
Know the client or interviewer
Di ka puwede sumabak sa giyera ng di mo kilala kalaban, di ba? You have to know who you’re dealing with. Most job offers will show you the name of the client, which you can search through social media and Google. Learn about the client’s industry and take down notes on what the client’s company provides.
Review the job offer
Before you embark on that roller coaster Skype call, review the job offer. Ano ba ang kailangan ni client? Did he/she enumerate every single detail that he wanted? This is where you’ll see what you need to highlight during the interview. What skills do you have that can help the client boost his business? Kasi yun naman ang dahilan kung bakit ka kinuha: to help his business grow. Tignan mo yung key pain nila base sa requirements nila kasi doon iikot ang interview questions.
It’s interview time. Ilabas ang kulit and excitement!
May royal ka ba diyan? Ilabas mo ang kulit mo, dali! It’s nearly close to impossible to calm down 100% when you’re minutes away from the interview. Okay lang yan! Alison Brooks stated in her Harvard research that in order to conquer your anxiety is to tell yourself you’re excited. When you’re excited, you convey your eagerness to the client that you want to be part of the team. That this opportunity is something that you desire and believe it’s for you and you alone. Be expressive and lively to create a lasting impression.
Focus on their needs
A favorite professor of mine in Nursing School told us this:
It’s not about you. It’s about them.
When clients conduct an interview they are interested in you, and how you can help them grow their business. They know you have the skills, but how will you apply those skills and have a successful working relationship with your client? Place yourself not as a staff or an underling but as your client’s business partner. See their business as your business, and you’ll be able to see the task in their perspective. Let them see the benefits of your talent in their business and you’ve got them hooked.
Be honest in your interview
Most importantly, you have to be honest about your skills. Say, for example, your potential client asks you how to do a specific task that you’re not familiar with. State you’ve never done it before, but it’s a challenge that you’re more than welcome to take and you believe that you can do it with confidence. Clients appreciate honesty and being upfront. Oo, baka mawala yung opportunity, but you’ll gain your potential client’s respect and trust. Malay mo, naka-ilang hire na pala si client ng mga fake-it-‘till-you-make-it na freelancers na nagsinungaling sa interview at nasira ang project dahil don. I’ve landed several contracts because of my honesty practice, and that is something we all should give to our clients.
Ayan, hopefully may confidence ka na para makapasa sa interview. Focus on the client, watch for cues, and make your client feel that you have geniuine concern for the success of the project.
Kinakabahan ka ba sa interview mo? Let me know! I’m available during Saturdays at 1pm-3pm for mock calls para matulungan kang masanay makipag-usap sa client.
About the Author
Donna Marie Fajardo is the co-founder of VAJobs.ph – a leading marketplace for Filipino Virtual Assistants working remotely, based in the Philippines. She is an experienced professional and coaches up and coming VAs. Previously, she was a project manager for Redkix (acquired by Facebook) and was a web producer for Socient – a digital agency for non-profits and social enterprises.