7 Tips to Succeed in Online Interviews

November 7, 2022
online interview

Table of Contents

Technology has made our lives easier and more convenient. During the Covid-19 pandemic and consequent lockdown, the true benefit was felt. People were at home and recruiters had to hold online interview. Thankfully, due to programs like Zoom and Google Meet, the recruitment process did not slow down.

Digital interviews are quite hard. Especially, if the interviewee has no prior experience. What happens in video interviews? What questions are asked? How does one judge the recruiter’s body language? There is often a lot of confusion regarding the whole process. However, all one needs to do is to do some groundwork beforehand. Success is sure guaranteed with some tips for digital interviews.

Fail Proof Tips for Online Interviews

For the next interview round that will take place online, there is no need to panic. Online interviews for jobs are easy and not as stressful. With a few tweaks and also preparation beforehand, the digital interview will be a breeze. When looking for tips to ace video interviews, details of the interview matter.

For instance, if it is an audio-only or video plus audio, pre-recorded interviews, etc. However, no matter the form of the video interview, some common tips will apply to all interviewees. The top seven such tips as been, in short, elaborated on below.

Test Computer and Internet Connection

Everyone, old and young, is pretty comfortable with technology. However, there are still many things that can go wrong during the time of online interviews. Most interviewers who conduct online job interviews will state the mode in which the interview takes place. Details like audio or video interviews, pre-recorded interviews, interviewing programs, etc.

Before the interview is set to start, get comfortable with the program. The most commonly used programs for interviews online are Skype, Zoom, and Google Meet. Make sure the internet connection is working and the laptop has sufficient charge.

It is also always a good idea to have backups in terms of a battery pack and another laptop or smartphone. Asking friends or family for a test video call on the program is also a good idea. This software is not complicated but any effort put in toward potential delays is always a good idea.

Choose a Proper Location

Choosing the right location for the online interview is just as important as the interview itself. Many programs offer a choice of virtual backgrounds. This is perfect for individuals who are at home and their bed is messy. However, to show the best foot forward, avoid putting up any distracting virtual backgrounds. Look for a spot in the room that has a plain background and also is comfortable to sit at for a long period.

Additionally, take care to ensure that the lighting of the spot is okay. One of the online interview tips shows up in all related articles. A spot near a window where the face is facing the light source is the best. Ensure no shadows or a halo are forming around the face as it can prevent the interviewer from looking at the face.

Remove All Distractions

The previously made point continues to remove any distractions during the online interview. Silence the smartphone, and mute the notifications on all other devices. Moreover, make sure only the video call window is open during the interview. Log out of the chatting and messaging applications. Close the door of the room and also ask family or roommates about the interview to prevent interruptions.

Ensure no pets and small children are walking around the room in the background. Prepare for any sort of disruptions and make sure to remove them beforehand. It is extremely rude and disrespectful for the employer to have family members talking and walking in the background. A few minutes of non-disrupted time out of the entire day is all one needs to make or break the interview.

Mock Interviews

An online interview is always nerve-racking, no matter how many times they have done it. Practice does make perfect when it comes to gaining confidence and being also prepared for questions. The next tip to give the best interviews online is to online interview practice.

Get a friend or a family member for a mock interview round. If this practice round takes place through video calls, all the better. When answering pay attention to the tone and volume to ensure it is loud enough. Give the mock interviewer a set of questions to ask and also ask for feedback at the end.

Also, take note of any lags on the interviewee’s end and computer issues that have risen. Get comfortable with being on the webcam and ensure the interviewer is engaged in the conversation. If nervousness arises, take a quick few deep breaths.

Take Note of Body Language

Body language is an important part of non-verbal communication. While it is harder to take note of body language during an online interview. However, the interviewee still must be aware of this and take care to show they are engaged. Human Resources professionals who have the training to detect minor details in the body language.

For best results sit at a table with a straight-backed chair. Do not slouch down on the chair and place the camera at a higher spot. The right posture will show the interviewee is alert and paying attention.

Looking at the employer’s eyes like in an offline interview is hard. Instead look at the camera and answer questions. Pay close attention to all that the recruiter is saying and do not cross your arms in a defensive position.

