7 Tips for Conducting an Online Job Interview

online job interviews

Much has changed this year, both in our personal lives and in business. To ensure the continued success of your business, you need to adapt to these changes, one of which involves recruiting new talent. In this article, we’ll explain how to conduct a successful online job interview.

The emergence of COVID-19 has radically changed e-commerce: we have seen a boom in online sales, consumer needs have changed, and many employees have started to telecommute.

The way we recruit has also changed, and the search for new talent is now conducted almost entirely online. For some companies, this is nothing new, but many are discovering that online job interviews are not only feasible, but also add value to their business.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of online recruitment and then we’ll give you 7 tips on how to approach an online job interview in the best possible way because a good job interview also requires preparation on your part.

How to conduct an online job interview

The first thing to keep in mind is that you (as a recruiter) are the first point of contact a candidate has with your company. During a job interview, it is not only the candidate who has to convince you, but you also have to describe your company and your offer in an attractive way.

1. Familiarise yourself with video calling platforms

First of all, you should familiarise yourself with the tool you decide to use for video calls. If you are not yet familiar, it is a good idea to try it out with a coworker before the interview.

Test the camera and microphone and, if necessary, find out how to use the chat, how to share a screen or a presentation, etc.

There are several video conferencing platforms, the most popular are:

  • Zoom
  • GoToMeeting
  • Skype
  • Google Duo (Android) or Facetime (iOs)
  • Facebook Messenger

Going through a test-run before your first video call is important. It can really help you make a good impression of yourself as the competent and organised person you are. After all, who wants to work for someone who doesn't look like they know what they're doing?

Recommended reading:
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2. Find the right place

In the office, you can simply lock yourself in a room and inform your colleagues that you will not be available for a few hours due to a job interview. Working from home requires a little more preparation.

woman preparing for a video interview

Source: shutterstock.com/fizkes

In addition to finding an isolated, quiet room (or corner), it's important to inform anyone who lives with you that for the next 30 to 60 minutes you need absolute silence.

Also, make sure that the background behind you is clear so that it does not interfere with your candidate's concentration and avoid distractions. Finally, make sure the lighting is good, use natural light or a lamp to illuminate yourself.

3. Take care of your appearance

Even if you are at home, an online job interview is not the time to feel comfortable. Dress well because, as we have already mentioned, you need to convince your interviewee that you are a serious and trustworthy company.

Therefore, you should dress exactly as if you were in the office and take care of your appearance.

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4. Have the necessary tools at your disposal

Before the interview starts, make sure you have everything you need at hand: computer (tablet or smartphone, depending on the device you will be using), headphones, notepad and something to drink.

5. Pay attention to your look, posture, and gestures

Your face and gaze will always be visible during the job interview. Try to look at the webcam as much as possible. This way, even if you are not face to face with your candidate, the interviewee will have the impression that you are looking into their eyes.

Also, pay attention to your posture: find a comfortable chair and sit up straight. Make sure the webcam frames your entire face and part of your torso. It is also important that the webcam is at the same level as your eyes.

Finally, gestures (verbal and nonverbal) are also important. Use a tone of voice that is neither too high nor too low, and moderate your gestures. Respect pauses and pay attention to audio delays so as not to interrupt the interviewee while speaking.

Recommended reading:
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6. Make your candidate feel comfortable

job interview on laptop

Source: shutterstock.com/fizkes

Unlike traditional job interviews, in an online job interview, you cannot offer the applicant a chair and a drink. However, there are other ways to break the ice and make them feel comfortable.

Start by introducing yourself. If there are other people with you, as is often the case in interviews, introduce them briefly and explain to your interviewee why they are there. If you know your candidate is unfamiliar with the software you are using for the video call, you can briefly explain everything they need to succeed in the interview without fear or distraction.

7. Take notes

As in a traditional job interview, it is important to take notes during the video call. These notes will be useful when choosing the right candidate, especially if you have multiple interviews for the same position.

To make sure you cover all the points you want to talk about, you can also create a list of keywords to help you stay on track. In order to keep looking your interviewee "in the eye", you can place the list in front of you, close to the camera.

The benefits of online job interviews for your business

There are those who preferred to interview for jobs online even before the outbreak of the current pandemic. This is because there are several advantages. Some of them are:

  • you can hire talent from all over the world
  • you save time and money (you don't have to travel to the office or to another city, nor do you have to reimburse the candidate's travel expenses)
  • you have more flexibility in managing appointments
  • you can take advantage of more recruitment channels and give more visibility to your job listing
  • you give the impression of a modern and therefore attractive company
  • you can check the candidate's level of experience with technology (a more or less important point, depending on your sector)

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By now, you are ready to conduct an online job interview and make a good first impression on your candidates. You have also discovered what the benefits are for your company.

COVID-19 has undoubtedly turned our daily and working lives upside down, but at the same time it has also led to a technological development that would otherwise have taken years to arrive and allows us to be more flexible. So, take advantage of the benefits this has brought!

We wish you success in the future and good luck with your next online job interviews.

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This article was originally published and translated from our Italian-language blog: Colloquio di lavoro online, come condurlo

Giulia Carta

Giulia Carta

Giulia has been working at Trusted Shops since 2019, initially in the role of Content Marketing Manager IT. In 2023, she took on the role of Email Marketing Manager.

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