Lights, Camera, Interview! 10 Tips for Successful Online Interviews

Community Manager
Community Manager

10 Tips for Successful Online Interviews - USAA Member Community 


With the presence of cutting-edge technology, online interviews continue to emerge as a preferred method of conducting “face-to-face” screenings and hiring processes. When your prospective Employer invites you to a FaceTime or SKYPE interview, will you be ready?


Companies continue to find ways to cut costs these days, and one sure-fire way to do this is to leverage technology. This is especially noticeable during the interview process. Rather than spend the money flying Hiring Managers coast-to-coast or buying airplane tickets for job candidates that might not pan out, companies often opt to use online interviews. Sometimes companies will utilize technology for the purposes of screening interviews – interviews designed to filter through many job candidates in order to identify the best qualified!


With SKYPE or FaceTime available, you can get a face-to-face interview via the internet. Maybe we should call this “screen-to-screen” screening interviews.


So, how do you maximize this opportunity considering the fact that you’re in a virtual environment?


Remember all those things you did in the Military to prepare for a big event or exercise? Let’s borrow from that experience and conduct what’s commonly known as; a Leader’s Recon, a rehearsal, a run-through, trial run, practice session. I think you get the idea here!


We all know that technology sometimes fails. Be prepared by practicing using this type of technology so that you know what to do in the event of a technological failure. The last thing you want to do is spend valuable interview time figuring out how to use the SKYPE or FaceTime software.


Here are 10 tips to help you prepare you for an online job interview:


  1. Find a trusted Friend or Relative who uses SKYPE or FaceTime. Connect with them and ask them to give you feedback on how you look on the screen. 

  2. Ask your Friend of Relative to take a few screen shots and view them so you can adjust as necessary.

  3. Check the position of your camera so that you appear framed nicely on the screen (like a good photo).

  4. Make sure the lighting is good. Take into account the time of day and rely on artificial lighting rather than natural light which could change everything in an instant.

  5. Once you find the best on-screen position, check the sound. Make sure your voice can be heard clearly and adjust your volume as needed.

  6. Check what’s behind you in the room. Get rid of anything that might cause unwanted visual distractions or that might create a negative impression. 

  7. If you know what time the online interview will happen, check to make sure that location is quiet at that time and free from noise or other distractions. 

  8. If you need to, post notes close to your screen so you can quickly glance over to read a reminder note. Better yet, memorize your résumé point-by-point.

  9. Restart your computer and close all windows and other programs before you start your online interview. You’ll want the computer to run at optimal speed so the video streaming and audio is “real-time”.

  10. Make sure you have the correct phone number or contact information entered into your computer beforehand and make sure they have yours. Smile, be yourself, and pretend the person you’re interviewing with is right there with you! Although this is all online, you need to present yourself as if it were in-person. And, don’t forget to send a Thank You email after you’re done!

Of course, you’ll need to make sure you dress for success too. From head-to-toe, get your business attire on and make sure you look the part.

When it comes to online interviews, there’s more to it than Hair, Makeup, Wardrobe, Lights, Camera, Action!
What experiences have you had with online interviews?




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