Preparing for an Online Interview

Tips for a Successful Online Interview

Live Video Interview

If you’ve applied for a agri LIDA internship recently, being asked by the agri LIDA interviewer to ‘come in’ for a video interview instead of a physical one is not uncommon. The interview will take place over a platform like Skype or Teams. 

Follow this advice to set up for your next video interview so you’ll look and sound (and feel!) totally professional.

Prepare for your video interview

Like all interviews you’ll need to prepare well

  • agri LIDA preferred tools is Microsoft TeamsSkype – make sure you know how to use the software and that it’s compatible with your device. It’s a good idea to do a test call with a friend or family member to check your microphone and webcam, and see if your internet connection allows for good audio/video quality.
  • It’s important to put just as much preparation into a video interview as if you were interviewing in person. You should thoroughly research the company, along with its industry, products, and achievements, so you’re prepared to discuss them during your interview.

Do test out the video platform, audio and video!!

  • With virtual interviews, there are many things to consider prior to the day of your interview that you don’t need to think about for an in-person meeting. Below are some things you can do ahead of time to make sure your online interview goes smoothly.
  • Familiarize yourself with the necessary equipment and software before your interview appointment. Make sure that your microphone and speakers are working, and ensure your internet connection supports high-quality live video. You may also want to check and make sure you’re using a professional screen name that interviewers can easily recognize.

Practice and prepare

  • After you’ve tested your equipment, it’s a good idea to practice your interviewing technique. After you check technology with a friend or family member, ask them to practice interview questions over the video call. Practice responding to questions naturally and make sure you let the interviewer finish before speaking. Practice listening carefully and speaking clearly. The more you practice, the more confidence you build before the actual call.

Consider your location

  • Before the scheduled interview time, select a location for your interview. Find a quiet room with minimal background noise and no distractions. Make sure you have adequate lighting (preferably natural) and that nothing is distracting behind you. Make sure your housemates know not to disturb you and shut any pets out of the room. A professional backdrop will show the interviewer you are serious about the interview and the job.

Consider wearing earbuds

  • Tucking a tiny earbud into your ear can help you hear interviewers more clearly. These devices also provide less bulky sound amplification than a pair of regular headphones which may also prove distracting for interviewers. Practice speaking with your earbuds in to balance your volume.

Dress professionally.

  •  Because you’ll likely be visible to an interviewer only from the waist up, the blazer on top, sweats on the bottom look might be tempting. However, treating an online interview the same as an in-person interview with regard to wardrobe will not only make a good impression, it’ll boost your confidence, which will improve your focus. When choosing an outfit, have a look at the company’s website and social media accounts. These may provide some insight as to what the culture is like, and you can dress accordingly. Neutral, solid colors work best — anything too bold could create exposure issues with your webcam.

Eliminate distractions. 

  • It’s essential that your interview environment is as free from distraction and interruption as possible. Silence your phone and make sure you don’t have any scheduled alerts or alarms, close all unnecessary windows and tabs on your computer screen, and close any doors and windows to the room you’re in. Make sure pets are out of the room and occupied, and survey the room for visual distractions. While it’s imperative that you aren’t distracted, it’s equally important that there isn’t anything in the room with you that will pull your interviewer’s attention away from your conversation.

Set up your space. 

  • Before logging on, spend a little time preparing the area around where you’ll be sitting for your interview. Make sure you have some water, some paper and a pen for note-taking, and a cheat sheet including your scripted answers to common interview questions along with prepared questions for your interviewer, inspirational messages, reminders about posture or eye contact, etc. Make sure a copy of your resume is within sight in case you need to reference dates, job titles, or qualifications. Post-it notes make great cheat sheets, as well, since they can be stuck directly onto your computer screen or on a wall behind your computer, invisible to your interviewer.

Know the interviewer’s name.

  • Use it during the interview. If you don’t know the name, call beforehand and ask the secretary. Also, note the secretary’s name in case you have to call back. Secretaries can influence the hiring decision!

During the interview

  1. Be on time.
    This often means 5 -10 minutes early. Interviewers often are ready before the appointment.
  2. Speak Slowly and Clearly. Video interview technology can come with delays or instances when the microphone may not pick up your voice well. To prevent this from happening, take your time when speaking and enunciate your words. This will ensure that your interviewer can hear and understand you throughout your interview.
  3. Have some questions of your own prepared in advance.
    There is nothing wrong with having a short list of questions and thoughts- it shows you have done your research and want to know more about the organization and the position.
  4. Don’t be embarrassed if you are nervous.
    As you gain experience you’ll become more at ease with the interviewing process.
  5. Focus.
    On your attributes, your transferable skills, and your willingness to learn; don’t apologize for a lack of experience; describe your strengths in terms of what you can do for the organization.
  6. Tell the truth.
    Lies and exaggeration will come back to haunt you.
  7. Listen carefully to the interviewer.
    Be sure you understand the question; if not, ask for clarification, or restate it in your own words. Answer completely and concisely. Stick to the subject at hand.
  8. Don’t expect a job offer at the first interview.
    Often you will be invited to a second or even third interview before an offer is made several weeks later.
  9. Be aware of the time zone. Confirming the time zone of your interview will save you from potentially showing up to the meeting three hours late.

Good online interview skills can be the difference between gaining and losing a job opportunity, so remember that in-person interview basics still apply. Communicate confidently, don’t stress too much, and use these online interview tips to ace your next online interview.

It’s your future, invest in it.

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