European Youth Portal
Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.

Ten tips for an online interview

If you are applying for a position abroad, a face-to-face interview is not always possible. Instead, you can be invited to an online interview. While you should not forget about the usual tips, there are some other things to keep in mind:
  1. Not too casual!
    Approach the interview the same way as if it was an on-site one. Be well dressed from head to toe as you might need to stand up... Your online presence is just an extension of your offline appearance after all!
     
  2. Make space!
    If you don’t live alone, inform your roommates or family members that an interview is going to take place, so that no disturbance occurs and everything stays professional. Avoid doing interviews in a noisy coffee place or using your phone while walking. The same goes for any online disturbances - be sure to quit all unnecessary programmes!
     
  3. Set the table!
    A glass of water together with a pen and paper for notes might come in handy and will provide a professional touch.
     
  4. Get technical!
    Check your camera prior to the interview, test your microphone and look at what you are showing from your surroundings. Make sure there is no light source that would mess up the video – for example there should never be a window in the view as it will affect the lighting.
     
  5. Know when you’re live!
    Don’t start a video call unless you are ready and hang up properly after the interview is done. The interviewers don’t want to hear you sighing, neither are they interested in your opinion on how the interview went!
     
  6. Have a backup!
    Internet connection can be lost at any time and you have to be able to tell the recruiter you didn’t just hang up. Put his/her number in your phone and let him/her know what really happened!
     
  7. Be social!
    Well, as social as it gets, that is. Although you won’t be able to shake hands, you can still return smiles and keep an eye contact with your interviewers. Don’t forget to look at the camera. Also, sit up straight!
     
  8. Keep your distance!
    Even though you might not be able to hear properly, try to find a different solution than getting closer to the speakers. The interviewer should see your full face.
     
  9. Let’s repeat!
    If the connection is bad, clearly state it in the beginning and don’t be afraid to ask for a question to be repeated. It’s more annoying to hear an answer to an imaginary question than to be asked what the question really was.
     
  10. Get comfortable!
    Use the distance to your advantage and set yourself up where you really feel good. There’s no need for an office, just find a spot you like and know. Unless it’s in your bed of course…