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All Articles / Accounting and Bookkeeping

How to do a successful interview – online.

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You’ve probably read all about how to nail your job interview. But what about an online interview?

Recently we’ve conducted interviews online here at Monarch to hire new staff. And whilst online interviews and meetings have been taken online for years, doing a job interview online is slightly daunting and can require some adjustment. And if you’re successful, and get that job – you may well find yourself adjusting to a new way of work where you only interact virtually with colleagues on a daily basis.

Being on a video call requires more focus than a face-to-face chat. You need to work harder to process non-verbal cues like facial expressions, the tone and pitch of the voice, and body language; paying more attention to these consumes a lot of energy. You can’t relax into the conversation naturally.

We talked to a bunch of Monarch grads about their online interview experiences and here are their tips.

Before the interview:
1. Test the audio and camera.
Test, test, test!. Check your technology works 100% beforehand. Get yourself set up and do a mock run through with your family member, partner or dog. Anyone who’ll listen. When there’s technology involved, you can never be too prepared. Have a backup plan if Wi-Fi fails during the interview and make sure you’ve shared your mobile number with your interviewer and have their number as well in case you need to call them.

2. Elevate your laptop.
Sounds odd right? But there’s nothing worse than not being able to clearly see the person you’re talking to, so make sure you’re visible, that you are speaking straight ahead and not down to the camera. On many video call applications, your own image might appear in a box in a different part of the screen so move that box as close to your camera as you can.

3. Be professional.
Get yourself ready well before the interview time and be on time! This also means you need to dress professionally. It might be tempting to pop on your slippers and trackies, but research has shown that your head space is positively influenced if you prepare for the interview as you normally would.

4. Find a good location (and remove that photo on the wall behind you).
You’ll want a quiet space in your home and relatively clean space in the background. You don’t want any doors open or distracting pictures on the wall. Make sure you have good lighting in the room. Avoid sitting with a window behind you as this could cause some glare on camera, and don’t sit directly under a light source.

5. Silence your phone, and disable vibration.
Yep, do it. Or you’ll be glancing at your phone every time you receive another message or email from work. And the interviewers will know too 🙂

During the interview:
6. Do a sound test with the interviewer as soon as you start.
It may feel strange to be jumping in and talking about tech, but if you don’t get it right at the start you’ll waste their and your time. Ask if you can do a check which will show your keenness to get things moving.

7. Have your questions ready.
Attach post-its around the laptop screen with prompts and questions that you want to ask the interviewer at the end.

8. Kick the kids and pets out.
Tricky if you’re stuck in #iso with them, but (obviously) having your family or pets out of the room will help you concentrate.

9. Have pen and paper at hand.
“I don’t need to write that down, I’ll totally remember it” said every person ever…. And yes you should definitely write it down, so have a pen handy.

After the Interview:
10. Send an acknowledgement
Generally, at the end of an interview, the interview panel will outline the next steps and a timeline to the process. Alternatively, this can be a question that you can ask the interviewers. Then once you’re offline, drop them a thank you email to acknowledge their time. This is a good way to keep you in the minds of the interview panel, and also show that you are passionate about this role.

11. Ask for feedback
If you have been unsuccessful in being offered a role, ask for feedback! This is a great opportunity to find out areas that you can improve on, and will allow you to be better prepared for the next interview.

If you’re looking for your next career move, check out Monarch’s courses here or give us a buzz on 1300 738 955.


Any questions? Ask away!