How to best present yourself in the online interview

Icon picture job interview via video callIMAGO / Panthermedia

# 1 Take the appointment seriously

An interview is not a secondary appointment just because it is done online. Prepare for this interview at least as intensively as for a conventional job interview and find confident answers to all possible questions. The times when employers only viewed a video appointment with candidates as a first, brief preview have been over since the corona pandemic at the latest.

# 2 test technique

In preparation for a video call, it is essential to be technically fit. If the conversation takes place about software that you have never used before, install it early and try it out with a friend or family member beforehand. At least 30 minutes before you are called, you should be ready to go and sure that the camera or microphone will not suddenly fail. Clarify in advance who is calling whom, so that both sides do not sit waiting in front of the monitor. If you have more than one device available, take precautions by installing everything necessary for the interview on the second device.

# 3 Serious demeanor

Many years ago it was funny that your Skype name was “JenniferLopez24”, but your potential future employer may have a different sense of humor. If you don’t have an account with your real name, set up one for professional purposes such as job interviews. Your background is also part of a professional appearance; if necessary, install a neutral virtual background. With the video conference tool Zoom, for example, this is possible in the menu under Settings. It goes without saying that you are in tip-top shape and dressed appropriately for the occasion.

# 4 check lighting conditions

Too dark, too bright or shadows on the face: it can sometimes take a while to find the right light in front of the webcam. Light from the front or the side is usually better than light from behind. Also, check that out before the videocall begins. If you feel uncomfortable during the conversation because you struggle with your looks, it can be difficult to focus on the questions and answers. It could also irritate your counterpart if you constantly squint at your own camera image to check your appearance.

# 5 Maintain eye contact, control body language

What is customary on site also applies in front of the webcam: Maintain eye contact with the person you are speaking to, sit upright and do not forget to smile in your concentration. By the way, looking into the camera usually means looking up and not in the middle of the monitor. Deactivate all email notifications and pop-ups beforehand so that you can concentrate fully on the interview. In video calls, the picture and sound sometimes arrive with a delay, make sure that the other person has spoken so as not to interrupt them.

# 6 Make cheat sheets

Take advantage of the fact that the person you are speaking to cannot see everything that is or is on your desk or where you are sitting. Whether you stick post-its with key words on the edge of your monitor or laptop display or place a tablet with your detailed résumé and the job posting clearly visible at eye level: Try out what is best and most inconspicuously practicable for you.

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