10 Online Job Interview Tips

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 25 June 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

An online job interview is a modern way to speak with a potential employer and to show them why you might be the best candidate for an open position. Job interviews typically involve answering questions from an interviewer, so it can be helpful to prepare beforehand to ensure that you can respond to each question effectively and completely. You can also benefit from knowing how to prepare specifically for an online job interview in case any company you apply to prefers to hold their interviews online.

In this article, we define what an online job interview is and explore a list of 10 tips for completing an online job interview.

Related: 31 Common Interview Questions and Answers (With Tips)

What is an online job interview?

An online job interview is an interview that employers can host on online platforms. Online job interviews can take place on a variety of different platforms and outlets, which can help to make them accessible and simple to conduct for employers and job candidates.

An online job interview typically involves many of the same elements as an in-person job interview, like answering questions from an interviewer, offering information about your personality and your work experience and discussing a company's mission and values. There are a few different options for platforms that online interviews can take place on, most of which can function effectively from any location with a stable internet connection. Here are a few methods of meeting that you might encounter in an online job interview:

  • Video call

  • Voice or phone call

  • Recorded video

  • Digital questionnaire

Related: How To Succeed in a Virtual Interview

10 online job interview tips

Here are 10 tips that you can use when attending a job interview online:

Wear professional attire

Even though an online job interview doesn't require you to visit a company's offices, it can still be important to dress professionally for your interview. This is because an interviewer is often still able to see you during an online interview, such as in video calls or recorded videos, so making sure you appear professional can be an effective first step in making a positive impression on a potential employer.

In order to dress professionally, you can look into the dress code that a company uses and try to wear attire that is at the same or a higher level of professionalism.

Find a quiet space to conduct the interview

Many professionals conduct online interviews from their own homes or from public places that have an internet connection, such as cafes or libraries. However, it can be beneficial to find a quiet place in whichever location you choose to complete your online interview. This can help you to remain focused on who you're speaking to during the interview by reducing the chances of outside noises or distractions interrupting your interview.

Having a quiet space to stay focused and conduct your interview might also enhance your answers, as having no distractions around you might give you the ability to develop more thoughtful and complete responses than if you were in a busy location.

Test any technology you plan to use

As technology has the potential to be unpredictable, testing the pieces of technology you plan to complete your interview on can help make sure you're prepared by verifying that every piece of equipment functions correctly. Doing this before your interview begins can also give you the chance to adjust your plans if necessary, such as if a camera is not working or if a computer has no battery power. This can make sure that you're ready when the interview time arrives.

To test your technology, you can make a practice call from the device you want to use to observe how it works and to confirm that you know how to use it.

Use a neutral background

Having a neutral background can be an effective way to appear professional during an online interview, especially when your interviewer can see you. This is because using a neutral background can reduce the potential for distractions occurring during your interview, which can help you remain focused on answering the questions provided. A neutral background can also allow you to appear clearly on-screen, while backgrounds with bright colours or complex patterns might obstruct your interviewer's vision of you.

To find a neutral background for your online interview, you can look for a blank wall in your home or a nearby location that you can sit against during your call.

Practise answering questions

Much of an interview typically involves answering questions that an interviewer presents to you. Interview questions can ask about details like your work experience, relevant skills you might have or what aspects of a workplace you consider most important. Since most interview questions are designed to have multiple possible answers, practising your responses before your interview can help you to decide what you want to say and ensure that your ideas come across clearly.

One way to practise answering questions is to search online for common interview questions and formulate answers that you might use in a real interview. Then, you can reference these answers if your interviewer asks one of the questions you practised.

Related: 10 Common Telephone Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

Pay attention to your body language

As many platforms for online interviews offer the option to conduct meetings with video feeds, thinking about how your body language might appear on-camera can help you prepare to appear professional and confident throughout your interview. There are several different ways that someone might interpret body language, so it can be beneficial to try to use body language that strongly signals your confidence and excitement to make you an attractive candidate for an employer.

For example, someone might be more inclined to hire a candidate who sits upright and maintains eye contact during an interview than a candidate who appears sunken into their chair or doesn't look at the screen.

Use a microphone or headset

While many computers and mobile devices have their own microphones, using an external microphone can sometimes increase the quality of audio during an online call. This can be very beneficial during an online interview, as making sure that an interviewer can hear you can verify that they receive your answers to their questions and might increase your chances of being hired. To achieve this, you can use a microphone that connects to your computer or a headset with a microphone attached to it.

Keep notes on your screen

When preparing for an interview, it can be helpful to take notes to guide your answers and develop your ideas. One benefit to completing an interview on an online platform is that you can use notes and resources without distracting your interviewer. You can do this by writing your notes in a document file and keeping the file open on your screen during your interview. This can allow you to reference your notes by glancing at them quickly without having to look away from the screen.

However, it can also be important to make sure that you also speak freely and naturally during an interview, so take care not to focus too closely on the notes you use and only reference them for supporting details.

Follow up with your interviewer

After you complete an interview, following up with the person who interviewed you might increase your chances of being hired by maintaining contact with someone at the company and showing that you have a genuine interest in the position. There are a few different ways that you can follow up with an interviewer, such as sending them an email or calling the phone number for their office.

Whichever format you use, it can be helpful to remind an interviewer of your name, the position you're applying for and the date of your interview so they can quickly connect your identity to your job application. You can also ask questions in a follow-up message, such as whether a position has been filled or when you might hear back about your interview.

Related: Follow-Up Email Examples For After the Interview

Try to stay relaxed throughout the interview

While completing an interview can be an exciting experience, it can be important to remain calm during your call so that you maintain a professional and confident tone. This is because staying relaxed can help you to speak clearly and uphold your body language, which can help you to appear professional and prepared. To relax before an online interview, you can take part in some deep breathing exercises to stabilise your breathing and clear your mind of any potential distractions so that you can focus on the interview completely.

During your interview, you can continue breathing steadily and take care to speak slowly and clearly when answering each question.

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