Tips To Prepare You For An Online Job Interview

Published on: December 21, 2021

From shopping to studying there's no doubt that the internet has made it possible to do a lot more from home than ever before. If you have completed your online degree, the next step is typically to apply for jobs in your chosen field and start your career. However, just like studying online is steadily becoming more popular, so is doing job interviews. While there are plenty of books about making a great impression in person, there are many other things to consider if you want your online interview to be successful. Earning your online degree can open a lot of doors for your career, but if you don't make a good impression during an online interview, you might miss out on a lot of opportunities. The following tips can help you to prepare for an online interview.

Why Do Companies Do Online Job Interviews?

Online job interviews are becoming more popular for a number of reasons. The most obvious is the heightened precautions necessary due to Covid. Even with restrictions easing up in many places, it is still safer for companies to interview potential candidates online. Another reason is that many jobs can now also be done remotely. If a position can be filled by a qualified person working online, there's no need to travel for an interview.

What Are The Types of Online Interviews?

The most common method used by employers to interview prospective employees is via a video call using software such as Zoom or Skype. The interview is typically conducted in the same manner as an in-person meeting. Slightly less common is recorded video interviews, where you are sent a list of questions which you must then record yourself answering. The recorded video must then be sent back to the interviewer before a specific deadline. Make sure you know exactly what type of online interview you will be doing so you can prepare ahead of time.

Make Sure Everything Is Working Properly

One of the worst things that can happen during an online interview is technical difficulties that could cause a bad impression. Make sure that you are familiar with the software that will be used for the interview and that your hardware is set up correctly. Test critical components such as your microphone, webcam, or speakers so you don't have to waste time troubleshooting them during the interview. The easiest way to ensure that everything is in order is to do a test call with someone you know ahead of the interview. If you are doing a video call, make sure that your internet connection is functioning correctly and is fast enough to handle high-quality live footage. You'll also want to double-check that all the software you'll use during the interview is fully updated. Finally, if you are already using the video conferencing software to chat with friends or family, check that the screen name you are using is professional and won't cause confusion for the interviewer.

Select A Suitable Location

During an in-person interview, you only have to worry about looking and sounding professional, but your surroundings also play an important role during an online interview. Make sure that there is nothing in the background that could distract the interviewer or give them any reason to doubt your professionalism. Decent lighting also helps, so ideally, you should be in a spot that is not too dim or overly glaring. If you opt to use virtual backdrops, make sure that your clothes don't match the background color, causing parts to disappear as this could also look unprofessional. Ideally, you should use a private space to conduct the interview, but if this is not possible, make sure to inform others not to interrupt you or cause a disturbance in the background. The same goes for any pets that could wander into view and distract the interviewer. Finally, if you are doing a video interview, your camera should be set at eye level to make the interviewer feel like you are making eye contact.

Look (And Act) Professionally

Just because the interview is being conducted online doesn't mean you don't have to look or act professionally. Depending on the type of job, the interviewer might not mind if you are dressed casually, but always make sure that you look neat and presentable. Don't just dress appropriately from the waist up either, even if you think you won't have to get up during the interview. Your posture also plays an important role in the image you project, so sit taller and don't hunch over. Dress and act the same way you would during a face-to-face meeting for the best results. Keep your phone or other devices on "silent" during the interview and give the interviewer your full attention.

Do Your Research

If you want to make a good impression, you need to do proper research about your prospective employer before the interview. First, familiarize yourself with the goals and values of the company, so you can explain in which ways your skills and expertise will be able to contribute to them. Having an informed opinion about the company also demonstrates to the interviewer that you are proactive and willing to put in some effort to make a good impression.

Get Some Rest

A job interview can be very stressful, but don't let it cost you your sleep. Ideally, you want to be fresh and energetic for the interview instead of looking tired, which can give the interviewer an unfavorable impression. If possible, go for a walk and get some fresh air before the interview to help calm your nerves and get your energy levels up. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get refreshed and dressed afterward, though.

Conclusion

There's no doubt that online interviews will become a lot more common, so being adequately prepared can be very beneficial. One of the advantages that online learners have is that they are already used to interacting with other students and lecturers remotely and are comfortable with the technology. Completing your online degree is very important, but being able to perform well in your interview can make a world of difference when up against other candidates with the same degree.

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