Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

What To Expect in an Online Interview

benefits of video interviewsTimes they are a changin’ and boy are they changing fast. It used to be that you would search the newspapers for available jobs, find one that interested you or sounded promising and called them to set up an interview. Well, that job search method is long outdated and nearly everything today is conducted online. With advancements in technology and extra-sharp webcams, we can even start conducting our interviews over the internet.

Yes, online interviews are the wave of the future. Actually, they are the wave of the present and if you aren’t prepared to take part in an online interview then you are behind the times. Don’t worry too much though, Spark News is here to provide you with all the information you need and what you should come to expect from your online interviews.

First and foremost, you should understand that a company’s choice to engage in an online interview is not because they believe you aren’t qualified enough to call into the office or that they aren’t serious about filling this position. Online interviewing is a great way for companies to save time, energy and money as they look for the perfect candidate to fill their position. It’s great for you, too, since you don’t have to waste any of your time and energy traveling to and from an office that may or may not be 15 or 20 miles away. Therefore, if a company invites you to an online interview, don’t think that it is inferior or less important than a traditional, in-person interview. It is just as important and should be held at the same standard.

That said, you should prepare for an online interview the same way you would prepare for a traditional one. In fact, an online interview might actually be more intense than a traditional one. Think about it. When you go to a company’s building to interview with someone, you have a substantial amount of time before you actually sit down and get to the meat of the matter. You walk in, shake hands and likely engage in small talk which allows some of your personality to shine through. With an online interview, you don’t necessarily have the same pleasantries afforded to you. Once you sit down in front of the computer and say your “hellos”, likely the interviewer will get right down to it. They will start asking you questions and they will expect you to be ready with answers, so you need to be ready to go!

You should also expect to experience some lag time or delay time in your interview. Technology is great, but sometimes it is faulty. Don’t be too quick to answer an interviewers question because you may cut them off. You should also expect for the interviewer to accidentally cut you off once or twice. Don’t take it personal, it was likely the lag time that contributed to it. However, take careful measures to make sure you don’t do the same.

Even though an online interview may feel less personal, you can still pick up on a lot of the same things you would in a traditional interview. You can still catch the interviewer’s mannerisms, see their body language and hear how they speak. By the same token, they can see and hear the same things of you, so make sure you are conducting yourself professionally, speaking clearly and are in a quiet, secluded area.

Online interviews shouldn’t make you any more nervous than a traditional interview. In fact, I would think it would be quite the opposite. Being invited to take part in an online interview is exciting and saves you so much time and energy. At the same time, you should approach it as if it were a traditional in-person interview. Prepare, research and be ready to answer questions. Check back with Spark News for much more online interview advice, especially how to prepare for an online interview and how to dress for your online interview.

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter