9 Quick Tips on how to prepare for an online interview

IRL or online, there are always ways to prepare yourself for an interview to make it more memorable and ultimately lead you to a job offer.

Most of us are familiar with the best practices for in-person interviews. But now that most interviews are taking place online, new ways of preparing have emerged.

In this article, you’ll find 9 tips on what to do before logging on for your online interview.

1. Good lighting is key

Although it may be hard to get the perfect lighting in a home setting, it is nicer to talk to someone when you can clearly see their face. The best place to put your light source is behind your computer camera. When you’re at home, the easiest place to find good lighting is facing a window. Nothing beats that natural lighting.

2. Test out the tech

Make sure your audio, camera, and video conference platform are all running successfully.  The last thing you want is an unexpected app update that can cause you to be late.

3. Check yourself out through the lens of the computer

Another thing to test is how you will appear to the interviewer. You never know what could be lurking in the background. Looking at yourself through the computer camera also lets you see if any last-minute hair fixes are needed.

4. Have some questions ready

Never go into an interview empty-handed, and this also goes for online interviews. Prepare at least 4 to 5 questions to ask the interviewer. Asking questions is the best way to learn more about the role and the company so you can better determine if the position will be a good fit for you.

5. Make a sticky note cheat sheet

Unlike in-person interviews, the only thing the interviewer can see is what your camera shows. Adding a few notes on a small note and sticking it to your computer is conducive to remembering what you want to say. Never rely too much on this though. Try only using the sticky note as a reference to what questions you have prepared.

6. Make sure you have the right time zone

Double-checking the time, date, and other meeting information can save you from easily avoidable mistakes.

7. Get some earbuds

Built-in computer speakers usually have lower-quality audio. You never want to miss any words the interviewer says, so get some earbuds for improved audio. Earbuds also can have superior microphones, which will make you sound clearer.

8. Be prompt, but not too early when signing on

Be ready to connect to the interview 3 to 5 minutes beforehand. Connecting too early may interrupt an interview going on before yours. Depending on the interviewer, they could be using the same meeting room to interview other candidates. Interrupting another interview isn’t the ideal first impression.

9. Get your blood pumping

Jump around, do some jumping jacks, run in place, or do whatever gets you moving. Having your heart pumping a little can give you a surge of energy and put you in the mood to talk more. It also can help calm any pre-interview nerves.

We all are getting used to this virtual world. The good news is that we don’t have to navigate it alone. Although there are different and confusing struggles with going remote, we can now have interviews in the comfort of our homes with our favorite pajama pants on.

In the end, an interview is a two-way street. It is for the candidate and the company to determine if they will be a good fit for each other. Being ready to answer questions honestly and accurately along with having insightful questions, can make any interview successful.


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