Cheat Sheet on the Employer and Job Profile

One of the best tips to answer the question of how to prepare for an online interview is by having a cheat sheet ready. Here by the cheat sheet, we do not mean having a set of questions and answers. Write up a few points on the employer and also the job profile.

Try to include these points within the interview answers. This will show that the interviewee has researched the profile and also the company. Additionally, the individual should also note down any questions or doubts they could have.

Some questions that are worth asking are regarding the salary package, benefits, responsibilities, etc. Try to keep this sheet at eye level behind the camera to prevent the interviewer from knowing about the cheat sheet.

Follow Up

After the online interview is done, it is always good practice to write an email or drop a message to thank the interviewer. This will show interest in the profile and also dedication. Take care to not show anger or passive aggressiveness towards the interviewer.

The follow-up could be as simple as thanking them for their time and asking when they will get back with the results. If a timeline is given, say a day or two, wait for the said period before reaching out again.

In the case of interviewing online, the best option is to send out an e-mail. Write up the e-mail to be polite and do not make it generic copy-pasted content.

Enhance your Subject Knowledge

For technical job positions, the interview also includes tests to judge their knowledge. Here, the employers are not looking only for an accurate correct answer. The interviewee should be able to show an understanding of the subject. When preparing for the interview, brush up on the basic topics. Get a friend to give a quick quiz on these topics before the interview.

For more advanced topics, one can always refer to an online source like Chegg. Subject experts from across the world will answer any possible questions quickly.

What do Recruiters Want?

So far we have discussed what the interviewee must do to ace their interviews online. How about if the tables were to be reversed? Let us read what recruiters look for from individuals during interviews. These points will vary from online and offline interviews.

  • The first and foremost thing that interviewer will notice is communication skills. There is no need to have the best vocabulary to impress the recruiter. One must, however, be able to show confidence using simple words.
  • Oversharing too many details about the previous employer. Badmouthing, especially, gives a negative connotation. They do not need to know, in-depth, the reason for leaving the previous job.
  • Showing possession of technical knowledge that is essential to the profile is also a must. The recruiter will generally test this in the form of a written test. Some recruiters also ask these questions during the interview itself.
  • Body language is another important aspect of interviews. While one could be smiling, their body language could be showing nervousness or anxiety.
  • People who give overly practiced or memorized answers do not tend to make it to the final rounds of interviews. For a better stand at the interview try to not give answers straight from textbooks.

Ace The Next Online Interview

The online interview process is, in truth, complicated. Not only can recruiters find it hard to get a good grasp on the candidate but the interviewee also faces issues. With a little preparation, the interview will surely go smoothly. Basics like an uninterrupted internet connection, mock practice interview rounds, and also removing interruptions are top of the list.

Another helpful tip to keep in mind is to have a cheat sheet of only the essentials, to ask, for the interview. Additionally, one must keep in mind to follow up with the interviewee. A simple email thanking the recruiter for their time while also asking politely for the results of the interview can be done.

The interview does not have to be hard, all one needs to do is methodically prepare for them. Hopefully, the write-up above has helped in this regard.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How do I prepare for an online interview?

Ans. The first step to prepare for an interview online is to get certain information from the interviewee. The program on which the video call would take place, time, duration, and other relevant details. Before the said date, ensure the computer or smartphone is working and there is power backup.

Finally, take care to thank the interviewee through an e-mail after the interview wraps up. Throughout the entire process keep a check on the tone and also body language.

Q2. What is the online interview process?

Ans. The actual process to hold interviews online differ greatly from employer to employer. Some interviews are pre-recorded meaning the questions are recorded beforehand. All the interviewees do is record their answers. This is often the first round after which face-to-face interviews take place online. Other times, the first step in the whole process is a face-to-face interview online.

Q3. What should I expect in an online interview?

Ans. Anything done with technology and the internet can run into problems. Moreover, while interviewing at home, there are going to be numerous distractions. Children crying, phones ringing, pets in the background, the list is endless. Other problems like running out of power or interruptions in the internet can also occur.

Q4. What is an online interview called?

Ans. interviews that take place online are called just that, an online interview. Other names for the same are digital interviews or video interviews. Interviews that are audio online are Audio Interviews. Another common name for this form of interview is a virtual interview. Depending on the platform or video program the interview takes place, the interview is called by the same name.

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