Tips to Ace Online Job Interviews

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Ahmed Azzam

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26 May, 2020

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3 mins read

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Tips and Advice

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Online jobs provide an accessible earning potential for many students who are practising social distancing right now. Many online communities, websites and companies are now working from home; therefore, many jobs have evolved to include online interviews and online job training. If you are a student looking for a way to increase your income during the COVID situation, an online job is what you need. Check out our blog Top online part-time jobs for students to know your choices. It would also be beneficial if you trained yourself on some of the meeting apps that companies use for interviews. Check out our Useful Apps for Students Studying Abroad blog to find out more.

A face-to-face interview is not that different from an online interview; however, there are a few differences you have to keep in mind. Here are some tips for you to ace your online job interview.

Online Jobs

Choose a Suitable Spot

Start by scanning your room and locate a suitable spot where you can conduct the interview. Stay away from the bed or the couch; they don’t reflect a professional setting. You can sit at your study desk in your student accommodation, which will give a more professional image . The perfect spot should have a natural light source and not too dark, so try to prepare your spot near a window. You can use the lights in your room too but try to avoid overhead light because it will make it harder for your interviewer to see you clearly.

Another important thing about your interview spot should be the background. An empty wall or any neutral background would be the best choice for you to sit and talk with your interviewer.

Eliminate Distractions

You should have a list of things to check before sitting down to your interview so as not to be distracted in the middle of it. Distractions will give the impression that you were not prepared enough and it will definitely take your mind off the conversation. Close the door and the windows in your room and if you have a roommate, politely ask them to give you some time and space for the interview.

Also, your phone can be a major source of distraction. If you are not having the interview over the phone, remember to switch it to silent mode. If the interview is conducted through the phone make sure to disable other notifications before the interview to avoid disruption. Do the same for your PC or laptop; stop all notifications and make sure that the only thing running is your video call.

Dress Professionally

An online interview may sound kind of casual but your outfit will say a lot about you. If you dress up professionally you will give the impression that you care and show respect for your interviewer. You should keep in mind that first impressions matter as they play a role in determining your success in the interview.

Choosing a formal outfit will have a psychological effect on you as well. It will keep your mind alert and your confidence high while responding to questions about your skills and capabilities. 

Test Your Devices

Once you receive an email confirmation for your interview, ask for more information about the online interview. Is it a video call or an audio call only? Will you talk directly to an interviewer or will it be a pre-recorded video interview? Pre-recorded video interviews are when the interviewers record their questions on a video and send them to you to record your answers then send them back. 

Next, you need to know what application you are going to use and download it beforehand. Take some time to familiarise yourself with the app and its buttons. You can also go the extra mile and download the app on your phone and laptop as a backup in case a technical issue arises. Moreover, you might ask a friend for help and call them as a test call before the interview; this way you get to test the voice, video quality and lighting in your room. 

Maintain Interview Standards

Even though online interviews are done at a distance, you still need to follow some basic guidelines for any job interview

  1. Maintain eye contact with your interviewer even through the screen
  2. Keep the atmosphere light and try not to be nervous
  3. Answer questions clearly after giving yourself time to organize your thoughts.
  4. Always ask for elaborations if the question is unclear. 

In addition, do not forget to smile at your interviewer to maintain a warm professional atmosphere. Even if it is a pre-recorded video interview, you need to smile as your attitude matters just as much as your answers. Another important tip is to prepare questions to ask at the end of your interview to show that you did your research on the company and that you’re interested in the opportunity.

Last but not least, an online interview does not mean you do not get to get creative. Remember that your interviewer can only see what is in front of the camera, so you can stick some notes on your screen or the wall where you put a flow of your main points or the questions you want to ask at the end.


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