Tips for Effective Job Interviews Online

by Darwin on September 29, 2014

There is the conventional way of interviewing jobseekers – asking them to come in the office and hold a face to face interview. This generally works for individuals located near or around the office location. The disadvantage is that one is limiting potential candidates to a certain geographical location as opposed to finding more talent located outside of the headquarters’ region. With advances in technology in recent years, hiring managers are reaping the benefits of online interviews.

Video conferencing is as close to face to face interview as one can get. Phone interviews are one way to get the recruitment process started in some cases but it fails to provide the hiring managers non-verbal clues regarding the candidate, which they use to assess the candidate’s behavior. With phone interviews, it limits the hiring manager’s visibility to the jobseeker’s verbal responses alone. This is where companies like Blue Jeans network can come in and make it a more meaningful interview. Not only will this system benefit huge enterprises but so with smaller companies. Practically, enterprises get to harness candidates from varied locations as well as get a good glimpse of the candidates, especially if the position would require frequent interfacing with clients where more personable candidates are preferred.


Preparing for the Interview

Unlike face to face interviews where you only need to set up the venue or room and have interview questions and documents prepared for the interview, you will also need to consider the video conferencing software or platform to use. This works for enterprises that use a local client or software installed to work on their computer systems, but if you are using the system for the first time, it would be advisable to plan where you should be seated so the interviewee can also get to have a good look at you. Interviews are generally stressful for the interviewee so giving them the chance to feel a little less uneasy or uncertain will only help put them at ease. You should also see to it that there is adequate lighting so the other person can view you over the video conference well.

The interviewee should also be advised beforehand about plans to use video conferencing for the interview. Although one could expect a measure of basic knowledge about computers and video conferencing technology, using a less known system with complicated buttons may not be the best situation to hold the job interview. Services like Blue Jeans networkprovide an easy to use interface that is operable with a good number of other platforms. For other systems which would require downloading an application to make sure that the online interview goes smoothly, be sure to include that in the email a few days ahead of the interview.  And also, think about some interview questions that could throw you a curveball – like these tough interview questions I encountered.

Interview Protocol

During the scheduled interview, be sure to go online and log in to the software on the dot. An allowance of 5-10 minutes would be sufficient to make sure the interview is done according to schedule. This time should be sufficient to work out preparation of venue and equipment and still be able to start on time.

As soon as the interview starts, follow the usual protocol of introducing who the speaker may be and making sure that the interviewee gets to view the interviewer and vice-versa. This is most important when there is more than one person who will do the interview so the candidate can address each person properly.

Throughout the interview, speak clearly and when necessary, a little louder than usual, especially if you have a normally soft voice. This should help minimize repetition of questions or answers from both the hiring manager and the applicant. Avoid mumbling, which may prevent the other person from understanding what was said. Just as important as speaking clearly, make sure that there is less distraction, including multi-tasking, which can take one’s focus away from the interview. Other distractions such as noise and lack of privacy can negatively impact the interview.

It’s also good to remember to keep your facial expressions in check. Be aware of the visual cues you’re sending, just as you would in a live interview. It is easy for some people to unknowingly make facial expressions that do not necessarily relay good impressions on the other person. This may be true for individuals who are not used to speaking in front of the camera, so this is where a little practice or preparation prior to the interview would help. Distractions do play a role, so just make sure people around you are advised beforehand about it so they won’t barge in.

For individuals who are used to online job interviews, this has become second nature and as simple as face to face interviews. To others who may be doing this just recently, a little preparation wouldn’t hurt. Asking questions or clarifications would be good so you only need worry about the interview questions and reviews to pick the right candidate for the role.


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