Online Interviews

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Tips for Online Interviews

With video interviews becoming more common during hiring,it’s important to learn how to prepare for a Zoom or video interview. (Excerpted from

1. Look at the camera, not the screen

It can be confusing, but when you’re looking at your monitor it actually makes the interviewer feel as if you’re looking away. Instead, look directly at the video camera. Although you’re not making eye contact in the traditional sense, this is the way that the interviewer perceives that you’re truly engaged.

2. Prepare a cheat sheet

Prepare key talking points on a piece of paper or on your computer screen that you can glance at during the interview. However, be sure to avoid reading from it as you want to maintain good eye-contact . Also, write down questions you want to ask the employer in advance of the interview.

3. Be aware of interruptions

Remember to turn off a phone and warn others (roommates) that you need privacy. Have a plan for whatever distractions are in your house, including children and pets.

4. Practice in front of a mirror

During the interview, you can see yourself in the video camera, which can be startling if you’ve never seen yourself speak. Practice in front of a mirror or video record yourself to get familiar with your own facial expressions and get rid of camera shyness.

5. Mind the background

Your surroundings can say a lot about how you’ve prepared for the interview, so it’s important to put your best foot forward. Think about what your background would convey to employers. You may put up some awards and certificates in the background.

6. Avoid patterned clothing

Wear business attire that compliments your skin tone. Avoid patterns that come across as too loud on screen, such as florals or bright stripes. Clothing can distract the interviewer, so it’s important to plan your outfit carefully.

7. Conduct a practice interview

Being comfortable with the technology prevents the added stress from a tech malfunction. Find a person you trust and use Zoom or other video conferencing software to conduct a mock interview. You’re bound to make mistakes, so it’s best to practice with someone who can provide honest feedback.

8. Test audio and video

Just because your laptop has a built-in video camera and microphone doesn’t mean the quality is up to par. So test out the video and audio capabilities on your computer and decide whether you need to buy a headset with a microphone or an attachable video camera.

9. Add extra enthusiasm

Any news announcer will tell that your reactions translate differently when on-screen, so it’s important to compensate with extra enthusiasm and concise answers. Also, speak succinctly and remember to pace yourself.