Tips for a great online interview

A year and a half ago, we would never have imagined that new recruits could go through a complete recruitment process without meeting their new employer face-to-face once.

So how do you prepare for an online interview?

Try following these tips to come across as prepared and professional:

  • Download whatever platform you will be using well before the allotted time, and if you have technical issues during the interview keep calm; reschedule if necessary. Check that your username is appropriate.
  • Make sure your background is tidy and clear of personal possessions. It is best to have your face lit from behind the computer and camera to avoid shadows or the “anonymous interviewee” look.
  • Frame face and upper chest and upper half of arms, and make sure your camera is at the right level so the interviewer is not looking up your nose or down on your head, but straight at you.
  • Move your picture up to the top, as near to the camera lens as possible since you’re bound to be tempted to look at yourself during the interview. You want to maintain eye contact as much as possible by looking straight at the camera.
  • Try and use headphones and a microphone since this helps prevent feedback.
  • Have a rehearsal with a pal or family member to check that all of the above is right.
  • Dress as you would normally for an interview. It might be tempting to wear business attire on your top half only, but who knows if you’ll have to get up to get something during the interview and it becomes obvious that you are wearing jeans or pyjama bottoms….  It’s also best to avoid pattern or stripes since they can be jarring to the viewer.
  • Switch off other devices such as your landline and mobile, and leave a note for the Amazon delivery chap not to ring the doorbell if he can help it…. Make absolutely sure that family members or whoever else is in the house know to leave you well alone, and close the door securely to prevent dogs or cats wandering in.
  • As with all interviews, the first few minutes are key. Try to develop a rapport with the interview by maintaining eye contact, smiling and speaking confidently and clearly.
  • Watch out that you don’t talk over the interviewer – leave a pause before you speak to allow for the slight delay that often occurs.
  • As you would if you were meeting face to face, remember to think about your body language, matching it to a confident voice delivery. Sit up straight with shoulders back!
  • By all means have some notes by you, but use them subtly – bullet points are easiest to scan – and keep any relevant documents such as your CV to hand. You might want to keep your email open in case you need to send something over during the interview.

 Good luck!