How to succeed in an online interview?


Over the last year, nearly every field of our lives moved online, and job interviews are no exception. Today new employees are hired via Zoom calls without meeting their HR manager or team lead face-to-face.

For some, the current situation may seem liberating, while others may feel stressed.  In any case, there are some practical things you can do to better prepare for a virtual interview and land your dream job.

To help you succeed, we have prepared some handy tips you can start applying today.


Pros and cons of an online interview

Before getting to the tips, let’s quickly recap the advantages and disadvantages of an online interview.


Pros of an online interview

Some of the positive sides of getting hired online include:

1. Lower costs for both employer and the candidate.

Selecting candidates online makes it unnecessary for an employer to book a venue. Therefore, companies can invest that money elsewhere.

Moreover, given the current situation, more and more businesses opt for an outsourced HR manager instead of hiring a decided person. Doing so saves costs and can provide a company with valuable insights that come from outside the business.

When it comes to the candidate, they save on things like travel expenses, food and clothing.

2. Saving time

In this case, both parties are on the same page. As an interview takes place from wherever the person is, once it’s over, an employer and a candidate can go back to their business immediately.

With a regular interview, both parties can lose up to an hour or two due to transportation, traffic, waiting in the venue, and more.

3. Communication skills can be assessed more accurately

An online interview is an excellent way to test the communication skills of a candidate. As there is this extra barrier of the screen, an HR manager can make more accurate insights on how well a person can express their thoughts and ideas.

4. Candidates tend to feel more relaxed in a familiar environment

If you feel uncomfortable in new places, that can add up to failure in an interview.

The good thing about a virtual job interview is that you can participate in it in the comfort of your home. It means that you can set up the environment yourself to your advantage.


Cons of an online interview

Having a virtual interview can also pose some challenges. Bellow, you can find the most common ones:

1. Internet connection issues

There is nothing that can ruin an online interview faster than a slow Internet. When encountering this problem, you may have interruptions in sound and poor video quality. Both issues can cause massive misunderstandings and prevent you from landing your dream job.

2. Fraud risk

The new normal poses new challenges. One of them is cybersecurity issues. Therefore, you should be extra cautious about who you agree to talk to via Zoom or any other video conference platform.


Practical tips on succeeding in an online interview

Now that you are familiar with some of the benefits and challenges of a virtual interview let’s see what could make you succeed.

1. Prepare in advance.

Both regular and virtual interviews require preparation. Therefore, make sure you know everything about the company and the position you are applying to. Go an extra mile and prepare a question or two – this will make you look more serious about the role.

What is more, double-check your social media platforms, especially LinkedIn. Eliminate anything that is irrelevant and highlight your skills, experience, and any additional information that could benefit your success.

2. Solve or prevent any technical issues.

Use online tools like Speedtest to test the speed of your Internet connection. If it is too slow, contact your provider and learn how you could improve it. In some cases, that would mean paying a little extra for a more powerful Internet plan. Don’t hesitate to invest in it.

Moreover, check if your laptop or desktop computer is connected to the electrical sockets. While it may seem like a little detail, it can make or break your virtual interview.

3. Come on time.

In an online interview, the same rules apply. You should always be punctual and arrive on time.

Therefore, make sure you find your login link in advance so that you could start an interview immediately.

4. Dress for success.

You have probably seen one of those jokes about virtual meeting outfits where a person is wearing a fancy shirt and pajama bottoms. Don’t use it as an example for your job interview.

Make sure you are wearing clean and professional clothing. You would do just fine by opting for a business casual outfit.

5. Make sure you won’t be interrupted during an interview.

If you live with other people, make sure they won’t interrupt during an interview. Ensure your partner is taking care of the children so that they won’t be accidentally joining your job interview.

Additionally, turn off the sound of your mobile phone and door phone. That way, you’ll be sure you are distraction-free during an entire interview.

6. Use confident body language.

To get your point across, keep eye contact with an HR manager. It will make you look more self-assertive and convincing.

Besides, use your gestures to emphasize your arguments. Doing so will portray you as a confident and motivated candidate.

7. Use S.T.A.R method.

To refer to specific arguments try using the S, T, A, R method: describe the particular situation, the task you were faced with, and what action you took to resolve it, concluding with the result of your work.


Bottom line

Altogether, online interviews are a new reality that is likely to stay even when the pandemic is long gone.

To succeed, make sure you are applying the tips mentioned in the article. Putting them into practice will make you feel more confident and in control. On top of that, they will help you bring your best personal qualities and professional skills to the other side of the screen.