As hiring organizations continue to lower costs, online interviews are fast replacing phone screenings as a way for employers to check out job candidates before, or even instead of, an in-person interview.

How Do Online Interviews Work?
Skype and other popular software applications used for online interviews, allow users to make free voice and video calls over the Internet.  Online interviews should be treated like in-person interviews, with the main difference being that they are conducted via webcam. 

A Few Things To Remember For A Successful Online Interview:

  • Choose a professional username. You will exchange your user name with the employer, so be sure to pick a user name that will leave a positive first impression.  It is best to create a user name that incorporates your first and/or last name.
  • Practice talking with a friend through Skype. Make sure you are familiar with the technology.  It is important for you to know how to launch a video call, adjust microphone levels, and other functions within the program.
  • Create the right interview setting.  Look at what the employer can see behind you.  It is best to have an uncluttered background with no distracting objects, movement, or sound.  Do not have a light behind you, as it may make it difficult for the employer to see your face.
  • Keep out the interruptions.  Turn your cell phone on silent.  Keep all pets in a separate room so they will not be heard by the employer.  Make all roommates aware of your interview and ask them to stay out of the room for the duration of your interview.
  • Don’t be too close for comfort. Don’t be so close to the computer screen that all the employer can see is your face.  Adjust the camera to ensure the employer can see your professional attire.
  • Make (virtual) eye contact. When using a webcam, looking at the computer screen instead of the camera will show a lack of eye contact (and, essentially, a lack of connection) with the employer.  Be sure to maintain a high level of virtual eye contact with the employer by looking at the camera. 
  • Have a back-up plan.  Software for online interviews is not 100% reliable; calls can be dropped with a bad connection.  Be sure to have a phone available in case there are any technical issues.