Interviewing Skills

Professional Interview Tips (Online Interviews)

PROFESSIONAL INTERVIEW TIPS
In my previous articles, Professional Interview Tips for face-to-face and telephone interviews, I gave several do’s and don’ts. You may find out that you won’t actually have a face-to-face interview, but an online interview instead. Are you ready? Keep reading for an professional interview tips for online interviews.

 

Just as I mentioned in my previous articles Professional Interview Tips (The Telephone Interview) and Professional Interview Tips (Face-to-Face Interviews), there are general things you can do to prepare for any interview – including your online interview – such as:

1. Do your homework
In my previous articles, the first thing you should do when you know you have an interview is do your research on the company. Why? Because you may be asked specific questions about the company.

2. Have your resume available
Having the resume in front of you for reference is a great idea. While it’s not intended to be read from, you can use as a reference in case someone asks you specifically about a past job, date, etc. If possible, tack it on your computer screen right in front of you so you can refer to it while still looking at the camera.

3. Have the job description available
Try to obtain a copy of the job description available for reference as you are interviewing. Having it available, can give you an opportunity to relate how your background fits the job duties.

4. Smile
While you are talking with the interviewer(s), make sure you have a pleasant face and smile as you talk. You will look and sound pleasant.

5. Practice
It’s a great idea to practice your interview answers with someone. This will make you more confident before the actual interview.


Computer


WHY DO COMPANIES CONDUCT ONLINE INTERVIEWS?

There are different reasons a company may decide to conduct an online interview instead of a face-to-face interview.

1) Cost savings – it may be more cost effective to have the candidate interview online rather than having them travel to the company. Depending on where the candidate resides, it can be quite expensive to pay for airfare, hotel room, etc.

2) Convenience – an online interview can be more convenient for everyone.  With the technology we have today, it can be quite simple to conduct interviews online using Skype, for example.

SKYPE INTERVIEWS
Today, if a company is going to conduct an online interview, it is common to use a system like Skype. Before the interview, it is important to prepare so you look professional.  You still want to put your best foot forward as if you were in a face-to-face interview. While you still want to prepare as you would a face-to-face interview, there are others aspects to keep in mind.

Watch the below interview for some awesome tips on how to prepare:

 

For more great tips, read the article Online Job Interviews: Practice and Preparation.  It’s a good idea to make a checklist of your preparation items based on the video and article, then go through each aspect before the interview to make sure items are covered.

1. Space
Conduct your interview in a quiet room and one that doesn’t echo so it’s not distracting for your interviewer(s).
2. Location
Make sure your background is nice and neat with nothing distracting or inappropriate on the walls behind you.
3. Camera Angle
Ensure you are looking the interviewers “in the eye” with having your camera in front of you and eye level. When talking, look at the camera and not the screen.
4. Lighting
To make you look good on camera, make sure you have a light source that’s in front of you.
5. Dress appropriately
Even in an online interview, you should still dress appropriately from head to toe to give a great first impression. You never know if/when you’ll have to stand up, so keep that in mind.
6.  Software
Make sure your software is working appropriately before the interview. You may want to do a trial run with a friend so they can give you feedback about the sound, lighting and appearance before your big day.
7.  Professional username
Just as it is suggested to have a professional email address, keep that in mind for your Skype username as well.

YOUR COLLEGE CAREER CENTER
If you don’t have a good location to set up for your online interview, contact your college’s career center to see if they have rooms available for online interviews. Some career centers have separate rooms just for those occasions.

Even if you’ve graduated, some career centers support their alum with finding jobs. Call to find out what support you can obtain from your college or university’s career center.


Do you have an interview coming up soon?
Would you like to obtain some feedback in a practice interview?

Contact us to schedule a FREE  initial interview assessment TODAY!


YOUR CELL PHONE
To ensure your cell phone doesn’t ring during your interview, it’s best to have it in the off position and out of the way. Having your cell phone ring during your interview would be a huge distraction for everyone.


Cell phone

 

ONLINE  INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
No one really knows what questions will be asked during the online interview. However, do some research about possible questions to help you get prepared.

Remember these tips when you’re answering questions in an interview:

1. Be short and to the point.
2. Make sure you listen to the question carefully and answer what is asked of you.
3. If you are not sure of a question, it’s fine to repeat it out loud so the person can hear it and verify in more detail, if necessary.


INTERVIEW TIP:

There are times during an interview, you may be asked a difficult question and not know how to answer it.  What should you do? Don’t panic by asking if you can come back to it.  Instead, repeat the question calmly and slowly. You most likely will have thought of an answer by the time you get to the end of the sentence.


Below are a list of questions to help you prepare for your online interview. Remember, this is only a sample set of what you could possibly be asked, but it’s a start.

1. Tell me/us about yourself.
For this question, use your elevator pitch.  To read more about elevator pitches, read my article  Professional Interview Tips.

2. What enticed you most about this position?
Be specific about why you applied for the position. (Warning: Referring to how much the position pays should not be a part of your answer!)

3. Tell me/us about the roles you’ve had in this position.
Be very specific about your roles in that position. If possible, obtain the job description beforehand and write down how your skills fit with the skill expectations of the job.

4. Why are you looking to leave your current position?
Whatever the reason you’re leaving (or left) your last job, stay positive when answering. Don’t speak negatively about your past company, employees or boss.

5. What do you feel are your strengths?
People may have a hard time answering this particular question because it sometimes feels boastful to speak positively about yourself. Remain humble and factual. If you answer honestly, it won’t come across as you bragging about yourself.

