Since 2019, there has been a 57% increase in companies carrying out interviews via video call. A big factor in this surge is the pandemic, however, more than half of employers are going to continue using this as a standard interview procedure moving forward. Virtual interviews are much more convenient and practical for interviewers who may work from home, and it also prevents interviewees from needing to travel. So, it’s a great practice for all companies to look at embedding where possible.

Planning for an online interview, whether it’s on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, FaceTime or another service, is quite different to planning for an in-person interview. Here are 8 tips that we recommend to help you prepare for your online interview: 

Test the Software before the interview 

Like any software, services such as Zoom can have issues from time to time. It’s important to identify any issues before your interview so that you can fix them beforehand. Try asking someone you know to take part in a call, so you can check all the features are working, including your video and microphone. 

Make sure your internet signal is strong

Software like Zoom and Facetime use internet data to work, so to make sure there are no quality issues or interruptions during your interview, make sure your internet is working well. The internet reaches different areas of the home at different speeds, so it’s useful to work out where the strong spots are so you can sit there for your interview. And if your wifi signal is unreliable it might be worth using an ethernet cable to plug your internet router directly into your laptop or PC.

Have a backup ready

It’s a great idea to have a backup method of accessing your interview just in case you have internet or hardware issues on the day of your interview. It’s a good idea suitable to have the required apps installed on your phone as well as your laptop or PC, this way you can use mobile data instead of wifi if there were any issues.

Update your Software

Software like Zoom and Microsoft Teams requires regular updates for optimal function. Check for any updates the day before your interview to make sure you’re using the most up-to-date version. Often the software prompts its users about updates, but you can check for updates in the settings.  

Consider your visibility and background

Before attending your interview, open the camera app on your device so you can check how visible you are, and your background. Interviewers need to be able to see your face and facial expressions clearly, so make sure you are in a bright room, preferably with lots of natural light. Do not sit in front of a window, as this can create dark shadows on your face and prevent the interviewers from seeing you clearly.

Also, make sure your background is as minimal as possible. The best option is to sit in front of a plain wall. Some software allows the use of a virtual background, but some interviewers may find this distracting as it can take away from video quality (although for the most part they are a good solution if where you are interviewing doesn’t have any suitable areas).

Consider potential disruptions

Being interviewed from home can be daunting as there are many different distractions that you wouldn’t need to think about when going to an interview in person. For example, someone could knock on your door, the dog could start barking, other people in the house could create a lot of noise, etc. Make sure you consider anything that could disrupt your interview so you can prevent this from happening.

For example, you could ask a friend or family member to take children or pets out for a walk while you are having your interview. Make sure you are the only person in the room and close the door to keep noise coming from outside to a minimum. And don’t forget to put your phone on silent and in a drawer so it’s out of your eye line. As much as some of these may not seem like huge issues, it’s always best to keep distractions to a minimum and give a competent and professional impression during your interview.

Dress appropriately 

Dress for the interview in the same way that you would if it were in person. Even the parts that the interviewer won’t see like your legs and feet, you’ll feel more professional subconsciously than what you would in your slippers! 

Do your research 

Online interviews can require more research than in-person interviews. This is because it’s more difficult for interviewers to get a feel for your personality, so they shape the interview in a way which requires you to speak a lot so you can get your character across. It’s vital that you carry out research on the company and role, and to revise interview questions, ensuring you are as prepared as possible.

For more information on preparing for a new job or advancing your career take a look at our post on making your CV Stand Out Here and don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram to stay up to date with new courses, qualifications, bursaries and ways to advance your career.