How to Ace An Online Interview

Zoom interviews can be a challenge. While the setup seems pretty simple – just log on and start talking – taking online interviews in Australia is quite different from doing it in person. There are certain tactics that you need to apply if you want to be successful. 

Find out how to ace an online interview and get the job that you want, without ever shaking anyone’s hand.

Do A Test Run First

Before you connect to a hiring manager, make sure that you do a test run first with a friend. Install the app you need  – usually Zoom – and then connect to their computer over the internet. Get your friend to give you feedback on how you appear, how you sound, and whether there are any technical abnormalities. Check that both the audio and video are clear. Install another type of video app, such as Skype, so you can quickly switch if you can’t overcome technical issues during the interview itself. 

Adjust Your Lighting

How your face appears on camera can vary dramatically depending on your lighting. Too much lighting from above or below can cast shadows and make you look a little “off.”

If possible, illuminate your face with natural light. Face towards light sources, such as windows so that they illuminate your face evenly. Avoid using overhead lighting if you have the option. Don’t light yourself from behind or from a sidewall as this can cause unwanted glare and shadows, and make you look strange. 

Dress Professionally

Dress is a great way to unconsciously influence your interviewers and convince them that you are the right person for the job. Even though you’re at home, dressing for success still works. 

For acing Zoom interviews, sit up straight and dress as smartly as is necessary for the job you wish to apply for. Even if you feel uncomfortable in the clothing you are having to wear, remember to smile. Always dress up instead of dressing down if in doubt. 

Look Your Interviewer In The Eye

Taking online interviews in Australia also involves training yourself to look your interviewer “in the eye.” When people talk to each other over Zoom, they usually look at the picture of the other person on their screen. But this doesn’t quite match up with the camera. So it always seems as though they aren’t quite making eye contact. 

In casual situations, this is fine – you want to see your friend’s and family’s reactions. But in professional settings, monitoring your interviewer isn’t the priority. The goal is to impress them. So, instead of looking at their picture, look directly at the camera. If you find their image too distracting, minimize it and rely on audio-only. 

Get A Career Coach

How can a career coach help with online interview questions? In many ways, actually. Coaches have become more expert in their advice since the onset of the pandemic. In that time, they’ve learned a thing or two about how to ace an online interview. 

Career coaches can provide you with in-depth advice on how you should approach online interviews and the kind of traits that matter the most. Kylie Hammond, for instance, tells candidates the types of characteristics that are likely to land them the job they want – and those that aren’t. 

Use Body Language

Body language is essential in conventional interviews. Many skilled candidates find themselves missing out on jobs that they could easily do, just because they aren’t gesticulating in the right ways. 

If you are on camera, it is even more important. Use body language that makes you seem engaged with your audience. Avoid sitting slouched in a chair. Keep your back straight and your head and neck upright. If you are going to be sitting in the same position for a long time, make sure that your chair is providing you with adequate support. 

Even if your online interview is audio-only, you should still move your arms and hands as you talk. Doing so will add texture and confidence to your speech. 

Avoid Relying On Notes

Writing down the odd note here and there before an interview is okay – particularly if there is something important that you want to say. But having mountains of notes and dictating from them can feel forced and unnatural. It’s not what interviewers want. 

Allow yourself a short pause before you say anything in response to a question to avoid talking over the interviewer. If you can’t think of anything to say immediately, take a deep breath to settle yourself. 

Be Authentic

Getting the job you’re interviewing for might seem like the most important thing in the world, but you still need perspective. There will always be more work opportunities in the future. If you think that a particular job opportunity is the only shot you have, you may wind up acting a little fake. Your responses might be stiff and you may find yourself panicking throughout the entire process. 

How can a career coach help with online interview stress? Easily – by reminding you that the best way to succeed is to simply be yourself. No amount of preparation can replace your natural wisdom, so you should use it. 

Develop A Rapport

Lastly, you’ll want to work hard on building a rapport with your interview so that he or she remembers you. Sometimes, you’ll have an opportunity to do this at the start of the interview with small chit-chat. Things like hobbies can help get the ball rolling and bring you closer together. If the interviewer comments on your background, you can do the same for theirs as a conversation starter. 

Doing well in online interviews can seem intimidating. But once you get used to the formula and start ticking the boxes, it becomes substantially easier.