Preparing for online interviews

Interviews are a crucial part of the recruitment process, but no one really enjoys or looks forward to an interview. Research has shown that people find them three times as stressful as a dentists visit! Pressure is on both sides of the table. We feel 'tested' and 'judged' by what we say and how we say it. With online interviews we now have the added stress of what will happen if the technology fails or the dog walks in the room half-way through! Online interviews add a whole new dimension to the recruitment process. Interviewers will not only be judging your performance but will likely be (maybe unknowingly) judging your work environment too!

Research from Indeed shows that 82% of employers now use virtual interviews, and 93% plan to continue. We will all be exposed to an online interview at some time or other, so we have put together some top tips on how to virtually ace it!

1. Be knowledgeable

The more homework you do, the better. Online conversations can feel more stilted. Good knowledge and insight will help you maintain a strong flow, show initiative and steer the conversation to ensure you stand out.

2. Make the tech second nature

Check which technology you will be using for the interview and arrange practice calls to make sure everything runs smoothly.  Test your camera and your microphone; make sure your computer is fully charged or plugged in and troubleshoot any potential problems in advance.  

3. Behind you is important

Think about your background and invest time in getting it right. Stay away from virtual ones; you won't fool anyone you're up a mountain! Make sure it isn't too dark and set up near a window facing the light. Position your laptop on a stable surface and alter the height, so you are clearly framed. Having the camera at eye level will help you to come across as professional. Please don't forget to check what else is in the shot– no one needs to see your washing!

4. Eliminate background noise

A quiet environment is critical for an online interview; it is easy to become distracted by the kids’ screaming downstairs, or the building work taking place across the road.  If there is a lot of background noise it can also make it more difficult for you to hear the interviewer and for them to hear you. 

5. Dress to impress

The adage' dress to impress' still applies online. Dress appropriately for the job you are interviewing for and invest time in outfit planning. If in doubt, dress up rather than down. Dressing well creates confidence and a positive impression. Certain colours also work better for an online call, so take the time to research what works and what doesn't.  

6. Listen and be positive

It's harder to read people online and easy to miss bits of the conversation.  Remember to really listen and jot down keywords to help circle the conversation back. Have open and confident body language and keep eye contact. Importantly, don't forget to be yourself. Try writing down the characteristics you want to demonstrate and plan how you can bring these to life in the discussion.

Good Luck!

Back to news