What you Need to Know about Online Interviewing

Although the spread of the novel Coronavirus may keep you from the possibility of interviewing in-person, this isn’t stopping companies from interviewing candidates virtually. In fact, there are many pros for hiring managers to interview candidates remotely. As online interviewing becomes more and more commonplace, these tips below will help you to prepare and rock any virtual interview.

Plan in advance for your interview platform

In order to prepare for a video interview, it’s best if you are familiar with the different types of platforms interviewers typically use. Skype, Zoom and Google Hangouts are the most popular platforms for interviewing. Grab a friend and try out all of the features before your scheduled interview. Make sure to download the program onto your computer and test your audio and video to be sure you will be seen and heard clearly during the real-time interview.

Make sure to look the part

Although you may be behind a webcam and screen, the way you present yourself is just as important as an in-person, face-to-face interview. Make sure your appearance is neat, wear business professional clothing, and sit in an area that’s quiet and neutral in the background. A white or light colored background is best, as it isn’t distracting for you or the interviewer. And don’t forget to smile!

Even though you are behind a screen, prepare yourself as if it was an in-person interview. Print out a copy of your resume, have a pen and paper ready to jot down notes and silence your phone to avoid interruptions.

Utilize Merrimack College’s Quinncia platform

That’s right – Merrimack College has a free online platform to help practice online and remote interviewing. Through a program called Quinncia, you have the ability to practice your interviewing skills in real-time. Quinn, the AI bot, helps gauge your interviewing skills, count your filler words as well as the rate of speech and measure your moods based on non-verbal reactions. And the best part – you can do all of this from the comfort of your home or apartment! All you need is a computer with a webcam and microphone, as well as an internet connection. 

Ready to hop online? All you have to do is register your account here with your Merrimack email address and schedule an interview!

Understand what your interviewer is looking for

Since online, virtual interviews are naturally impersonal, it is important to understand the position you are applying for and highlight why you are the best fit. Make sure to intently listen to the questions being asked in full. Naturally, we formulate answers in our mind before the interviewer is even finished speaking! Slow down your mind and listen to the question all the way through to make sure you don’t miss any specific components of the question being asked. 

Don’t forget to show some creativity in your responses to stand out amongst other candidates. Answer the question by relating experiences you’ve had to the position at-hand. Make sure your resume and best points match what you’re saying in the online interview.

Lastly, don’t forget to send a follow-up email to your interviewer. Try to add a personal touch from your conversation, and thank them for your time. 

Although online interviewing may be different from a typical in-person interview, understand that this style of interviewing is just as important as if you were meeting the interviewer in their office space. The value of learning interviewing skills and practicing makes all the difference and ultimately, can be a major reason for getting hired.

By O'Brien Center for Career Development
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