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How to prepare for an online interview

  • Publish Date: Posted almost 2 years ago

​​The COVID-19 pandemic has changed much about the working world, not least the recruitment process.

For those who have been involved in job searches during the crisis, online or virtual interviews have become the norm.

So, how can you prepare for your next interview if it’s taking place digitally? Here are our top tips.

Be prepared

Even if it’s a virtual interview, the basics still count. That means you should prepare as you would for any other interview, including:

  • Thoroughly research the company and key staff

  • Making notes about your own resume, experience and skills

  • Practising with a friend or family member if it helps you prepare

  • Noting any questions you have about the role or the company

So, if it’s an EHS role, for example, be prepared to talk about any relevant experience you have in your current job, your certifications and qualifications, and how you can help the business realise its health and safety goals.

Make sure your technology works

Part of that preparation should also include making sure your equipment is as ready as you are. Ensure you power up your laptop, computer or tablet well in advance of the interview – the last thing you need is an update to begin installing as you try to log in with a minute to spare. Also, take time to test the camera and microphone are working as expected. You could even do a ‘dummy run’ by having a trial call with a friend or family member on the video calling software or app you’ll be using for the interview.

Dress appropriately

Online or face-to-face; an interview is an interview, wherever it takes place. Even though you’re being interviewed remotely, you should still dress the part – head to toe. Though it may be tempting to go business-like on top and casual beneath, this might subconsciously lead you to not take it seriously. So, kick off the sweats for an hour or so, and make a good, professional impression.

Choose a sensible space

When it comes to the interview itself, make sure you’re comfortable and positioned in a sensible place. If possible, go in a room where you’re alone and out of the way of disturbances and other sounds from the home. If there are other people in the house, let them know you’re not to be disturbed for the duration of the interview. Also make sure that if you’re connected via wi-fi, you’re in a spot where the signal is strong and reliable, to avoid the connection dropping out mid-interview.

Don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat the question

Let’s face it: tech sometimes fails. If you do encounter any connectivity issues – either at your end or the interviewer’s – it’s not the end of the world. If you missed a question or didn’t understand something, just ask them to repeat it. Much better to answer a question you’re comfortable you’ve heard properly, rather than second guessing and fumbling for an answer.

Need some support?

If you’re looking for some additional support in your job search, the team at Shirley Parsons are here to help. Our EHS specialists are accustomed to supporting EHS professionals ace their interviews and land dream jobs, so get in touch today and let us support you in your application, interview and beyond.