Acing your online interview

All too often we throw our efforts into how we come across in our application – CVs, cover letters, portfolios, or letters. A vital step to getting that well-deserved interview, but what happens now? Especially as it’s unlikely, in the current climate, that your interview will be conducted face to face. Many people don’t enjoy seeing or hearing themselves on camera and feel self-conscious and there’s the added worry about any technical gliches!

But help is at hand, here’s some top tips to help you prepare in advance and present yourself well online.

Check the technology

Don’t let all your late-night preparation go to waste by letting technology get the better of you on the day!

  • Find out in advance which video call platform the interviewer will be using and install it on your laptop or iPad. Ideally you don’t want to be doing a video call on your phone, it will make it much harder for you to see what’s happening. Familiarise yourself with the app and how it works, there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube to help you.
  • Check the audio, microphone and camera are working. You may find headphones help with the sound quality. You could even practice an online interview with a friend or family member to test the quality.
  • Check your internet connection speed and if it’s not going to be quick enough, you could use an Ethernet cable instead which will speed things up.

Check your surroundings

Make sure your personal space is right for a remote interview and projects a professional appearance. Choose somewhere quiet with no background noises and check the lighting, sitting with a window in front of you works better than a window behind you which will cast a shadow on your face. Avoid creating a distraction with cluttered bookcases and backgrounds and don’t let family members, housemates (or even family pets) get in the way of your presentation. Some apps allow you to use a background template.

Make your first impressions count

We all want to make a good first impression, so whilst there’ll be no physical entrance, you can still set the tone to the interviewer from the moment you appear on screen. 40% of interviewers say they dismiss candidates simply because of a lack of smile. So make sure you come across as a friendly and are smiling, sitting up properly and exuding confidence when you ‘go live’.

Good Communication Skills

The most important part!

  • Show your hands, rest them on the table or in view. By removing your hands from under the table or from your lap and making them more visible, it is proved to help your chances of getting a job, as a sign of honesty. Avoid crossing your arms as it’s has been found that 20% of interviewers would not consider candidates who persistently crossed their arms during the interview.
  • However daunting it may be, don’t forget…eye contact! Maintaining eye contact demonstrates you’re attentive to what is being asked and engaged when communicating a point.
  • Try not to speak too fast, nerves can accelerate your speech as a result of significantly higher heart rate, so consider a few breathing exercises before commencing the interview to help slow your speaking.

Find your best position

Throughout the duration of the interview, you certainly don’t want to be a fidget, nor endure a cramp while remaining in an awkward position. Resting fully into your seat you’re likely to slouch or forced into a position you may eventually find uncomfortable.  We advise you to lean slightly forward with your shoulders back, as this will enable you to control a strong posture and feel more dynamic.


Have a copy of your CV with you but be careful not to look down at it too much. Place post-it notes around the screen with a list of questions you wish to ask, or key points you wish to raise, but make sure they can’t be seen on the camera or become a distraction.

Be yourself

The best way to come across as relaxed, confident and authentic is by ultimately being yourself. Speak as you would naturally in person and use words you feel most comfortable with.  Above all, express how proud you are of your achievements and try to enjoy the interview.  View any interview as a valuable experience as this will help you feel most at ease.

If you would like to refine your interview techniques, we are happy to help you with interview practice. Get in touch with us today!