8 tips for acing an online job interview

A lot has changed recently, including the way we interact at work or even during an online interview. Like many companies that regularly use technology to conduct online job interviews,  ALTEN Romania has also adapted its stages of the recruitment process, moving them 100% online.

But regardless of the form in which they take place, job interviews have always been daunting, especially for candidates with less experience. With online interviews, there are more chances for things to go less smoothly. Not only that you can face potential connection or technical issues, but it can be harder to read the interviewer's non-verbal language.

However, the experience of an online job interview can be a pleasant one. We have prepared some tips & tricks that we recommend you take into consideration in the case of an online interview.

8 tips for acing an online job interview

1. Test your computer and make sure you have a good internet connection

Have you ever had to join a meeting on Zoom and just then get a notification that the app is just updating? Avoid this situation and test the platform at least 30 minutes before the interview. Then, test your Internet connection as well as your audio and video capabilities to make sure everything is working properly.

Before the interview, you should ask some questions like:

● Is it an audio or audio and video interview?
● Are the questions pre-recorded?
● If the questions are pre-registered, who do I contact if I have technical difficulties?


2. Choose a place with natural light

Are you sustaining the interview from your living room and don't have a dedicated light source? Make sure you don't sit in the dark, but stay away from overhead lights. The best source of light is the natural one, so find a spot near the window, facing the light.

If you're using a smartphone or tablet for the interview, use a tripod to keep it steady. If you don't have a tripod, try to stabilize it with other objects, such as books, but make sure that when you turn on the camera, you are well positioned in the frame.


3. Look at your interviewer directly

You already know how important it is to keep eye contact in any conversation. But the new interview format can be daunting if you can't make eye contact with your interviewer. This happens because when you are placed in front of the screen, you tend to look at the screen instead of looking into the webcam.

Avoid this situation and look directly at the webcam, do not look at the screen. If it feels weird and unnatural to do this and you tend to look away from the screen, stick a picture of someone you know next to your webcam. This way, you feel like you're talking to a friend and it's easier to maintain eye contact.


4. Pay attention to the non-verbal language

In addition to the transmitted words that you need to pay attention to, you can also use body language in the hiring process. Especially if it's a video call, it's important to exude confidence and appreciation. So keep your shoulders straight and your head up.

For a good experience, the webcam should be positioned at eye level so you don't have to bend over the keyboard to be part of the frame.


5. Choose a neutral virtual background

Interviews take place everywhere. From bed, from the kitchen, from cafes or terraces. That's why those virtual backgrounds appeared that allow you to replace the image in the background with another one.

Even though you might be tempted to choose a cute, colorful or funny background, avoid doing so, especially in your first interview. You can choose a neutral background, blur or a very simple image.


6. Make sure you have no distractions

As I said in the point above, the interviews take place from different spaces. Some choose cafes, others co-working spaces or the kitchen table.

No matter what option you choose, eliminate all distractions. For example, if you choose to conduct the interview in a cafe, make sure that the coffee machine cannot be heard in the background. If you're at home, make sure your cat doesn't jump into your arms or onto your keyboard.

But regardless of where you choose to attend the interview, turn off the notifications on your phone or on your computer.


7. Do your homework before

A common element that both types of interviews share is the research and preparation you do before. It is important to look for information about the company and about the industry in which the company operates. Then, prepare a list of 3-4 questions to ask the interviewer.

If you have participated in interviews before, you know that at any interview there is the moment "So, what questions do you have for us?". If you come from home with your homework done, i.e. with the 3-4 questions prepared, you already receive a white ball for the involvement.


8. Speak clearly and listen actively

The technology may come with delays or situations where the microphone cannot clearly pick up the voice. If you want to avoid this situation, speak clearly and rarely.

Sometimes you may accidentally interrupt the interviewer due to audio delays. You can avoid these situations by waiting a few seconds before answering the questions.


Finally, just like a traditional interview, you can show interest by sending an email to the interviewer after the interview is end. This is an opportune time to thank to the interviewer for its time and reiterate your enthusiasm for the team and the opportunity.

The experience of an online job interview can easily turn into a positive one. It is important to remain natural and professional at every opportunity, even if you are in front of the screen. We hope the tips mentioned above will help you during your next interview.

Access the website careers.altenromania.ro, find out more about ALTEN Romania's team & about our available roles and maybe the next interview will be with us.