How To Prepare For Your First Online Job Interview

More and more processes take place online nowadays, and so does recruiting. Online interviews are practiced not only by large companies with an extensive network of regional offices but also by those who strive to use their working hours rationally. Therefore, conducting a meeting via Skype or Zoom doesn’t surprise anyone. However, this format of the interview has some peculiarities.

So, how should a job seeker prepare for an online interview? Read this article to know how to get ready and put your best foot forward.

Prepare a Place For An Interview

Basically, the process starts when a hiring manager scans your CV, using ATS bots. The applicant tracking system looks for particular keywords and phrases in it. That is why it’s essential to have a bot-beating resume.

Yet, many job seekers struggle to build a resume on their own. That is why they turn to resume builder service to get professional help. Once your career accomplishments are highlighted in a resume, you can send it, waiting for an email or a call from a recruiter.

Recruiters usually inform the applicants about how long the interview will take. If not, it is better to ask about it in advance. This way, you can warn your roommates or family that you are not to be disturbed at that time.

It’s important to stay alone in the room during the interview as people flickering in the background can create unnecessary noise and confuse you. As a result, the hiring manager will get the impression that you cannot organize your workflow effectively and are easily distracted.

Of course, you will need to ensure complete silence. A good headset can save the day. It will help you get rid of external sounds or at least muffle them.

Choose the Right Background

What will the hiring manager see behind your back during an online interview? Make sure it’s not kitchen utensils or a messy bedroom. After all, a business conversation requires a constructive spirit and the environment has a great impact on it.

Of course, it’s best to have a neutral background. But if you can’t arrange it – don’t worry. Popular web conferencing software allows you to set a virtual background or blur your real one so that no details can be seen.

Take Care of Your Appearance

Since you are actually having a formal meeting (even if it’s online), pajamas are unacceptable. Change your comfortable old T-shirt to something formal. By the way, this also applies to pajama pants. What if you suddenly need to get up during a conversation, for example, to grab documents or fix your router?

On the one hand, formal attire helps you feel focused while discussing business matters and your work experience. On the other hand, a candidate’s dress code makes a good impression on the recruiter.

Check Your Internet Connection

If your internet connection goes bad right before a call, it can be comical. However, if you miss your dream job appointment because of this, it’s not funny at all. So, make sure the connection is stable and your router is working properly.

It is better to test the online meeting tool in advance so you will have enough time to fix problems if any. Check your microphone and camera as well. If you are not very familiar with the program that will be used for the interview, call a friend first to see how it works.

Of course, it’s in your best interest to be on time. Most online meeting software offers a virtual waiting room feature. Therefore, it’s quite normal to «come» a couple of minutes before the interview.

Gather All Important Files and Documents

No doubt, you will need several documents and files near you for the interview. Your resume, portfolio (if you are applying for a creative position), job description, and a piece of paper for notes should be by your side.

Try to make a list of the questions that you will ask the recruiter. Some job seekers also prepare a plan of their monologue – they mention their key skills, work experience and accomplishments there. Besides, you can write down important details about the company you apply to – this can be useful during the conversation.

If your profession involves having a portfolio, be prepared to have some scans and send examples of your work in the chat to confirm your qualifications. Prepare them in advance so that you won’t waste time searching for them during the interview.

Come Up With Your Answers

This rule applies to any interview format. Surely, you will be asked to speak about yourself, your last job as well as your responsibilities and achievements. Recruiting firms also often ask about the reasons you left your previous place of work and your salary expectations. Taking even a little time to prepare for the meeting will help you feel more confident.

Here is a list of the most popular questions that you will probably answer during the interview:

  • Why are you applying to our company?
  • What motivates you to work? What reduces your efficiency?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What do you expect from your future employers?
  • Tell us about the most successful project in your career.

Knowing the answers to these questions will definitely increase your chances to land a job.

During An Interview

Needless to say, being polite and friendly is one of the easiest ways to win over the hiring manager. This rule is of great importance during a remote conversation since there is no way to meet each other in person.

Your voice and the tone in which you communicate with the recruiter create an impression of you. So, it’s recommended to speak in a friendly tone, clearly and not too quietly. Make pauses to ask the interlocutor if they can hear you well. This way, you will avoid talking to thin air due to the loss of Internet connection.

Remember: even if a specific position doesn’t suit you, this company or recruiter may have other job openings that will work for you in the future. Thus, they will reach out to you, if they remember your brilliant interview.

Final Thoughts

The online interview format is indispensable in many cases, for example, when a candidate lives in another region, or the company looks for an employee for a remote job.

In times of self-isolation, online interviews show their effectiveness. Of course, such interviews have their own difficulties, but with good preparation, you can manage them perfectly well.