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VIDEO INTERVIEW:
HOW TO MAKE YOUR ONLINE JOB INTERVIEW A SUCCESS

You have received an invitation to an online job interview. And even though you are familiar with interviews, has everything changed? Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, job interviews are taking place increasingly online. So don't be surprised if you find the situation a little more challenging. When it comes to online interviews, it's no longer just about impressing with your personal appearance and your specialist knowledge; it's also important to demonstrate your mastery of technology. Are you able to build a personal connection despite the camera?

Before we explore what could go wrong, it is worth looking at the advantages of a video interview. First of all, you can save on travel time and costs. Large geographical distances are no longer a problem with an online job interview. Prepare for an online job interview just as well as you would for a traditional face-to-face interview and follow the essential tips.

Preparation is also key for video interviews

In principle, online job interviews are not fundamentally different from traditional job interviews. In both cases, you already know the interview date a few days in advance. And, regardless of whether you have a video or face-to-face job interview, what matters is your confident attitude and how you respond to questions from your interviewers.

Consider the following pre-interview tips as you prepare for your video interview:

  • Research the company in detail.
  • Make sure you have read and thoroughly understood the job description.
  • Make detailed notes for frequently asked questions.
  • Think about why you are just the right person for the job.
  • Prepare meaningful questions for the company.
  • Make sure that your technology is working properly.

 

Tip: Just like in traditional interviews, you can use a notepad with your arguments and questions in for the video interview. Place them around your screen or view them as a document on your screen – this way you won't forget anything and can quickly answer complicated questions.

The video interview is soon: Show yourself in the right light

In addition to preparing for the interview, it is important to check both your technology and the overall setting for the online job interview.

So pay attention to these individual things:

Background noise can be quite annoying during a job interview. It's good that you can control sources of interference yourself during video interviews. Put your phone on silent and close any windows and doors. If you don't live alone, inform your family or the people you live with that you have a job interview.

Background noise can be quite annoying during a job interview. It's good that you can control sources of interference yourself during video interviews. Put your phone on silent and close any windows and doors. If you don't live alone, inform your family or the people you live with that you have a job interview.


A working computer with webcam and microphone is half the battle. All you need now is a stable Internet connection and the appropriate program. It is best to test your devices with a friend in advance and check whether the picture and sound are suitable for the video conference. It will also show you whether your WiFi or wired connected is adequate. It's best to avoid any unpleasant surprises caused by interruptions during the video interview.

A working computer with webcam and microphone is half the battle. All you need now is a stable Internet connection and the appropriate program. It is best to test your devices with a friend in advance and check whether the picture and sound are suitable for the video conference. It will also show you whether your WiFi or wired connected is adequate. It's best to avoid any unpleasant surprises caused by interruptions during the video interview.


You should also think about proper lighting. Avoid sitting completely in the dark or light bulbs that cast unnatural shadows on your face. Your interviewer wants to see you as clearly as possible. So make sure you are well lit and watch out for any light shining on you from the side.

You should also think about proper lighting. Avoid sitting completely in the dark or light bulbs that cast unnatural shadows on your face. Your interviewer wants to see you as clearly as possible. So make sure you are well lit and watch out for any light shining on you from the side.


You will probably have the online interview right in your home. Of course, personal things like holiday photos, bookshelves or decorative items hang on the wall. But does that have to be seen by your future employer? It's best to find a place with a neutral background that goes well with your clothing.

You will probably have the online interview right in your home. Of course, personal things like holiday photos, bookshelves or decorative items hang on the wall. But does that have to be seen by your future employer? It's best to find a place with a neutral background that goes well with your clothing.


Test the image of your camera in advance and make sure that you are positioned in the view of your camera. Is your face completely visible and well lit? Are you looking straight at the camera? This will make it easier for your future employer to assess your facial expressions.

Test the image of your camera in advance and make sure that you are positioned in the view of your camera. Is your face completely visible and well lit? Are you looking straight at the camera? This will make it easier for your future employer to assess your facial expressions.


Online job interviews primarily take place via video interview programs such as Skype, Zoom, Teams, Google Meets or Google Hangouts. You might have already created a profile on one of the applications. Check that you are using your real name and your application photo. This is another way  for HR personnel to see how well you have prepared for the interview and how seriously you feel about the position.

Online job interviews primarily take place via video interview programs such as Skype, Zoom, Teams, Google Meets or Google Hangouts. You might have already created a profile on one of the applications. Check that you are using your real name and your application photo. This is another way  for HR personnel to see how well you have prepared for the interview and how seriously you feel about the position.


Online interviews: Tips for your success in the video interview

As with any job interview, it's normal to be a little nervous. Take a deep breath and take advantage of the fact that you are in your familiar environment and are able to place important notes where others cannot see them. An online job interview can feel strange at first and requires a few tricks to establish a personal connection; things that you don't think twice about for in-person interviews.

1. Be on time

Even if you only need to sit down at home for the video interview: Make sure that you are on time. Don't dawdle: no last-minute shopping or cleaning. It's better to be ready for the online job interview a few minutes early. Test again to see if the technology works before you start and take time to have a drink and go through the interview in your head.

2. Take notes

Just like in face-to-face interviews, it is perfectly permissible and even useful for you to take notes in the video interview. This way, you won't miss any important information. This also shows your interviewer that you have increased interest in the job.

3. Wear suitable clothing

Just because the job interview is online, there's no reason to sit in jogging bottoms and a jumper in front of the screen. It is important to dress appropriately for the occasion; if nothing else this will help you to get in the right frame of mind. The following also applies in the video interview: Dress in the same way as in a face-to-face interview. But avoid eye-catching or checked patterns. These are often unsuitable for cameras.

4. Practice your facial expressions and gestures

You should be careful of your posture because you don't have the benefit of direct and immediate contact in video interviews. Emphasise the seriousness of the interview by sitting up straight or standing upright and making slow gestures.

You should also make sure to look directly into the camera to make eye contact with your future employer. Attention: It can be tempting to look at yourself in your own camera square in video interviews. However, this gives the other person the impression that you are looking past them.

Tip: Even in video interviews, a smile has a positive effect on your counterpart. This will help to create a friendly, trusting atmosphere and immediately make you seem personable.

 

Want to put these tips into action? Are you open to new career opportunities? We have a wide range of jobs for all industries and career levels.

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