Advice For An Online Job Interview: A Definitive Guide

Updated 17 March 2023

Many companies prefer online interviews as it speeds up the hiring process and also enables recruiters to connect with candidates from different cities. If you are looking for a job, you may require to participate in an online interview. Understanding the basic difference between conventional and online methods can help you get prepared for the interview. In this article, we discuss some essential tips and advice for an online job interview that can help you perform better.

Related: What Is An Asynchronous Video Interview? (With Benefits)

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What is an online job interview?

An online job interview is an interview that companies conduct through an online chat video or audio platform. It helps companies to replace conventional methods of interviewing in many ways. In online interviews, the interviewer conducts the interview as if it were in person, via video calls on a computer with an Internet connection. Due to the fact that online interviews rely on strong Internet connectivity, it is crucial that both sides have a good Internet connection.

Read more: Tips From A Recruiter: Mastering The Virtual Interview

Different types of online interviews

Companies can hire the best employees in the world with the help of the Internet. Candidates can benefit from understanding the different types of online interviews and how they work. The following are two types of online interviews that many companies use to hire new employees:

One way video interviews

An employer provides candidates with text-based questions during such an online interview. Candidates then submit a recorded video of themselves answering those questions as they would answer in person. These kinds of interviews are also called asynchronous as the employer and the candidate both act independently. Candidates record and answer the questions according to their convenience and then submit them to the interviewer. Companies often provide their own applications for conducting one-way interviews.

Read more: Video Interview Guide: Tips For A Successful Interview

Two way live video interviews

Employer and candidate connect over a video call for this type of interview. During the online interviews, the applicants meet face-to-face via a webcam over specialised software that the companies use. With two-way video interviews, both the candidate and interviewer can interact via video calls that can also include text and presentations.

How to prepare for online interviews

Here are some essential steps that can help you effectively prepare for online job interviews:

1. Develop your communication skills

You can become confident during an online interview by developing your communication skills. Additionally, it helps you understand your weak points and what you can do to improve them. Online interviews require you to be mindful of your pauses between responses. Deliver the answers based on your knowledge and instincts rather than memorising them. This can be a major factor over which employers may judge a candidate during online interviews. Make yourself comfortable by being at ease and fixing your posture before the video call.

Read more: What Is An Interview? (Types Of Interviews And Formats)

2. Test gadgets and equipment

Candidates can attend interviews online with a laptop or a computer. Become familiar with the technology used for online interviews. Learn more about the software that recruiters may use for the interview. Try out the software a few times ahead of time to become familiar with it. Disable your computer's notifications and find a quieter area with minimal distractions before your interview to avoid interruptions.

Read more: How To Make A Video Resume (With Tips And Example)

3. Check room lightning and sound quality

It is important to have good natural light during your online interview. Use a source of light that focuses directly on your face if natural light is not available. Make sure your computer's in-built speakers and microphone are working properly. Mic accessories can enhance the sound quality. Eliminate echoes and background noise that may interrupt the interview. Make sure the room has soft furnishing that can absorb unwanted sounds.

4. Listen carefully

Pay attention during the interview to avoid missing anything important. If you miss something because of the Internet connection or any other reason, ask the interviewer in a polite way to repeat the question once again. Avoid hesitating to ask if you miss something. It is better to clarify the question if you could not hear it the first time.

5. Follow up after the interview

Maintain a positive attitude during the interview. You can ask about the subsequent steps before the interview ends. Be professional when asking questions. By asking questions, you show that you are genuinely interested in the interview. Thank the interviewer for the opportunity. You can consider writing an email to thank the interviewer.

Read more: How To Answer The Interview Question: “What Are Your Career Goals?” (With Examples)

Additional tips for preparing for online interviews

Preparing for online interviews can be slightly different from preparing for in-person interviews. Here are some additional tips and advice for you that can help you in performing better at online interviews:

Dress professionally

Your first impression can tell a lot about your personality. Wear neat and formal business attire during the interview to make a strong first impression. Your dress can communicate the level of professionalism you possess. Wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident. You can opt for a business casual shirt or blouse if the company is more laid back.

Read more: How To Answer The Salary Expectation Question In Job Interviews

Learn about the organisation

Make sure you research the organisation to which you are applying, as it can give you great talking points for the online interview. Learning about the work culture and background of the company can allow you to ask more introspective questions. You can explore the company's website and gain some insights. Aside from learning about the company's history, determine what benefits you can bring to the company. Carefully read through the job description and identify the points regarding the work culture, deadlines and working hours.

Create a strong presence

Creating a strong presence in front of the interviewer can be beneficial for both in-person and online interviews. Make yourself look more professional in interviews and portfolios. Sending a CV can be the first step to representing yourself to the company. Make sure your CV creates a strong presence. Creating a professional portfolio and understanding every point of it can be helpful, as the interviewer may ask you questions related to it.

Read more: How To Answer The Question “Describe Yourself In One Word” (With Sample Answers)

Consider your body language

Your body language can represent a lot about your thoughts and intentions. Using wide hand gestures while explaining exciting points during the interview may create a positive impact. Using the right body language can help to build trust. Aside from hand gestures, making eye contact is a non-verbal communication that can be a big factor in deciding your performance in an online interview. Many employers consider eye contact a good asset in candidates as it reflects self-confidence and self-esteem. Avoid looking into the screen and keep your focus on the webcam and stay engaged.

Frequently asked questions about online interviews

Here are some frequently asked questions about online job interviews:

How does an online job interview work?

Different companies may have different processes of online interviews. Usually, when you apply for a job application, the company may respond with directions on how they want the interview to be. Expect them to provide the information whether the interview is a one-way or two-way live video interview. Once they interview you online, the hiring team can review your performance. If they find you as a promising candidate, they may reach out to you directly.

What general questions can you expect in an online interview?

Here are the general questions that you can expect in an online interview:

  • Tell us about yourself.

  • Why are you interested in this job?

  • What are your short term goals?

  • Why are you interested in our company?

  • What kind of compensation are you seeking?

  • How did you find this job position?

  • What are your career goals?

  • What motivates you?

  • How do you manage your stress at the workplace?

  • Why do we hire you?

What to do if video or audio stops working during the interview?

Get the interviewer's phone number before the interview so you can reach them if you have technical difficulties. If your video or audio stops working during the interview due to technical difficulties, try reaching the interviewer on that number. If the video or audio cuts out, request to continue the interview over the phone or to reschedule.

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