Online Interviews

Learning Objectives

Identify strategies for online interviews.

Online interviews using technology like Skype or Zoom have become increasingly common. The University of Southern California’s Career Services Department provides some useful tips on how to prepare for an online interview:

  • Test your video and audio before an interview so you know everything is working properly.
  • Turn off anything on your computer that might distract you during the interview. This includes email alerts, software updates, and notifications that may distract you or show up on the screen for those you are interviewing with to see.
  • Make sure your laptop or tablet is fully charged.
  • Dress professionally from head to toe.
  • Do your interview from a room that is well-lit. Keep your background professional and free of distractions.
  • Organize your materials, such as your resume, cover letter, and questions you want to ask the employer, around your screen so that you do not have to look away from the screen or shuffle through papers.
  • Maintain good eye contact. As when giving a speech, focus on looking into the webcam.
  • Assume the audio connection could be delayed and let the interviewer finish what they are saying and then pause for a few seconds before delivering a response.
  • Get a friend or relative to practice with you for an online interview. Do a full run-through of the interview. Dress the part and have all your materials ready to go. Have your practice partner provide you feedback on the lighting, sound, and background, as well as your appearance and nonverbal cues.
  • Try recording yourself responding to typical interview questions to get an idea of how you appear on camera in an interview setting.[1]

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