Prepping for an Online Interview

Any time you throw your hat in the ring for a job opening, you are requesting the opportunity to demonstrate you are the right person for the job via an interview. You may wait for weeks for a hiring manager’s call, requesting your presence in their office. When your phone finally rings, you may be surprised to learn that the manager wants to schedule you for an online interview.

Contrary to popular belief, online interviews aren’t reserved for “techie” jobs. These days, an increasing number of employers are relying on technology to allow them to conduct interviews with candidates from near or far. According to a survey by Menlo Park, California-based OfficeTeam, 63 percent of companies frequently conduct employment interviews via video. That’s up from just 14 percent one year ago. In addition, 13 percent of respondents expect their organizations to rely on video interviews more frequently within the next three years.

It isn’t hard to figure out the rationale behind the increase. Online, or video, interviews save on travel expenses, while enabling hiring and HR managers to schedule interviews on short notice. Oftentimes, you will find a manager wants to conduct an online interview within the next 24 hours. While that may initially set off a wave of panic deep inside you, there’s really no reason to be overwhelmed by anxiety. Online interviewing needn’t be approached any differently than traditional face-to-face, in-person interviewing. Here are a few basic tips to help you shine:

1) Do Your Homework – If you haven’t already researched the company thoroughly, now is the time. Get online and check out any recent news. Visit their website and refresh your memory with regard to their products/services and corporate goals.

2) Assemble Your Equipment – Make sure you have all the requisite equipment (i.e. webcam, mic, software) ready.  Make sure everything is working correctly. Troubleshoot any issues.

3) Select a Suitable Location – Even though you’re going to be participating in the interview from home, that’s no reason to look unprofessional. Choose an area of your house or apartment that has good lighting. Try to avoid windows, which can negatively affect the lighting. Also, ensure that dogs, children, or other distractions will not be entering the room (or audible from another room) during the interview.

4) Dress for Success – An online interview should not be interpreted as carte blanche to look like a slob. Take the time to dress and groom yourself the same as you would for an in-person interview. If possible, avoid patterns or colors that won’t transmit well over video.

5) Take a Test Run – Practice videoconferencing with a friend or colleague. Speak clearly and look directly into the camera. Exude confidence, but try not to appear braggadocios. Sit up straight and smile when appropriate. Ask your practice partner to critique your performance.

6) Take a Breather – In the final few hours leading up to your interview, get some rest and relaxation. Avoid the temptation to act like a college student cramming for an exam. Instead, sit back and tell yourself you are prepared to do your best.

Need help preparing for an interview –online or in-person—or identifying job opportunities? Contact High Profile Staffing today.