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How to prepare for an online interview: best practices for success 

How to prepare for an online interview: best practices for success 

September 21, 2023 4 min read

The popularity of online interviews has certainly peaked since COVID, even though virtual first interviews were already popular before then. Over two thirds of employers started using online interviews during the pandemic, according to 2021 research, and 93% planned to continue to afterwards. 

Online interviews: pros and cons 

Performing video interviews has significant advantages for both the employer and the interviewee. Thanks to digital hiring processes, the pool of candidates is more diverse and international, meaning that the hiring company has a wider range of profiles to choose from and even candidates who aren’t local get to apply to positions that would otherwise be unachievable. In addition, virtual interviews make the selection process easier for recruiters, reducing organization and management time and making hiring faster than ever, as well as for applicants, who can connect to the call from their preferred location and seamlessly adjust it into their daily schedule.  

There can also be drawbacks to conducting the hiring process online. Technical issues are the first thing that comes to mind, but a remote candidate also misses out on experiencing the company’s environment and culture first-hand, making the interview process less personal, and denying both employer and potential employee the added information that comes from an in-person meeting. 

Still, companies are increasingly using digital tools to manage selection processes, whether completely or partially, and applicants have been adapting to this new system, with its pros and cons.  

Tips to get ready for an online interview 

While participating in a digital interview may be easier logistically, it most certainly shouldn’t be taken lightly, as there are plenty of details a recruiter pays attention to in order to make a decision. With that in mind, let’s focus on some very important pointers to leave the best impression during a virtual interview. 

Reduce the risk of technical issues  

How many times have you connected to an online call and been greeted by a very discouraging “Hello? Can you hear me? I can’t hear you!”. Evidently, that’s not a great start for a job interview. To reduce the probability of something going awry during your very important call with an employer remember to turn on your digital tools earlier and connect and thoroughly check anything that could betray you at the last second: your Wi-Fi, audio (input and output), laptop, smartphone, charger or any other technological resource you may be using.  

Mind the room you are in  

Before activating your camera, take a look at your surroundings. Is the room you are in clean and tidy? Is there enough light? Is it quiet? Make sure you choose the best available location for your digital job interview. The recruiter will be concentrating on you, but the room you are in and the environment around you will also be showing them how serious you are about the interview.  

Dress appropriately  

While during a video interview you are on your home turf, remember you are still taking part in a selection process! This means you still need to be and look professional, even if it’s not in person. Don’t add your name to the already worryingly long list of people who were found to be wearing their pajama pants under the desk during a video call. It’s still an interview, so dress to impress. 

Be prepared  

According to a Twin Employment study, 47% of interviewers agree that they wouldn’t hire a candidate who has little knowledge about the company they are applying to. Can you imagine losing a job opportunity when a simple google search could have made the difference? You can easily research the company beforehand and search for the questions the recruiter is most likely to ask you for the position you are interested in. Once you have that ready, you can take some deep calming breaths and rehearse your answers a couple of times; it will help you feel more comfortable answering similar questions during the actual job interview (find more tips from our recruiters). 

Make it a conversation  

Your interview is not a school test nor a one-man-show. Make an effort to treat the interview like you would any other conversation: look at the person in front of you (not at your reflection!), listen carefully, wait for your turn to speak, answer directly. When, usually at the end of the chat, the recruiter asks if you have any questions, show your interest in the company and job opportunity by asking something. Even better, have the questions ready, written down so you don’t forget them. And while it’s true that it’s surely different to interact virtually than in person, make up for it by paying extra attention to your body language, communicating effectively through your gestures and facial expressions to truly connect with the interviewer through both speech and non-verbal signals.  

The Ria way 

Connecting with people is particularly important for us at Ria. Our recruitment team has plenty of experience with international candidates – which is reflected in the multicultural and diverse staff at our Ria offices.  

When attending one of our interviews, our Human Resources staff will greet you with empathy and a true interest in your story and experience. They will be doing their best to make you feel comfortable, whether the selection process is held online or in person.  

Interested in joining our team? Take a look at our vacancies and send your CV! 

For more info: comms@riamoneytransfer.com

About the author

Eloisa Armini

A Rome-native communication and marketing professional, Eloisa Armini has an extensive background in the nonprofit, financial, and education sectors, and focuses on writing about Corporate Social Responsibility and financial education.

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