11 online video interview tips & tricks

Times have changed, and there are tons of people looking for 'online interview tips and tricks'. Online job interviews wouldn't have become so popular if there weren't any up-sides to them — they’re especially handy for people that become nervous during in-person interviews.

Luckily for you, we've come up with 11 tips and tricks that'll guide you through every process of your video interview. We'll tap into topics such as: what to wear for an online interview, what backgrounds to use on Zoom, how you can introduce yourself in an online interview, and much more. Have a read!

What's an online job interview?

To be very specific, an online interview is a job interview that employers can host on different online platforms, i.e. it takes place remotely.

There are different types of interviews, like first-round interviews. These commonly take place online, as they help avoid long commutes and are an efficient way to find out if you're a potential match for the position you applied for. The hiring managers can host an online video interview on different platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, Microsoft Teams, and many more. The most popular online platform used in the UK is Zoom. Don't worry; you'll find tips on how to prepare for a Zoom interview too.

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How to prepare for a video interview; 11 tips and tricks:

1. The most common video interview platform and its benefits:

As you might already know, there are tons of options when it comes to what online interview panels to use. The most common option is Zoom. Are you thinking, ‘why's it the most popular online platform for interviews?’ Well, it's because it's very user-friendly. Knowing how to do these things will come in handy during your online job interview.

2. How to prepare for a Zoom interview:

We'll zoom into how to work with this program a bit. If you haven't used this software before, it's important that you download it a day or two before your video interview. If you don't want to download the program onto your computer, you can also tap 'join' on the same website. Just enter the link to the meeting or the meeting ID once you’ve received one from the hiring manager.

Every employer likes a well-prepared applicant, and of course, there are a couple of things you can do to come across as well-prepared. Check your internet connection, and sit where the connection is the strongest in your home. Open the program to make sure you know how everything works - things like the volume, muting and unmuting yourself, the background, and the lighting. If you're planning on doing a presentation, make sure that you know how to share content through Zoom. Knowing the ins and outs of the software will have you going into your online job interview confidently.

3. Your background:

Let's go a bit specific into an online channel; Zoom. What kind of background is suitable for your video interview? Well, if you have a tiny space with no clean or neat place to sit, it's better to blur your surroundings. But, besides this, it would be ideal to have your original background showing, as long as it doesn't include too many distractions. Make sure you're the centre of attention; this makes it easier to follow what you're saying and not get distracted by random items in the back.

4. What to wear for an online interview:

Well, it depends on what kind of company you're applying to. If you want to apply for a job at an informal company, you can wear jeans and a simple blouse or shirt – avoid bright. For companies that have a more formal work environment, it's common to wear a suit, a nice dress, or a skirt with a nice blouse on top.

5. What not to wear for an online interview:

Now that we've covered what you should wear, let's also mention what clothes not to wear during your online interview. Colours like white look very bright on camera and take away attention from your face. So, it's best to avoid bright colours and instead pick dark colours, like navy. Furthermore, since you'll want the attention to stay on what you're saying, wear something simple; avoid stripes or clothes with a lot of patterns on them. Want to go more into detail about what to wear for a video interview? YoungCapital has some info for you on that too!

6. Be on time for your online job interview:

When you've checked if your internet connection, lighting, volume, and everything else works, you can take a break to calm your nerves, then join your meeting around 5 minutes before. This shows that you're excited, interested, and well-prepared for your online video interview.

7. How do you introduce yourself in an online interview?

Well, since the interview will be online, here are some tips. You can have sticky notes on your screen written with the things you'd like to say. This is a good option for people that become extremely nervous during job interviews. Why sticky notes? Because having other tabs open will make it obvious to the hiring managers that you're switching from tabs, and it takes your attention away from the real important stuff: impressing the interviewers and engaging in a natural conversation.

You can write down the order of the things you want to mention. For example, your name, education, and where you come from. Then you could move on to your work experience and what caught your interest about this specific job vacancy and company. To finish it off, you can also mention your hobbies and interests; this adds a personal touch to it. Don't ramble about yourself too much - keep it short and simple!

8. Tips for body language during online interviews:

Since your interview will be online, the interviewers will only see less than half of your body. Still, if you're lying on your bed, it will be noticeable. So, to be seen as interested in the job as possible, sit at a desk with a chair, and have your back straight.

Furthermore, it's important to give the interviewers a sense of your personality. So, when you're talking, let your face show emotions; for example, nod to ensure them that you're actively listening. Avoid fidgeting or moving around too much, as this will make it seem as if you're not fully invested. Do you move a lot when you're nervous? Check out our tips to calm your nerves.

9. Worst care scenario:

Imagine if, for some reason, something happens, and your connection suddenly falls out. Or the Wi-Fi gets really bad that they can't understand a word you're saying. This is the right time to show off your problem-solving skills – suggest a telephone interview. If a telephone interview is not an option, then send them an email and try to reschedule the interview or phone them to let them know. Most people get nervous or anxious when something like this happens, but don't fret; see this as an icebreaker. After going the extra mile, we're sure your future employer will already have a good first impression of you.

10. How to negotiate your salary:

At some point during your online video interview, you'll get the question, 'what do you expect to earn?'. It's good to ask yourself: 'what's the salary I deserve and why?'. It's always good to bring proof to your interview to back up your arguments - this is when knowing how to share content on Zoom comes in handy! Want more info on how to negotiate your salary properly? Here's everything you need to know about negotiating your salary for all kinds of interviews.

11. What kinds of online interview questions you can expect:

It's always good to know what questions to expect, so you can prepare them beforehand – wouldn't that be ideal? Unfortunately, companies don't do this, but don't worry; here you'll find a list of the most common questions during video interviews:

  • 'Tell us about yourself; who are you?'
  • 'Why do you want this job?'
  • 'What differentiates you from the other candidates?'
  • 'What are your strengths and weaknesses?'
  • 'How do you deal with pressure and stressful situations, and can you give an example from your previous job?'
  • 'What are your salary expectations?'
  • 'How did you hear about this position?'

The list can go on and on, depending on how interested the interviewers are, and whether you know how to keep the conversation going. You can use this as a base to take notes and have sticky notes on your screen. After all, it’s better to be over-prepared than underprepared. Keep in mind that some companies also conduct panel interviews. This is when two or more people join the online job interview and ask you a mix of questions – check out our tips on panel interviews.

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How will you know if your video interview was a success or not?

After the interview's over, you'll have a small talk with the interviewer; this is your chance to ask them directly how they're feeling about the conversation. If you're not a direct person, or maybe too shy to ask, you can observe their reactions and the keywords mentioned.

This includes things like if they mention that they'd like you to proceed to the second round of interviews, or if you notice positive body language like smiling and nodding. If they're interested, they'll be asking you more questions on the topics that you mention. Furthermore, if you receive compliments or hear 'you'll be hearing from us soon', that could also be a good sign. But, alas, you won't know the answer for sure unless you ask directly or actually get the call with the good news.

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FAQs about online interview tips

  • Which channel is used the most for online video interviews?

  • Zoom is one of the most common channels to conduct job online interviews over. Why? Because it's easier to use than other platforms – you can use it on any type of browser. Furthermore, it's really easy to find all the interview tips you need for Zoom.

  • How can I prepare for a Zoom interview?

  • To prepare for your Zoom interview, it's important that you know:

    • What kind of Zoom background to use for your interview
    • Conduct a test run before your video interview
    • How to work with Zoom: logging in, fixing the volume, etc.

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