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5 Steps to Prepare Yourself for an Online Interview

26 August 2022

Just because your job interview is not in-person, that does not mean you should not prepare for it. After all, it still provides that first impression that your employer needs to see who and what you are like as a person.

That being said, more things can go wrong online than in person, so it is best to prepare the day before the interview. Make sure you check your internet connection and find the perfect spot to conduct your interview.

To help you prepare for your online interview, below, we will share with you 5 simple steps you can follow to increase your chances of landing the job.

1. Consider the Lighting

You want to make sure that you are not doing your interview in a place that is too dim. The same goes for how bright the area is, as too much light can also ruin your online interview.

To set up your interview space, you should try to face a window with some soft sunlight coming in. This will allow your face to be gently illuminated. Natural lighting from the window provides the best colour when sitting in front of a camera.

Search for a spot with good lighting the day before your interview is scheduled so that you are not worrying about it right before your interview happens. Ensure the table your computer or laptop is resting on is stable, as you do not want it to wobble during your interview.

If you can’t find a suitable spot within your home, consider going to a co-working space nearby.

2. Your Appearance Matters

The online interview may not be an in-person meeting, but you should still look presentable. Dress appropriately and sit with a good posture. First impressions are incredibly important, and appearance is a huge part of this.

Remember to smile, whether you are interviewing with a live person or simply recording your answers. Wear flattering clothes that are a fit for the job you are interviewing for. If you have any doubts, always dress up and not down.

Ensure that you are sitting up straight with a smile, as this looks more professional and engaged. It also gives you a sense of energy and power.

Using proper posture while sitting allows you to be more confident, have a better mood, and convey openness. Do not use virtual backgrounds while you are in your online interview. Instead, clean the clutter from the background of the space you have chosen the night before.

3. Get Rid of Any Distractions

Before your interview, silence anything that could disrupt your conversation with your potential employer. This includes your phone and your computer’s notifications.

It is rude to be interrupted during your interview unless it is an emergency, which your potential employer will understand. If you need to leave your phone on for any reason, let your interviewer know at the beginning of your interview.

Ensure that you are set up for your interview in a private area with no one else around, including any pets you may have. Life happens and is sometimes unavoidable, but try to keep any interruptions from happening, even if it is from your pet. To help you out further, check out this blog in which we talked about the 5 best ways to minimize distractions at home.

4. Do a Test Run

Technology can be overwhelming, even to those of us that have been using it for our entire lives. Online interviews are no exception to this. You want to be comfortable with whichever method the interviewer is using to conduct the interview, such as Zoom or Skype.

When you are familiar with the program, test your internet connection, audio quality, and video quality. You need everything to be working properly for your interview.

Try to find out the interview format beforehand by asking whether it will be audio-only or audio and video. Check if someone will be interviewing you live or if the questions will be pre-recorded, and if they are, figure out how many chances you will have to record your answer. Lastly, make sure you know what to do or who to call if you experience technical difficulties.

You can also try using the platform to connect with a family member or a friend. It is likely that you are already familiar with the platform, especially considering how popular Zoom and Skype are, but it never hurts to test it out. Log in early on the day of your interview and test again before it starts.

5. Act as if It Was In-Person

Eye contact is very important, and that remains true even during an interview that is taking place online. You should look at the camera when answering questions to simulate eye contact, and you can even place a picture by the webcam to help you focus. If you look at the screen, it will seem as though you are looking down since the screen is often below your camera.

Listen carefully to what your interviewer is saying, and if you miss anything, either ask about it right away or write it down so you can come back to it later. Headphones with a microphone are your friend during an online interview because they improve both the quality of your sound and the quality of your voice.

Even though it is a virtual interview, you should still use engaged body language. This will help you to answer questions with confidence and energy. Keep your shoulders back, your back straight, and your head up.

Conclusion

Having an online interview might seem scary, but it is not all that bad. Treat it like a standard in-person interview, and you should be good to go.

Taking a few extra steps to ensure you are properly prepared beforehand will have a huge impact on the success of your interview. You do not want to set up and realize that your camera is not working 5 minutes beforehand.

Follow these steps and remember to relax and stay confident, and you will do great.