5 Ways to Prepare for an Online Interview

Drake Editorial Team

Congratulations! You’ve impressed the company that you’ve applied to with your cover letter and your resume and now they want to interview you… Through a digital interview software!

After the excitement of landing your dream interview, it suddenly dawns on you… What even is Zoom, or Microsoft Teams, or Google Hangout, OR?? And how do you prepare for such an interview?

What are these tools?

There are many free video conferencing tools that allow people to have online meetings. You can meet with just one other person or multiple people all at once and you can choose to have the video either on or off. If you are interviewing, however, it is best practise to keep your video on as the interviewer will want to see you.

Treat your online interview how you would treat any other face-to-face interviews.

Here are 5 top tips to help you prepare for your online interview and impress the interviewer.

  1. Get familiar with the technology BEFORE you start interviewing

You’ve never used an online interview tool before? You may have seen a few videos on Facebook where people thought their camera was off but in fact, EVERYONE can see exactly what they are doing…

Please DO NOT download the technology only a few minutes before and HOPE that it will work just fine.

Preparation is key. Download the software well in advance and learn how to use it. Make sure you can access the link that your interviewer gives to you. You can test the microphone and the video to ensure that it’s working properly.

  1. Mind your body language

Eye contact is key. When talking, you want to look the interviewer in the eye as you would in a face-to-face interview. Look into the webcam and try not to look at yourself in the screen placed at bottom right hand corner of the screen.

Avoid tapping the computer or clenching your jaw as this will distract from your answer to the question. You want the focus to be on YOU.

If you have long hair, tie it up. People tend to subconsciously twirl their hair with their fingers, and this can be hugely distracting for the interviewer.  

  1. Dress to impress

Confidence is key! Dress how you would as if you were interviewing in real life. Dress professionally and wear something you feel confident in.

Don’t stand out for the wrong reasons… Try to avoid wearing anything too bright or tops with loud prints as this can be distracting for the interviewer as well.

Think about the position you are interviewing for. You can’t go wrong if you wear formal business attire. If you’re not sure, it’s best to over dress than under dress. Men should wear a suit and tie and women should wear business attire such as a nice blouse and blazer.

  1. Make sure you’re in a private room with zero distractions

Set yourself up in a clean and quiet room. Test your video camera and put yourself in the interviewer’s position. Ask yourself what do they see?

Clean any mess that appears in the background of your video. Pick up any clothes that are on the ground and take down any overly distracting paintings.

A bookshelf, and a simple print shown in the background is fine. During the interview, you want the attention and focus to be on you, not any distractions that could be seen in the background.

  1. Prepare your answers

Think about the most commonly asked interview questions and prepare your answers for them. Research the company you are interviewing for and incorporate their mission and values into your answers.

You don’t have to prepare pages and pages of answers. Just jot down a few relevant examples that relates to the question and talk about that.

Practise recording yourself answering a question and play it back. You will learn so much just by doing this. Notice the speed you’re talking at, where you’re looking, your body language and if there’s anything distracting in the background.

Do this a few times to get comfortable before going live with the potential employer.

Write down some questions for the interviewer as well! You also want to find out if they are a good fit for you.

Finally - treat an online interview just how you would with a regular face-to-face interview. If you follow these tips, you’ll feel so much more confident going into your interview and you will impress your potential employer! Good luck!


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