Career Change

Ace Your Online Job Interview With This Preparation Checklist

4
min read
Mikaela Thompson


In the past, we’d sometimes hear about MNCs conducting online job interviews for overseas recruits or preliminary interviews, but most of us have never had to actually do one. However, with the recent pandemic, online interviews are now more than just a convenient and cost-effective way for HR to speed up the hiring process or hire from a bigger pool of candidates–it’s a new norm. Companies, big and small, are now hiring through a screen more than ever.

Going through an online job interview for the first time could be daunting, but don’t fret! Here is an online interview preparation checklist for you to follow, as well as some interview tips to help you ace your next interview.

Online Job Interview Preparation Checklist

1 to 2 days before the interview

Identify the device you’re going to use for the interview (tablet, mobile phone, laptop, etc.)

  • Pick out the perfect spot
  • Scope out the best spot where you can put your best ‘face’ forward during the interview. Find a quiet, well-lit corner or room in your house with a plain wall as your background. Launch the camera on your device to check that your room’s lighting is not too dark or bright. Avoid overhead light as it may leave shadows on your face. If possible, natural light works the best so try sitting close to a window, but not against it. 
  • Download or update any required software 
  • Do a test run to make sure the camera and audio on the device are working properly. You may want to ask a friend to do a video call with you to see if they can hear and see you clearly.
  • Prepare your own questions to ask
  • As with all job interviews, research on the company beforehand. Jot down any questions you may have for the interviewer. It shows that you truly care about the job.


Day of the interview

  • Make sure your device is sufficiently charged
  • Dress appropriately
  • Yes, we’re used to seeing our colleagues in comfortable loungewear on Zoom meetings these days, but remember this is a formal occasion. Dress as you would at a traditional in-person job interview. Keep it simple and professional. It speaks volume about your professionalism and respect for the occasion.


30 minutes before the interview

  • Eliminate any distractions
  • Inform other members of your household about your interview or hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign at the door so they won’t come barging in during the interview. Remove pets from the room.
  • Mute your phone, close unnecessary tabs and turn off pop-up notifications on the device so you won’t get distracted during the interview. 
  • Adjust the camera angle to eye-level
  • This way, interviewers will have a clearer view of you and allow you to sit up straight and look forward instead of having to look up or down. 
  • Make your device hand-free
  • If you’re using a tablet or phone, place it on a stand. Avoid leaning the device against other objects that may move or fall like books or a coffee mug as it may cause the device to tilt or slide. 
  • Gather materials you need
  • Keep the charger within arm’s reach. Set a pen and notepad aside in case you need to jot down notes or important information during the interview. Place a copy of your resume for easy reference.

Online Job Interview Tips

While online interviews are similar to traditional face-to-face ones, there are a few aspects you may want to pay extra attention to. Stand out in your interview with these tips:


  • Look into the camera, not at the screen, when speaking to the interviewers. This will create a sense that you’re making eye contact and that they have your full attention. One tip is to place the video call window at the top of the screen, close to where your camera is.
  • Be expressive with facial expressions. Since you’re not meeting in-person, interviewers are not able to read as much of your body language. 
  • Don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat a question, especially when it is due to poor connection. Keep in mind that this is a virtual interview, it’s understandable. Just be polite when you do ask.
  • If anything happens, stay calm. Whether you’ve lost your internet connection completely or an unexpected technical issue arises, be honest and explain the situation to the interviewer. If possible, ask in advance for a way to communicate with the interviewer, a Whatsapp or phone number, in case these things do happen.


Still need a bit of help finding the right job? Discover openings and companies that fit you with Happyer. We give you a real glimpse and insight into the jobs and companies so you can see if they are suitable for you before you apply.

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