There have been options for an online interview for a long time – but so far it has hardly been used. What are the differences, apart from the fact that you don’t see yourself in person, but only through a screen? In the end, what is spoken is the same as in the on-site interview.
This is precisely why so much more must be taken into account in an online interview than in a face-to-face interview.
There are a few sources of error that you can avoid:
Put on decent pants
It may sound so banal. But time and again some applicants rely on the fact that you can only see their upper body. This may be true at first, but it can still happen that you have to get up during an online interview.
Maybe you should show something that you don’t have next to your PC. You should be well-prepared for all eventualities and that includes wearing pants.
Make sure you have decent picture and sound quality
The interview is usually announced well in advance. So it’s up to you to test the camera and microphone beforehand.
Nothing is worse than a picture that is too pixelated and, also, poor sound quality. After all, the HR manager shouldn’t get a headache while he is listening. You shouldn’t get a better webcam for $300 now, just ask friends or family whether they can lend you the right equipment for the conversation.
Most of the time there is still the option of joining the meeting over the phone. However, this is not recommended for job interviews, as sympathy is often transmitted through facial expressions and gestures.
It is not always the case that well-known platforms such as Skype or Microsoft Teams are used for job interviews. Now and then companies have their own platforms that you have to dial into.
Furthermore, it is customary that your e-mail invitation describes exactly which program and which login data you will use for the conversation. It is advisable to read these carefully as they will save you from embarrassing questions. A potential employer will doubt whether someone is paying attention if they are not even able to read the description carefully.
Another tip is to dial into the conversation 5 minutes in advance. This makes you seem prepared and shows your ability to be on time.
Make sure that everything that shouldn’t be seen isn’t seen either. Embarrassing photos of children or private pictures with the partner really have no place here. But other details can also be fatal for you here. If there is trash on the floor all over the room, or it is extremely messy, HR professionals can get a bad impression.
So that the interview can run smoothly, you mustn’t be interrupted by background noises. Let your parents, roommates, or partner know that you are about to have an interview and that you need absolute rest. Otherwise, someone will knock at the end and stand next to you in the room.
It’s all about perspective
Furthermore, your face should be easy to see and preferably a piece of your neck. Many think it’s okay to only hang halfway in the camera and only show half your face. Also, illuminate your room properly. If you don’t pay attention to the light at all, you can quickly end up with more dark circles under your eyes on camera than in real life. It’s best to try to light yourself from the front. So your counterpart sees the whole face. The worst thing is the lighting from behind. It can happen that your face can only be seen as very dark. On the other hand, overexposure can of course also be harmful by making you look pale and sickly. Just give it a try before the interview starts.
If you also prepare for the interview in terms of content, you are prepared as well as possible.