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News article17 April 2020European Labour Authority, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

How to stand out in an online job interview

As more and more people work from home, video interviewing is on the rise. Having an online job interview can be daunting, especially when it’s the only thing standing in the way of your dream job. We’ve got you covered with some top tips.

How to stand out in an online job interview

Before the interview

Test your device

First, you need to confirm with the employer their preferred tool. Whether it’s Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Skype or Zoom – make sure you know how to use the software and that it’s compatible with your device. It’s a good idea to do a test call with a friend or family member to check your microphone and webcam, and see if your internet connection allows for good audio/video quality.

Don’t forget to ask the employer what the format of the interview is. It may be that video isn’t required.

Have a plan B

Have a backup plan in case you stumble upon technical issues on the day of the interview. You can have another tested device ready by your side, or ask the interviewer in advance for a phone number to call in the event that technology fails you.

Be on time

Just like with face-to-face interviews, it’s good to show up 10 minutes early.

Pick the perfect spot

Choose a good place with natural light to make sure the interviewer can see you clearly. Your background is also very important – tidy up and remove any objects behind you that could be distracting for the interviewer.

Remove distractions

Don’t forget to turn off your device notifications. If you’re living with someone else or you have a pet, make sure they don’t disturb you and they can’t accidentally walk into the camera frame.

Be prepared

Prepare some answers to the most common interview questions. You can also have your CV and cover letter handy for quick reference. Don’t forget to have a pen and piece of paper ready in case you need to take notes.

Dress for success

Dress like you’re going to a face-to-face interview. First impressions are important, so even if you’re talking from your living room, you need to look professional.

During the interview

Listen carefully

Online interviews can sometimes have audio delays, which means you could accidentally cut someone off. To avoid this, listen carefully to the interviewer and wait a few seconds before speaking.

Mind your body language

Remember to sit up straight, smile and engage with the interviewer. Eye contact is important, so do your best to look the interviewer ‘in the eye’. This means looking at the webcam instead of the screen.

After the interview

Write a thank-you email

Just as with any other job interview, follow up with a thank-you email to your interviewer. It shows you are considerate and grateful for the opportunity.

Follow up on progress

Big companies can have a lengthy hiring process so arm yourself with patience. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t follow up occasionally to express your interest in the job.

We hope these tips have been useful and we wish you happy job hunting!


Related links:

Google Hangouts

Microsoft Teams




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