Online interviews are where it’s at now! You’ve got an online job interview coming up! Awesome! Let’s make sure you ace this. Here’s a handy list of online job interview tips to give yourself the best chance of success.

Get a professional email address and user name.
You may be quite attached to the “partymaniac” part of your email address or user name, but in today’s digital world, your email address or username is often your first impression.

  • Don’t give the hiring manager a reason to question your professionalism before they even meet you by providing a once-hilarious personal email address you still might be using.
  • Keep your email and usernames simple. Try different combinations of your first, middle, and last name, or leverage industry keywords if you’re stuck.
  • Also, avoid utilizing symbols and the numbers one and zero, which look like letters depending on the font and can cause confusion during outreach.

Be sure to confirm all the details with your interviewer in advance of the call.

This should include:

  • his or her username or video conference link (Zoom, Webex, etc.),
  • the time,
  • duration,
  • and materials to be prepared for the interview.

Don’t be the panicked candidate scrambling for someone’s Skype address or conference link a few minutes before the call!

Test Your Technology
Technical skills are considered one of the top competencies employers look for in new hires, and hiring managers are able to gauge your abilities easily during a virtual interview.

  • Avoid potential technical glitches by testing your equipment before the call.
  • If your video conferencing software produces grainy visuals or muffled audio, it might be time to invest in an external webcam or microphone. I had a client that I was doing a mock interview with that we realized had major camera issues. Everything looked pink!! Fortunately, she was able to get this resolved before the real interview.
  • You should also secure your internet connection. Nothing stifles conversation quite like a call dropped mid-persuasion point.

Choose a quiet, private place where you know you won’t be interrupted.
You’ll need to find a quiet room, where you can shut yourself away for the interview and know you won’t be disturbed. The main thing to think about when you select a room is acoustics, or put more simply, whether the room is echoey.

  • Rooms become echoey when sounds bounce off solid surfaces such as walls and floors so that you hear the same sound again.
  • During an interview, the sound of your voice reaching your microphone will be followed soon after by the same sound reflected off the walls and floor.
  • Too much echo and your voice will very difficult and tiring to listen to. Large rooms tend to have more echo than small ones, but even small rooms can cause a problem when you’re on a video call.
  • When you enter the room, say a few words out loud. If your voice sounds warm and dead, great.
  • If your voice sounds a little echoey, and you can’t find an alternative room then
  • there are a few things you do to improve things. Try and position yourself with your back close to a corner of the room where the microphone will pick up fewer echos. If the room has curtains, close them. If you have some cushions or a coat handy, try positioning these around your computer (making sure they won’t be seen on camera). Doing this can help absorb some of the reflecting soundwaves.

Monitor Your Body Language
Unfortunately, that firm handshake and enthusiasm you typically greet employers with during an in-person interview won’t translate via video. Instead, convey confidence through your body language.

  • Sit up straight, smile, and keep the camera at eye level to avoid looking up or down.
  • Research shows that employers are more likely to remember what you said if you maintain eye contact, so be sure to keep your eyes focused on the camera—not the screen image of the hiring manager—as you converse.
  • Write your talking points on Post-it notes. You can then place those notes on your computer screen to avoid shuffling papers or clicking around during the call.

Dress for success
From the waist up at least, you need to look the part. In the modern workplace, this doesn’t always mean a suit and tie for men and professional attire for women. Some can be more relaxed and will be open to smart casual or even casual dress at work. If in doubt, pitch the formality of what you wear towards the more formal end.

  • It’s better to be overdressed than under — as long as you don’t wear pajamas.
  • Dress as though you’re preparing for an in-person interview.
  • Wear your best business attire and, if you can, stick to jewel tones. These colors “have the right amount of saturation for all skin types and will prevent washing you out under harsh lighting.
  • Also, avoid any overpowering patterns or flashy accessories so as not to divert the employer’s attention from your expertise.
  • You should be the focus of the interview, not your wardrobe.

Practice Answers to Common Interview Questions

There’s no way to know exactly what a hiring manager will ask, but there are some common interview questions you can prepare for. Consider prepping answers to the following to ensure you put your best foot forward on camera:

  • Why Are You Leaving Your Job? This is not the time to criticize your current employer. Focus instead on where you want to take your career and the positives of the role you’re interviewing for—particularly the skills listed in the job description that you want to acquire.
  • What Are Your Salary Requirements? Negotiating your salary requires preparation. Use sites like Glassdoor, PayScale, and to find the average wage for the position you’re applying for, and then match that number against your education, experience, and location to determine a salary range you’re comfortable with. It’s always easier to negotiate down, so if asked for your desired pay, respond with the highest number. If the number isn’t feasible, but you really want the job, ask what flexibility there is in terms of benefits, such as healthcare, vacation time, retirement, or professional development opportunities.
  • What Are Your Weaknesses? Employers want an authentic answer here, not, “I work too hard.” The key is to share a negative, but explain how you turned it into a positive. For example, perhaps you’re not strong at delegating tasks, opting instead to tackle the work yourself. Say that, but also describe the processes you’ve put in place to make you a more effective leader and help you avoid micromanaging projects.
  • Why Should We Hire You? This question is an intimidating one but enables you to summarize your experience and emphasize the unique strengths you bring to the role and the results you’ve already proven you can deliver. This is another occasion where that Post-It with your notes can come in handy. Jot down high-level ideas so that you feel more prepared if the interviewer does pose any of those questions. Just avoid memorizing your responses; you want the conversation to flow naturally, not feel forced or rehearsed. Lastly, don’t forget to prepare questions of your own to ask the hiring manager.

Don’t Forget to Follow Up
Treat the video interview as you would an in-person meeting and properly follow up. Within 24 hours of the meeting, send an email to whomever you chatted with, thanking him or her for taking the time to speak with you. If there’s a question you wish you had answered differently or a point you wanted to elaborate on, here’s your chance. Just keep the email concise.

You’ve got this!

I hope you enjoy and get value out of this week’s round-up of curated articles just for you that I know are providing the best of the best in the areas of Job Search, Career Transition/Exploration, Career Advancement/Leadership Development, and Work-Life Balance/Mindfulness.

I would love your feedback because this really is for you. If you have requests of what you would like to see or want to ask me any questions, feel free to reach out to me. If I can be of further support to you, let’s have a conversation. Here is a link to get on my calendar:

Have a great week. I will be sending positive energy your way.

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