Tips to Help You Prepare for a Successful Online Interview

Congratulations! If an employer has asked to interview you from home online, don’t feel like this isn’t a ‘real’ interview. It is! Interviewing online is a mainstream event. It’s an easy and effective way for employers virtually meet candidates.

It’s an easy process for you, too. You won’t have to worry about traveling to an in-office interview, or have to pay for parking. In fact, if you do some advance preparation, interviewing online can be less stressful than interviewing in-person.

Online Job Interviews 

Rather than having you travel to an office, many interviewers will simply conduct the interview remotely, via a computer. The most common applications used for is Skype, GoToMeeting, Jobvite, Spark Hire, FaceTime, and Google Hangouts.

Find the Best Location

The best place for your interview location is in a room where you will not be disturbed or distracted. You’ll want to keep your pets away, and make sure there’s no additional noise that can be heard, such as barking. Turn your phone off– or at least remember to turn the sound off.

Use diffused lighting so as not to create shadows or glare, and a plain wall as your backdrop. You want to make sure your face is clearly visible and presented in the best possible way. For example, it would be distracting for an interviewer to be able to see a working television in the background, even if you had the sound turned off.

Testing 1, 2, 3

At least one hour before your scheduled time, make sure to test your internet connection. Test your camera. Test your lighting. Test your sound. Test the video program such as Skype beforehand. You may need to download the program onto your computer. After it is downloaded, make sure you understand how it all works, and that you have your log-in and passwords available and working.

Prepare for Your Upcoming Interview Questions

Have an elevator pitch about yourself. Be ready to talk about your resume, your studies and strengths.

You should make sure that you have completed some background information about the company that is interviewing you. Check out their recent news, organizational practices and what other people are saying online.

Get ready to have answers to typical interview questions. Here are a few examples:

  • Can you tell me a little about yourself?
  • What do you know about the company?
  • Why are you interested in this job?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What do you consider your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
  • What do you think are your greatest achievement?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What’s your dream job?
  • Tell me about a challenge and how you dealt with it.

You may want to role-play these with a friend, so you have your answers already thought out. Speak in a conversational voice, just as you would in an in-person meeting. Sit up straight and don’t slouch. Remember to make eye contact and smile. Feel free to  use hand gestures to make your point.

Remember this is the chance for you to have an interactive experience, and find out more details about the job. That’s why you should have completed research about the company prior to your interview. Have a few questions ready to ask the interviewer. Here are some good sample ideas.

The Day of the Interview

Are you excited? Chances are that you’re nervous. It’s only natural. That’s why practicing your interview questions, getting your computer set-up and researching the company is so important.  Completing these steps will make you feel and appear more confident.

Final Preparation Tips

  • Remember to dress to make a good impression, as if you were having your interview in person. This makes your look professional and will also make you feel more professional.
  • Have a piece of paper and pen ready to take notes.
  • Have a copy of your resume in sight, in case you have to refer to dates.
  • Have your list of interview questions and any research next to you.
  • Clear your workspace and any clutter behind you so it doesn’t show up on the screen.
  • Turn off your phone.


Make sure to ask the interviewer if he or she can hear you clearly when starting your meeting. It’s always good to check that your online connection is strong and you are clearly visible and audible.

Remember to listen to the interviewer before you answer, so you are answering the full question. You don’t want to be rude and interrupt.

When responding to questions from the interviewer, take a second before responding, in case the online connection is weak at that moment. Answer clearly.

Lastly…try to remember to smile and make solid eye contact.