How to Ace an Online Interview

The digital world comes with a whole new set of challenges to navigate, and job interviews are no exception. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when preparing for an online job interview.

Eye Contact Is Key

While on a video call, it’s natural to want to look directly at the person you’re talking to. However, this doesn’t always translate well on camera. To mimic the appearance of real eye contact, look into your computer camera, not at your interviewer. This can be difficult to remember, since it goes against everything that’s usually taught about interviewing in-person. However, successfully holding “eye contact” with the camera will make your interviewer feel a deeper connection with you.

There are a few ways you can train yourself to look at the camera. Before your interview, try practicing in a video call with a friend. Another idea is to put a visual reminder next to your camera; ideas range from a small dot or sticky note to a pair of googly eyes!

Dress the Part

Looking put-together is still important, even if your interviewer can only see your top half. Dressing professionally not only leaves a good impression on your interviewer, but can boost your confidence as well. Make sure you’re dressed in a different color than the area behind you; the last thing you want to do is fade into the background!

Don’t Be Afraid to Improvise

When preparing for an online interview, it can be tempting to write out material in advance to keep next to you during the call. This isn’t always a bad idea, but it’s important to keep your responses sounding natural. Avoid writing long sentences or complete answers. Instead, jot down a few keywords or things that you want to mention. Try not to read directly off the page; this can sound impersonal or fake. Instead, refer back to these keywords if you feel your answers are getting off track.

Check Your Connection!

Picture this: your interview is going perfectly… until your computer signal starts cutting out. Since digital meeting platforms rely on the internet, it’s important to have a stable connection before you join a call. Make sure that you’re in a quiet location with reliable internet, and double-check that your computer’s camera and microphone are working.

Now that you have all of the tools to crush an online interview, it’s time to try it for yourself! If you’re looking to further your professional career, reach out to the UMBC Career Center for guidance or browse UMBCworks for an opportunity you’re excited about.

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