6. What areas do you feel you need to further develop?
This question is always a difficult one to answer.  You may seem that you are shooting yourself in the foot to talk about negative aspects of yourself. We all have something negative about ourselves that we can further develop. Therefore, do not answer by saying “I don’t have any areas that need developing.” Think it through. Whatever your answer is, turn it around and make it a positive by saying what you do to “fix” it. This will let people know that while you do have a negative aspect, you are trying to rectify it.

7. What are your salary requirements?
Salary and benefits are areas you should only address if it is brought up by the interviewer.  It would be great if you could do some research to try and find out the salary range before the interview to give you a baseline. That way, you can refer to a salary that falls within that range.

8. What questions do you have for me/us?
Referring to my article, Professional Interview Tips it’s good to have at least one relative question.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Remember the purpose of your online interview is to find out if you’re going to be asked to the next phase of the process. There are key professional interview tips to keep in mind. Just like in the telephone and face-to-face interviews, you want to convey you’ll make a positive contribution to the organization. By being prepared, you can come across as being professional and give the interviewer(s) a great first impression.


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10 thoughts on “Professional Interview Tips (Online Interviews)

  1. Some fantastic tips! And although it may seem obvious about dressing properly top to bottom, I would hate to be caught out in my pajama bottoms. Plus, being dressed for the part will put you in the right frame of mind to act professionally. 

    Your sample questions are a great starting point to help in preparing for interviews. So much better to be prepared than to be sitting there like a deer caught in the headlights!

    1. Thank you, Fiona, for stopping by and for your comments. I appreciate it. You are right about dressing from top to bottom. I have read about horror stories where people were not prepared and had to stand up because something was happening and they needed to address it. The embarrassment is not worth it. You are so correct about the dress putting you in the right frame of mind. It could also make you feel more confident and confidence is key when interviewing.

      Thank you for the kind words about the sample questions. I truly appreciate it and am happy to hear they are a great starting point. Since you don’t know what questions interviewers will ask, that covers some of the questions I’ve asked during interviews. 

      Once again, thank you for your comments. I’m wishing you all the best in 2019 and beyond.

      Best regards,

      Yvette

  2. Hi and thanks for the great advice you give on here. There is definitely a lot that should be noted. I may well be looking for other jobs soon and will refer to some of your tips when I go for interviews for sure. Thank you for sharing this and I hope to see mor of your content again soon.

  3. Yeah, I find doing my homework before an interview and brainstorming potential interview questions and answers is the best way to prepare for an interview.

    Actually, I always read through the job description and when they ask me questions at the interview I always try and quote the bullet points in the job description to look like I am the right guy for the job.

    Geez, I do not smile enough, I need to smile more I am sure of this.

    I’ve never taken a Skype job interview before, I think it would be a cool experience.

    In the past I would elaborate too much on my answers to interview questions, nowadays I just answer precisely what the question asks then maintain silence.

    Thanks a lot for your informative article I have learnt a lot about the interview process and will be implementing the procedures outlined in your how to interview article. Dave.

    1. Dave, thank you for your comment and kind words. That’s awesome that you’ve quoted the bullet points in the job description as you were interviewing. That’s a great idea. It’s also a great idea that you don’t elaborate too much on your answers and then become silent. Sometimes when people are nervous, they have a tendency to ramble too much and that’s not necessary. You sound like you have a great handle on it now. I’m glad the article was helpful to you. Wishing you all the best in future interviews. 

  4. I’ve always been scared of online interview, I know weird huh.
    I just don’t know what the other person’s reaction to my answers are, and it puts me on edge from just not knowing!

    If there is a time where I have to do so I now at least know the most important things are, to look professional and to have a professional email address so that they know I am serious about it.

    Thanks for sharing this, I greatly appreciate it.

    1. Thank you, Joe, for your comments and kind words. I can understand how not knowing the other person’s feelings about your answers would make you feel a bit on edge. In your next interview, try to relax and think of the interview as a “conversation” you’re having with someone. Remember, they are interviewing you, but you’re interviewing them as well. You need to decide if the company is a good fit for YOU. Once you establish that, you may feel better.

      I can also understand how interviewing online may make you feel uneasy. Companies are starting to use online interviewing more often now, depending on the situation. You’re right, if you’re ever invited to an online interview, you know more information about it and what to expect. Wishing you all the best. 

  5. These are great tips for online interviewing. I wish I would have seen this article years ago. When I had an my very first online interview with Apply At Home Advisor. I really wanted that job. However, because, I lacked the knowledge, that for one there was even a such thing as online interviews. And for two I had no idea what to expect.

    I agree with all of your points. Most importantly, it is always best to be prepared for the interview. One thing, I noticed in that interview. The hiring manager wanted me to know somethings about the company. I think this is where I shot myself in the foot. Because, I did not do enough research about Apple. So, I would highly encourage others to study the company as well.

    Is it possible to take notes during an interview? Or does this look unprofessional? Thank you for sharing these awesome tips.

    1. Thank you, Kisha, for visiting my site, for the comments and for the kind words. I appreciate it. Thank you also, for sharing your experience. Your example is a great one because during an interview, you just don’t know if you’ll be asked specifics about the company or not. The recruiter wants to know you’re highly interested in the company so doing your homework and researching is a great way to let them know you’re excited about being a part of their culture. Online interviews are becoming more and more common. Knowing how to be prepared is very important. It is possible to take some notes during the interview. However, I would suggest not taking a lot of notes. Remember the only thing the interviewer is going to see is the top part of you. So if you’re taking a lot of notes, you are most likely looking away from the screen and that can be distracting for the interviewer. It can seem as though you are not paying attention. What you may want to do is take notes right after the interview when information is still in your mind. If you feel like you absolutely must take notes, ask the interviewer if it’s okay to do so. That way they are aware. However, I would still caution given the situation and you need to absolutely have the eye contact. I hope this helps. Please feel free to come back soon.

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