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Ace your next online interview with these five tips

female presenting person wearing a plaid blazer in a video call on a laptop

2021 is the year that marked the ‘Great Resignation,’ a tidal wave characterized by thousands of employees resigning from or quitting their current jobs.

But just how many people are part of this ‘Great Resignation’ phenomenon that’s happening around the world?

A survey conducted by Microsoft revealed that 41 per cent of employees, from a sample of 30,000 global workers, were considering quitting or changing professions during the pandemic.

Another study in Canada reported that nearly two in five employees are already changing or considering new careers, and 41 per cent are considering moving to jobs with more flexible working options.

It’s obvious that COVID-19 has affected the workforce in more ways than one. As a result of the pandemic, employees are now broadening their horizons and searching for new opportunities, like passion careers, “better” employers and remote jobs.

With strong demand for remote and hybrid positions, virtual interviews are also becoming much more common and prevalent.

Here are five tips you can use to ace your next online interview.

1. Familiarize yourself with the video conferencing platform

Virtual interviews can be held on a variety of video conferencing platforms including Zoom, Teams, Webex, BlueJeans and Google Meet, just to name a few.

If you’re not already acquainted with the specific platform that your interview will be held on, it’s best to familiarize yourself with it beforehand. On the day before, run a practice video call with a friend or family member to make sure you know how to use the platform and that your camera and microphone work, so you can avoid any technical issues.

2. It’s all about eye contact

Eye contact is always important for interviews as it shows your interviewer that you are interested and are establishing a connection with them. However, it’s not always easy maintaining eye contact during an online interview.

While it’s easier to look at your interviewer’s face on the screen, what your interviewer sees when you do this is you looking down. Remember to look at the camera to make it look like you’re holding eye contact with the interviewer rather than down on the screen.

Another trick is to place your desktop or laptop’s camera at eye level, so it looks like you are looking at the interviewer, not down or above them.

3. Dress for success 

Just because the interview is virtual doesn’t mean you can roll out of bed and wear your pajamas.

Take the time to get ready and dress up as if it were doing an in-person interview. Wear your full interview attire, including pants or a skirt, and style your hair. Not only will this make you look and feel good, but it will also help get you into the right mindset for your interview.

4. Have a distraction-free zone

Distractions in an online interview are much more noticeable for the other person in the call and sometimes can be the only thing they focus on.

For your interview, make sure you set aside all distractions in your background and those surrounding you – this includes being aware of what’s visible on camera and that everything is clean and organized.

If you live with family members or roommates, make sure they are aware of your interview time, so they don’t distract you or suddenly come into your room. If a quiet space isn’t available in your home, try booking a meeting room at your local library or renting a private room in a shared workspace.

5. Rehearse your answers 

Write down a list of commonly asked interview questions for the role you’re applying for and rehearse your answers.

You can record yourself answering the questions and play it back to see and hear how you respond. This will give you extra practice so you know where you can improve, whether it’s looking at the camera more, speaking slower or even sitting more upright.

Watching yourself will make you aware of things you may be doing unconsciously and you can sort out ways to improve them.

Apply these five tips and tricks and you should be well prepared for your interview. Good luck!

Have an in-person interview? See our blog here for in-person interview tips.


Published on Oct. 29, 2021.