Prepare for a Successful Online Job Interview

Even before COVID 19 limited our in-person interactions, many companies were conducting job interviews online. While these interviews can be efficient for employers and potential employees, they can also create some challenges for people who are gaining experience with the interview process.

For those considering how to prepare, many of the traditional tips for job interviews still apply in an online format: good first impressions, eye contact, preparedness, and dressing to impress. You can see more tips for traditional interviews here.

In addition, there are several recent articles that can help build confidence before engaging in an online interview. Check out the tips in these articles:

As always, the SIEC recommends that you practice, practice, and practice some more. While we all want to receive a job offer after an interview, one of the hidden benefits of completing an interview is that it will help a person gain confidence for similar future interactions.

Also, practice means that you should prepare on your own time. If you will be interviewing online, you won’t have the opportunity to practice in your vehicle on the way to the interview location. However, it is a great idea to complete a practice interview beforehand with a family member, family friend, or another person you trust. Here are some tips to help this exercise help you:

  • Choose someone you trust to help you complete a practice interview on a platform such as Zoom or Google Meet. (If you’re eligible, you can sign up to do a practice interview with an unbiased SIEC staff member here.)
  • Provide the person with some questions and prompts that are more than likely to be asked in any job interview. You can find a list here, but you should definitely include these five:
    • (First in your script) Tell me about yourself
    • What is one of your strengths?
    • Describe one of your weaknesses.
    • Why do you want to work here? Or why do you want this job/position?
    • (Last in your script) Do you have any questions for me? (Hint…have at least one in mind before starting!)
  • Ask your partner to add three to five more questions. Hopefully, she/he can tailor these questions to the type of job and specific company that you are applying for.
  • Go through the interview as though it is the real thing! Have a professional greeting, ask to think about a response if you get caught off guard, etc. Treat your
  • Ask for some feedback at the end and think about what you did well and what you’ll work on for your actual interview.

When it comes down to it, whether your job interview is in person or on a computer—be prepared. Use this practice interview idea, read lots of tips online, ask for advice, and you will be successful!