Online Interview: How to Prepare and Pass


The complicated situation with the coronavirus has made its corrections in all the processes taking place in society, and the recruiter has also not been left out. The overwhelming majority of employers either completely suspended the selection of employees, or put it online. And then everyone will get so used to this convenient format that most employers will make it mandatory for the first stages of acquaintance with candidates.

From my experience of conducting Skype interviews, I know how much orgmo can lubricate the impression of a candidate. Forgive late connection due to technical problems, poor quality of communication and strange appearance can only be very valuable applicant, and if he is the only one we have. But this happens very rarely, so all other things being equal, the winner is the one who had everything at its best – and the competence, and the ability to sell themselves, and the appearance, and orgmoments.

In order not to lose the competition for a good job, I recommend to prepare carefully for online interviews, because in my opinion, their candidates are still worse than full-time ones. And that’s why:

Source: Physician Assistant Education Association

1. Meetings in the employer’s office all of you are used to a long time, you prepare for them and know how to present yourself. At these meetings, you are most often perceived as a whole, so some small errors in appearance or behavior can be offset by something else.

When you are just a picture on the screen and a voice in headphones, every little thing is visible as under a microscope. So you need to speak even more clearly, look even better and give even more energy in your communication than usual.

2. In a face-to-face interview, all you have to do is come to the designated place on time with your documents and be ready for communication. All orguments are with the employer.

In an online interview you have a lot of additional responsibilities – to ensure the quality of communication, images, sound, light, etc.. There is nothing worse than the fact that at the appointed time, the recruiter does not find a candidate in Skype, and when you call him it turns out that the program at startup required an update, and now you have to wait until it ends. And at Eichar, everything is scheduled for minutes. What conclusions will he draw in this case? – that a person is not very organized, he does everything at the last moment and hopes for an update. Or, maybe, he doesn’t need the work very much?

3. At a face-to-face meeting with the employer’s representatives, you are usually under stress, are on someone else’s territory and are therefore mobilized. Plus, you have prepared and rehearsed the self-representation in advance, studied the typical questions and answers, and know what to ask an airman or hiring manager.

Thinking about the online interview, you can decide that you don’t have to prepare as thoroughly, taking it as a simple acquaintance and preliminary conversation. And then, at home, in a familiar setting, you can afford a more relaxed behavior during the interview itself, as you behave with your friends, and it will certainly play against you.

What is important to consider when preparing and conducting an online interview?

Source: Baylor University

Technical points:

1. It is better to use a laptop or tablet instead of a phone for a communication session, as it is more convenient to place and fix them correctly. But! If the employer’s representative offers you to be interviewed in a specific program, which is available only on smartphones, do not argue and do not insist on your own. So, this technology is worked out in the company, and your job is to adjust.

Most often employers use the following programs for online interview: Skype or Skype for Business, Whats App, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Face Time.

2. With the equipment everything should be on the five plus – to do this, check the Internet in advance (at least 30 minutes before the broadcast), whether you have installed and updated the program in which you will communicate, whether the microphone, camera and headphones work. You can make a test call to your friend and check if everything is up to date.

If you are not familiar with the program that will host the video call session, deal with it in advance, so you don’t have to do it during the interview itself.

3. During a communication session, you should not only be heard, but also very clearly visible. Therefore:

  • If you have a built-in camera on your computer, but it gives a low quality image, it is better to buy a separate webcam for this purpose;
  • Your face should be well and evenly lit, so find a place in the room where the light from the front will fall on you instead of perpendicular to the top, creating ugly shadows on your face, and better – daylight, but not direct sunlight. It is especially important to have good lighting for age candidates, so as not to make an impression of strongly tired and unwell people;
  • Position and fix the camera directly, at eye level and at such a distance that it will shoot you to the chest – one head on the screen and the nose half-faced look eerie. I’ve talked to the candidates several times, who contacted me from the phone, located very close to them and at an angle, so I could only see a huge chin and I could imagine the last time they shaved)).
  • Before the communication session, turn on the camera and check your image on the screen, or better, record a small video with your speech. At the same time, listen to yourself.
Source: EnterpriseTalk

Both at the moment of testing and already during the interview, pay attention to the fact that you need to look into the camera and not into the monitor or your image in the corner of the screen!

4. The background behind you during the interview is better to choose a neutral, without distractions. The ideal background is a monochrome wall.

5. If at the appointed time of the interview you can not provide privacy and silence at home or at work, you need to find a place where you can communicate calmly – in an empty apartment or office of friends, in summer time – in the countryside, etc. From my Skype interviewing experience, I know that not the best options are: a cafe, where, besides you, there are also visitors, your own car, and a shopping center.


Dress for the online interview in the same way as you dress for the face-to-face interview. Be sure to – in view of the sphere of the company, which affects its dress code. For more conservative industries (government companies, banks, large industries) choose something official, for creative industries – stylish and interesting, but do not overdo it with accessories that can shine and distract attention. The big mistake is made by those who, being at home, upstairs wearing a strict business blouse, shirt, jacket, and downstairs leave trainers. There are all sorts of moments during the interview, perhaps the interview will be delayed, you will need to get up for something, and then your bottom will appear in all its glory;)

Lightweight natural makeup is highly desirable for women. If in normal life you do not use cosmetics, and look normal, you will look without it on the monitor of the device as after discharge from the infectious disease ward of the hospital.

I think it is superfluous to talk about a fresh, neat hairstyle for both sexes.

Source: Yakima Herald

Information training

Get ready for an online interview in the same way as for face to face:

  • Study the vacancy in advance (if you have not responded to the ad, and the employer has found you and invited you to an online interview, ask him to send a description of the vacancy before);
  • collect information about the company – look through its corporate website, search it in ratings, read on the Internet interviews with its management, etc.;
  • prepare and rehearse the self-representation;
  • Think through the answers to typical questions and explanations of subtle points in your career;
  • Refresh the required knowledge and skills;
  • remember in detail all the projects you have implemented, the most significant successes and failures in your working life, the most difficult tasks solved and what you have not managed to do here Monitask will help you.
  • think through and write down the questions that you want to ask the interviewer.

During the interview itself:

  • At the beginning of the conversation, agree with the interviewer on how you will deal with unforeseen circumstances – if the connection is interrupted, etc.
  • During the interview, do not walk around the room with the phone in your hand (this happens, and often), sit upright, watch your posture, do not swing and do not sit back on a chair.
  • Communicate openly and in a business-like manner, smile, be alive, do not cycle on your non-telegenicity, so as not to become petrified at all, but do not relax strongly, remembering that this is still an interview.
  • At the end of the conversation agree on the terms and further actions – who calls or writes to whom and when.

After the interview, it will be a good idea to write a letter to the person with whom you talked, to thank you for the online meeting, to confirm your interest in the vacancy, or to inform about the refusal to consider it further.

Source: SmartRecruiters

Important points:

  • If you have changed your mind before the interview, be sure to let the person with whom it is scheduled know in advance.
  • Get in touch for an interview at an exact scheduled time. It is equally bad to call the interviewer early and late in the “X” hour.
  • If you understand that you will be late for the start of your interview, urgently notify the other party and make sure you are able to communicate with them when you are ready. If not, then adjust to the interviewer’s schedule.
  • Keep in mind and be prepared for online interviews that can be recorded.

Have a good interview!