Nailing the Online Job Interview – Key Things You’ll Want to Prepare in Advance

someone interviewing a potential employee online

You might have been one of the best when it came to interviewing for a job before the pandemic, but with COVID-19 around, it’s a whole new world. Not only are millions working from home and dealing with new challenges and distractions, employers are now interviewing potential employees online to fill job openings. This means you’ll no longer be traveling onsite to meet an interviewer but instead doing it from your own home. And without a little preparation in advance, there’s a chance your online job interview could be a disaster.

Fortunately, preparing for a job interview online isn’t too difficult.  By paying attention to a few select areas, you can nail your online job interview easily. But this does require that you consider how your remote interactions differ from those in person. Rather than relying on the employer to provide a quiet space for your conversations, you’ll now be partly responsible. At the same time, your communication style may need to change to come across well. Though many recommended activities remain the same when preparing for a job interview, some notably differ. And these can actually make a pretty big difference in landing the job.

Always Do Your Homework

This is one piece of advance that is not specific to online job interviews alone. In fact, doing some serious homework ahead of time is important whenever you’re preparing for a job interview. But with fewer in-person cues, having some knowledge of the company and your interviewer beforehand can truly be helpful. This will help you ask better questions and better engage the person on the other side of the screen.

In addition to checking out the company’s website, you should also search for any recent company news. For public companies, their annual 10K report is a wealth of information. And reviews of the company on Indeed.com and other sites can also be helpful. By doing your homework up front, the potential for online job interview success will naturally increase.

Staging Your Place for Success

When preparing for a job interview in the past, few of us spent much time thinking about the actual locale. In most cases, we expected to meet an interviewer in a corporate office or perhaps at a restaurant. But that’s now changed with online job interviews. Potential candidates are now responsible for half of the interviewing space. And because of this, it’s important to consider how you’ll stage the part for which you’re responsible.

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In this regard, lighting, camera angle, and background are the big 3 ticket items. Lighting should be warm and coming from in front of you rather than behind you. Your camera angle should be positioned at eye level with perhaps a slight downward perspective. And a professional, non-cluttered background offers the best setting to paint you in a favorable light.

Troubleshoot Technical Issues Now

Avoiding technical problems during your online job interview is an obvious thing to consider in today’s environments. Sometimes, technical mishaps are simply unavoidable. A random thunderstorm that knocks out your Internet is not something you can prevent. But on the other hand, the chance other potential glitches might occur can be reduced with proper planning. This will better ensure the interview proceeds smoothly and you’re able to best communicate with your potential employer.

When preparing for a job interview, naturally make sure all your devices are well-charged and properly connected. Testing your equipment in advance is also a great idea whether it be with friends or through mock interviews. For some, bandwidth may be an occasional problem and interfere with smooth streaming. In thee instances, let others in your home know in advance when your online job interview will be. By having the connection to yourself, the chances for problems will be less. These are some simple strategies to ensure fewer technical problems.

Preparing for Questions in Advance

There’re some questions you can expect during any interview including an online job interview. Preparing for a job interview therefore includes having potential responses ready to the ones most commonly asked. For example, interviewers love to ask for a story or recent experience that shows creativity or good problem-solving skills. These types of questions including those about your capacity to deal with change can almost always be expected.

While anticipating these questions and having a response ready is key, it’s important not to sound rehearsed. Likewise, you’ll also want to keep your responses brief so you maintain the interviewer’s interest. One thing you might want to consider is describing how you responded to the current pandemic. For many, this provides a great chance to show adaptability and initiative. By preparing for a job interview in this fashion, you’ll better express your values and skills.

Practice Online Communication Skills

By troubleshooting technical issues ahead of time, you can better ensure verbal communications are of good quality. This includes clarity of your responses as well as your ability to hear the interviewer. But preparing for a job interview online requires a bit more than just this. As always, you’ll want to sound professional, engaged, and positive in your communications. But you’ll also want to pay attention to your nonverbal communication signals as well.

One good trick for an online interview concerning nonverbal communication involves how you sit. By sitting on the edge of your chair, your posture will be better and you will appear more engaged. You’ll also want to avoid fidgeting or repositioning too often. And of course, the attire you choose for the online job interview should be professional and appropriate for the position. With this in mind, consider a few mock online job interviews with friends as part of your preparation.

After the Online Interview is Over

While preparing for a job interview is essential, so is your analysis of your online job interview performance afterwards. There are always areas for improvement, and by performing a critique, you’ll get progressively better. Naturally, a follow-up thank-you message should be sent to your interviewer. Even if you don’t get this position, you might be considered for another in the future. And this can be a great way to increasingly expand your network. By staying committed to continually improving your online job interview skills, you’ll soon find the job perfect for you.

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