It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Yup, we’re talking about the age of online interviews, a time in which many, if not most, of our first professional impressions happen online, from our bedroom, on our computer screens, business casual on top, sweatpants on the bottom. The truth is, online interviews are awesome. Think about it: You save a ton of time on commutes, the risk of running late is slim to none, you can have your notes, resume, and the company website right in front of you on a screen, and it’s overall a much more comfortable experience.
BUT–yes, always a but–online interviews can also lead to many potential mishaps that you wouldn’t have to worry about with in-person interviews. We’re talking Wi-Fi problems, microphones not working, your mom walking into your room mid-interview, embarrassing childhood items visible in the background. We’re not trying to stress you out, but it’s the reality.
The good news? There are many easy steps you can take in advance to help your video interview go as smoothly as possible. Check out a few of our online interview tips below: 👇
As we mentioned, one of the great things about online interviews is that you can have the company’s website on your computer to reference. But that doesn’t mean you can just get by without doing any advanced research. Read about the company you’re applying for and the position you’re interested in and prepare questions to ask during the call. Here are just a few things you should research beforehand:
Doing this digging before your call will show the interviewer that you’ve done your homework and that you’re actually interested in the company.
Like many remote employees, you may long for the day when sweatpants and t-shirts become your everyday work attire. But the day of your remote interview is not that day, friend. Even though you’re conducting the interview out of your bedroom or living room, there is still online interview etiquette that applies. In other words, you still need to dress as if you were going into an office–professionally. If you’re interviewing for a more formal company, this might mean a jacket and tie for men or a suit jacket for women. If you know that the company is a bit more laid back, a business casual shirt or blouse should do the trick.
Dressing professionally for your interview isn’t just about what you’re wearing. It’s also about your overall presentation. That means brushing your hair, grooming any facial hair, and making sure you look presentable and professional. First impressions are super important, even–or especially–online.
Speaking of first impressions, one of the most important things to do when preparing for your virtual interview is to choose your background and to choose it wisely. The top half of you is the main thing the interviewer will be looking at throughout the call, but your background is a very close second.
Wherever you do the interview, make sure that your background is organized and also represents you as a professional. Be strategic about what’s in the background by placing things that showcase your hobbies or interests–as long as they’re not distracting! The point is to use your background as another element to help you sell yourself in your interview.
We can’t stress enough how important it is to test your equipment before the call. The last thing you need is your microphone or camera not working when you first enter the interview. Leave yourself enough time before the interview to test your audio settings, camera settings, and internet connection.
Keep in mind that it’s not uncommon for there to be audio delays or muffled sounds during online interviews. You can improve your odds of having good sound quality by investing in a microphone–but one that doesn’t break the bank! We recommend Elgato Wave:1, Blue Yeti, and Razer Seiren X. And if you really want to take your sound to the next level during your call, try our Custom Pitch voice effect, which uses our new PowerPitch technology to seriously enhance the quality of your voice. Play around with the different effects until you get a natural, crisper voice.
And if you want to look as awesome as you sound, be sure to use good lighting and frame yourself correctly. Here’s a quick video with a few tips on how to frame yourself:
As we already mentioned, one of the great things about online interviews is that you don’t need to worry about leaving the house early, getting stuck in traffic, or other unforeseen things that could cause you to run late. In other words, there are very few justifiable reasons to show up late to an online interview. So make sure that you’re entering that chat room on time, equipment already set up, and ready to kill it.
You can do all the tech testing in the world, but sometimes, things just happen. Audio delays can occur due to spotty internet on the interviewer’s side or yours. This can result in one of you getting cut off mid-sentence or in muffled sounds–unless, of course, you’re using Voicemod’s Custom Pitch 😉 lol. Just to be safe, make sure you speak nice and slow and that you pronounce your words as clearly as possible. You don’t want the interviewer to miss anything of the important things you say.
Last but not least, if you really want to stand out from all the other candidates, be sure to send a follow-up email to your interviewer a little after the call. A simple “thank you for your time” and that you look forward to hearing from them in the coming week is really all you need to show the company that this is important to you.
The only thing that’s left to do now? Go crush it! Keep these tips in mind and you’re sure to ace your online interview like a seasoned professional. Good luck 💪