Online job interviews have become the norm in the dynamic and evolving landscape of the professional world – especially with the increasing amount of remote positions and when applying for jobs abroad. Having success with online interviews is not a science, but it does require some thoughts, skills, and preparations – but don’t worry we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re already on the job market or a recent graduate, these tips will help you nail your next online job interview.
1. Tech-check before the online job interview
Before the big day you should always ensure that your technology is fully functional – this means everything regarding your laptop, the charger, the headset, the camera, and your internet connection. You can also test the platform you’ll be using for the online job interview to make sure you don’t need to download or install something at the last minute. Make sure your software is updated, and close any unnecessary applications to avoid lagsand distracting pop-up messages.
Have a backup device or a phone ready in case of technical issues and share your contact information with the interviewer in case the connection is lost. Being prepared for technical glitches shows your professionalism.
2. Surroundings and appearance
Create a professional and calm setting for your job interview. Choose a quiet, well-lit location with a minimal amount of distractions. For instance you should make sure that you have tidied up anything lying around in the background. Avoid using AI powered backgrounds on the online platform unless they are subtle and work-appropriate.
For clothing and appearance, we recommend that you dress as you would for an in-person interview. This will help you prepare mentally and it will show your potential employer that you take the interview seriously and that you are suited for the position. Avoid overly busy patterns or revealing clothing that might come off distracting on camera during the online job interview.
3. Body language matters
Maintain good posture, make eye contact, and smile during your online job interview. Position your camera at eye level, and ensure your face is well-lit. Non-verbal cues like facial expressions are just as important online as they are in person. Sometimes it can be difficult to read the room in online interviews because non-verbal cues are harder to see. Therefore, we recommend being careful and respectful – or omitting – making jokes at your first interview. Especially if the interviewer is from another country and another culture.
4. Active listening
Show that you’re paying attention to the interviewer(s) by nodding and smiling. Don’t interrupt, and wait for the interviewer to finish speaking before responding. And if there’s a delay due to bad internet connections, we strongly recommend being extra patient before replying or interrupting as this can create an abrupt and more unpleasant conversation, leaving a bad impression on both ends.
5. Research the company, market, and job position
Do your homework about the company and job position before your job interview. Understand the company’s values, mission, and recent achievements in order to tailor your responses. This will really help you show how your skills align with exactly what they are looking for in a candidate. Prepare questions that demonstrate your genuine interest in the company and the role. This not only shows that you’ve done your research but also helps you evaluate if the company is the right fit for you.
We also strongly recommend showing that you are invested in your professional development by being aware of the latest trends and changes in the specific industry. This can be a valuable topic to discuss during the interview. It will very likely make you stand out because it shows that you genuinely care.
6. Be prepared for common questions
Anticipate questions about your strengths, weaknesses, and previous experiences. Have specific examples ready to showcase your skills and achievements. You might ask yourself “why is it important to give an example?” – well, specific examples make us remember better, and it helps creating a deeper understanding of you as a person. You will automatically become memorable. And also, be ready to explain how your past experiences make you an ideal fit for this role.
For behavioural questions, you can use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) technique. You do this by structuring your responses to highlight specific scenarios and the positive outcomes of your actions.
7. Adaptability and time management
Adaptability is key in a virtual work environment. Showcase your ability to work independently, manage your time effectively, and handle unexpected challenges. Practice answering questions concisely. Virtual interviews can sometimes lead to longer responses due to the lack of physical cues. Be clear and get straight to the point with your answers.
8. Clean up your social media
It might seem redundant but it can be a good idea to clean up your online profiles. It’s common for employers to search for candidates on social media beforehand, to get an impression of who the applicant is. Therefore we recommend that your LinkedIn and other professional profiles are updated and that they reflect your current skills and experiences.
9. Follow-up email after interview
Send a thank-you email within 24 hours expressing your gratitude for the interview. Reiterate your interest in the position and briefly mention why you believe you’re the right fit. It’s important not to send it immediately after the online job interview, because they might have other interviews after yours. So we recommend waiting at least a few hours before following up.
Online job interviews have become a fundamental part of the professional landscape. By mastering the art of virtual job interviews, you increase your chances of landing the job and you demonstrate that you’re adaptable and ready for the challenges of the modern workplace. So, enhance your virtual interviewing skills and secure that dream job from the comfort of your own home. Good luck!