online job interviews

10 Things NOT to Do in an Online Job Interview

In our busy world today, the online job interview has become the norm.  Hectic schedules for interviewers and potential employees make it easier to meet face-to-face virtually.  However, don’t be mistaken—just because you are not physically in the same place as the interviewer does not mean you get a free pass to act and present yourself in a more casual manner, or “as you please” during an online interview.

For a successful online job interview, here are 10 things NOT to do.

 1. Showing up late

It is important to sit down early for your interview just in case you experience any problems with your computer.  These issues occur more often than you think.  It is easy to say, “It won’t happen to me”, but trust me, it happens.  Be sure to arrive early to the interview.

 2. Meeting in a cluttered area

Although the interviewer will be mostly focused on you, your personal surroundings say a lot about who you are as an individual.  If your background looks messy, they can and will easily assume that you are a) unorganized and/or b) do not care enough about the interview to take the time to make your space presentable and appropriate for the meeting.

 3. Dressing unprofessional

Don’t show up looking like a slob, or as if you casually just rolled out of bed five minutes ago.  Put the same amount of time and effort into your appearance as if you would for an in-person interview.  The way you dress shows that you truly care and are serious about the job interview.

 4. Looking unhappy

When meeting virtually, interviewers pay close attention to your facial expression because it is a good indicator of your interest in the company.  It is important to smile throughout the entire interview, even if the topic of conversation is boring.  Your positive attitude shows that you are genuinely interested in what the interviewer has to say.

 5. Meeting in a loud area

Take the time to find a quiet place with no distractions for your online interview.  Any loud noises such as dogs barking or roommates randomly barging in will create problems.  These disturbances can cause you to lose your train of thought and possibly not perform to the best of your ability.

 6. Zoning out

Zoning out has a huge effect on your employer and says one thing—that you are not interested in getting this job.  Even if you truly are, you sure won’t look like it.  Avoid constantly look around during the interview.  By maintaining eye contact, you will not only present yourself better, but you will also be able to more closely listen to what the interviewer is saying.

 7. Fidgeting

We all have our fair share of nervous habits, whether it’s touching our face, or playing with our hair.  These habits are especially hard to stay away from in a nerve-wracking situation such as an online job interview; however, fidgeting is unprofessional and shows that you don’t feel confident.

 8. Talking fast

When answering questions in an online interview, it is important to talk slow and clear.  The audio in online interviews is not always perfect and can sometimes go in and out.  The slower you talk, the easier they will be able to hear you.  You will also look more calm and collected.

 9. Looking at other things on your computer

Although you will physically be looking at your computer screen, the person interviewing you will know you aren’t fully focused on the conversation.  This is disrespectful and I guarantee that you will not be hearing from them again.

10. Being unprepared

Many people assume that online job interviews are going to be casual and stress free because the meeting isn’t in person.  You should prepare just as much if not even more for an online interview.  Employers will throw you curve ball questions just to see how prepared you are.

Although some of these pitfalls might seem smaller than others, they are all equally crucial to the outcome of your online job interview.   Make sure to think through these tips for your next online interview experience.

Interested in learning more about online job interviews?  Check out our infographic


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