Tips for an Online Interview

Online interviews are nothing new. It came about as a practical and convenient solution for interviewing prospective employees living a couple of states away, and flying in for a physical interview was just not feasible. It was more for headhunted or high-ranking positions and rarely for entry-level or rank-and-file vacancies.

Due to the recent drastic economic changes caused by the pandemic, more and more employers are adapting to work-from-home set-ups or remote office locations. Online interviews went from a luxury of convenience to economic necessity. Remote jobs need remote job interviews. Unavoidably, it has always been an employer’s worry if employees are maximizing the 8-hour workday and putting in the work.

Like any other interviews, employers can not be sure of the former until they see you in action. And that is way well after the hiring process. What sets their mind at ease is your impression during the interview – in person or online. Some people may find it more challenging to capture the audience online versus in person. Fret not. Here are surefire tips for your online interview.

1# Dress the part

The basic rule of wearing an appropriate outfit for an in-person interview still applies to remote job interviews. Dressing the part means dressing for what’s suitable for the job and position you are aiming for at that time. An appropriate outfit could mean a corporate suit or a chic pastel dress shirt that compliments your most charming asset. While most choose only to dress up what will be visible on camera, i.e. the top part and forgetting about the rest, wearing the full outfit from head to toe helps put your mindset fully to a successful interview. Wearing heels even if you’re just at home and your interviewer is not likely to see what you’re wearing from the waist down boosts confidence and does help you put in the zone of acing that interview and bagging that job.

Keep in mind as well that your outfit must be visually pleasing as this will be one of the first things that the interviewer will see. Make that good first impression. Wear color combinations or patterns that are pleasing to the eyes. Solid and neutral-colored outfits are a safe bet versus brightly colored or patterned clothes that may be off-putting for the person conducting the interview.

2# Eliminate distractions

Be it visual or auditory distractions, prep your surroundings before the interview to ensure that there are none. Ensure your background is clean and tidy—no clutter or unnecessary items that are visible. Close the doors, windows, or any access where sound can pass or anyone else can walk in to. Sound travels fast and through just about anything. Ensure that your television, radio, mobile phones, or any other devices are switched off or in silent mode to avoid it causing interruptions mid-interview.

3# Check and double-check your tools

A stable internet connection and a working computer is a must. Do a video test, including checking if your camera’s lens is clean and clear of smudges. Make a sound; check to see if your internal microphone is perfectly functional. Adjust the volume of your speaker ahead of time so you are not tinkering with it during the interview. Check your audio input with your headset to ensure this is functioning as well. There’s nothing worse than getting into important topics/conversations, and the audio cuts out, or the video is frozen. Remember, the recruiter’s time is valuable. Any second wasted can make or break your possible employment, so spend an hour or two ensuring these do not happen.

4# Be engaging

Being engaging is like an exciting game of ping-pong. Conversations naturally flow back and forth. Do your research. Ask relevant questions (prepare most ahead of time) and give straight-to-the-point answers.

While being as prepared as you possibly can be about the position you’re applying for such as having ample information about the company’s brand & culture, possible questions the interviewer will ask, and everything else in between is a given, take the time in researching about the interviewer.

Usually, once an interview is scheduled, you are informed ahead of time who will be conducting the interview—knowing a little background about who the interviewer is will be helpful to your advantage. Engage the interviewer by casually talking about personal interests or information you’ve picked up relevant to the topic on hand.

While doing this, keep your eyes forward or on the camera as much as possible and avoid fiddling around. Doing so will give the recruiter the impression that you’re either bored, unfocused, or impatient. Instead, keep your hands on your lap, or you can utilize appropriate hand gestures when it’s your turn to talk.

5# Express your ability to be both an independent worker and team player with clear communication skills

Gone are the days when recruiters prefer employees who can work independently or better with a team. Recruiters prefer both.

Working from home forces you to be isolated from your colleagues and with little to zero in-person supervision, but that does not mean collaborating and working as a team is out of the picture. Having both abilities is half the battle.

Working from home means having to communicate with your colleagues through instant messaging most of the time, with occasional phone and video calls. During the interview, be mindful of how you respond and interact with the interviewer.

6# Display trustworthiness and dependability

It’s unavoidable for employers to be wary with transitioning employees to remote jobs. During the interview, always find an opportunity to showcase to the recruiter that you are trustworthy and dependable.

This will speak for itself by going through your work history and highlighting previous projects or activities you have done wherein your input and guidance was crucial to its success.

6# Say “Thank you”

Time is precious. Express your appreciation that the recruiter took the time in talking with you. Be grateful for their assistance in enlightening you about the company and the position that you’re applying for. “Thank you for giving me your time today.

It was so wonderful meeting you and I’m looking forward to hearing from you again soon!”

Online interviews may be more convenient, but you can never be too sure about what hindrances or issues may arise in the process. Minimize, if not eliminate, problems by keeping in mind the tips above for that successful online interview.

Post solely written for by Barbara Rivera

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