5 Tips for Online Interviews

27 May, 2022

5 tips to help you make your video call interview feel like a F2F interview IRL

Interviewing for a job via Zoom or Teams is very different to interviewing in person. We've put together 5 tips to help your next video interview go as smoothly as possible.

  1. Make sure you show up for the interview. This may sound silly, but having your data finish in the middle of the interview would be the equivalent of just getting up and  walking out in the middle of your in person interview. Make sure you have data, connectivity and that your online video call medium is tested and working. Test the video, test the speaker and the microphone. Test it all, 30 minutes before the meeting.
  2. Make sure the background is neutral and doesn't display your dirty kitchen, unmade bed or a messy home office. The attention paid to your background is absolutely crucial. The background distracts the viewer and they will be so busy analysing your laundry that they don't listen to a word you have to say. The most common advice given by the television production industry is to set yourself up against a blank background that doesn't clash with your shirt (do not wear busy patterns and colours, it tends to look horrible on video), and to sit about half a metre to a metre away from the wall. Do not sit in front of a window as the light behind you will cast a shadow on your face. It also goes without saying that this is not the time to apply your favourite virtual beach background or a filter.
  3. Prepare your physical appearance as though you are going to an in person interview. Being presentable is as important in an online video interview as it is in a face to face interview. The trend toward casual work from home loungewear should not trickle down to your video interview. Dress up in your full job interview best, from the jacket to the shoes. The interviewers might not see your shoes, but there is a grounding, reality check, real life type of positive psychological effect that you won't even realise.
  4. You have to ban the dogs, cats, parrot, kids, vacuum cleaner, lawnmower and TV from your interview. Put your phone on silent and close all other windows on your computer except the one where the interview is taking place. None of these would be present in an in person interview, so they can't be present in your video interview. The last thing you want is to loose your train of thought, miss a question or appear as though you are not serious about the interview.
  5. Look at the camera. This is probably the most difficult, unnatural thing, and you are going to have to practice, but the interviewer(s) need to see you clearly, and not the other way around. Look at the camera as much as possible, not the picture of the person or the little square with your face in it. If you are doing the interview on a computer, you can cheat this slightly by minimizing and positioning the screen with your interviewers face right under the camera. This is the closest thing to eye contact that you will get, so you also can't put your laptop on a table 2 metres away from you. Place your laptop or device on a stack of books or a phone stand at eye level so you don't slouch.

One of the biggest hacks we can teach you is to set up a test interview with your Recruiter or someone else 30 minutes before the interview to make sure it all looks good and sounds good.

Now, you go and get that job!


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