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Tips For Online Job Interviews


In the past, phone interviews were the way to go when it came to interviewing outside the office. With the internet being so ubiquitous and readily available, online job interviews are becoming ever more common and popular in the business world. Employers are rapidly embracing web based technologies when it comes to screening and interviewing job applicants. Compared to a conventional interview, online interviews are far cheaper as they do not entail any transportation or lodging costs. Webcam technology also enables interviewers to gage body language and facial expressions. While all of the conventional interview wisdom applies to online interviews (research the company, be engaging, provide positive answers etc.), there are a few things to take into consideration.      

Prepare Your Space

More likely than not, you will be conducting your interview from the comfort of your home. This means that you will not only be presenting yourself but also your surroundings. Make sure you tidy up your workspace and remove from sight any clutter or belongings that might reflect poorly on you. If you live with roommates, family or pets, try to get them to go out while your interview is taking place so you will not be distracted. Have a pen and paper ready, to avoid having to get up in the middle of an interview. Make sure you have a copy of your resume on the table for quick access to dates and other relevant information.

Be Technically Prepared

This may seem like an obvious piece of advice, but be sure to check your webcam is connected properly and all of the software you need is in working order. Make a few test calls to friends or family using the same software you will be using during your interview to confirm everything is in good working order. Before your interview gets underway, close all other programs that might be open. This eliminates the chance of other programs interrupting your meeting, slowing down your computer or causing crashes. There is always a possibility of your interviewer to ask to share your screen, so make sure your desktop is tidy and professional. Remove any shortcuts you do not want to be seen and chose a neutral wallpaper.

Make Yourself Heard

Webcams are usually not equipped with great microphones, so concentrate on speaking clearly, loudly and without mumbling. If you speak quietly or mumble you run the risk of your webcam not picking it up, and your potential employer might miss some important things you have said. Speaking into a camera when you are alone in a room is not the most natural thing in the world, so a good tip is to practice beforehand. Get used to the way your voice sounds and speak in a conversational tone, just as you would in a conventional interview.

Appearance and Facial Expressions

Just because you are not in the same room, and might be very far apart, it does not mean the interviewer will not be scrutinizing your appearance, body language and facial expression. These things could be the deciding factors that will put you ahead of the competition. The fact that you are sitting at home does not justify wearing overly casual clothing or being unkempt. A good rule of thumb is to dress and act just the way you would if you were heading to the office for an interview. Sit up, smile, and be sure to make eye contact. Even though you will be sitting down, wear nice trousers and shoes- you never know when you will need to get up. Leave nothing to chance.

Ask Questions

As in any interview situation, if you do not understand something feel free to ask for clarification. Your interviewer might be in a noisy office, and there may be times when you cannot make out what they are saying. By no means should you attempt to answer questions you did not hear or fully understand. Your interviewer should recognize webcams can be hard to hear and will have no objections to repeating or rephrasing questions. Do not be shy to ask about salaries, vacation days and other important job characteristics.

In conclusion

If done correctly, web interviews can be less stressful than a conventional interview. Make sure you are well prepared and relaxed. Good luck!


Image credit: Unsplash/Pixabay

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