How to prepare for an online job interview.

Staff Writer

In efforts to limit the spread of the Covid-19, many companies have adapted to remote work by leveraging video systems like Zoom to connect virtually with their candidates.

“Although the interviewer’s questions are likely to be similar to ones posed in an in-person interview, there will be differences between interviewing in-person versus interviewing virtually.

“For prospective employees, trying to make a pitch about their career qualifications and sharing their brand narrative via video conferencing software, such as Microsoft Team, Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts, can feel a bit overwhelming.”

However, prospective hires should know about some good practices ahead of an online interview.


Position yourself in a well-lit, quiet, clean space 

It’s essential to choose a quiet, well-lit, neutral, and clean space to conduct your interview, especially if you’re taking the virtual interview from home to limit distractions.

Unlike interviewing in the office or a public space, virtual interviews provide an intimate glimpse into your personal life. Be sure to give a great first impression by keeping your area clean and limit any interruptions from family members, pets, partners, and roommates.


Test your technology beforehand

You must check and test your technology several times before the interview and that day to ensure success. Be sure to double-check your wifi connection, camera and audio, and video conferencing platforms to confirm they are all working seamlessly.

Being technologically savvy is a coveted skill that employers are looking for. By not doing your due diligence to ensure that you’re good to go in the technology realm, you could have the hiring manager or interviewer questioning if you’re the right candidate for the position.


Charge your computer

Ahead of your interview, make sure your computer or laptop is fully charged. It seems obvious, but many people forget, only to have their device die during the call.


Prepare thoroughly

Just like any other in-person interview, you should be ready to speak in-depth about why you want to join the organization, how the company mission resonates with you, and the value you will bring to the specific role.

Glassdoor suggests that you practise your responses to potential interview questions to feel comfortable and confident with yourself before speaking with the interviewer.

“Take some time to compile your interview questions for each of your interviewers as well to show further your interest and passion for the role and company. ”


Dress appropriately

Dress for success and look the part! It would be unprofessional to come dressed in anything other than business casual.

When you put your best foot forward by dressing professionally, it will show the interviewer that you are serious about the position. Still, there are personal benefits as well – people tend to feel more comfortable, confident, and competent when wearing business attire.


Be authentically yourself

Let your personality shine through. In addition to showing your knowledge of the company and role, it’s crucial to open up and give insight into who you are as a person.

Interviewers are looking to you to help them gauge to see if you are the right person for the role and an excellent culture addition for the organization.


Follow up

Show your interest! Immediately after your interview(s), reach out to the interviewer by email to show how much you want the role and thank them for their time.

Be sure to mention different nuggets of information and tidbits of relevant conversations from the interview.


Practice makes perfect

Try to anticipate the various questions the interviewer might ask, and practice your responses. For example, it’s almost certainly an interviewer will ask why you’re interested in the role; what you would bring to the team; and your goals for the future.

Think of your answers and practice saying them out loud; this will help you feel more at ease – and sound more natural – during the interview.

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