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6 tips to crack your first online interview

January 18, 2021 13:55 IST

It is important to find a room with optimal lighting, preferably near a window or a blank wall where YOU are the only point of focus, recommends Umang Mathur, founder, Shortjobs, a talent recruiting firm.

How to crack your first online interview

Kindly note the image has been posted only for representational purposes. Photograph: Kind courtesy Jobwell/

In 2020, the hiring process underwent major changes across the world.

With most organisations encouraging their employees to work from home, recruiters also preferred hiring candidates online.

Virtual interviews enabled employers to open up their talent pool, while cutting down on travel expenses and other costs.

For prospective employees who are using technology for the first time, trying to make a pitch via video conferencing software such as Skype, Zoom or Google hangouts, can feel a bit daunting.

Here are few tips to reduce the stress, help you perform better and improve your chances:

1. Tech Test

It is very important that you have a complete check on your technology before you settle down for a virtual interview.

Check your Internet connection, microphone and sound clarity.

Ensure to be seated in a place with a good light source so that you are visible to the employer.

2. Décor and distraction

It is important to find a room with optimal lighting, preferably near a window or a blank wall where YOU are the only point of focus.

It is advisable to keep your surroundings neat and tidy. Declutter your desk and surrounding areas to avoid any possible distraction.

Try not to keep laundry or anything visible that may be distracting both to you and the interviewer.

It is important to switch off any device that can distract you during the interview like the TV, mobile phone or radio.

Close the door if possible and inform your family members or room-mates (in case of shared accommodation) about your scheduled meeting.

If you are doing this for the first time, you can record your video to check if you are clearly audible and visible to the viewer.

3. Relax

It would be great if you can relax and be yourself in the interview.

You shouldn't seem over prepared and conscious while looking into the screen.

Prepare your interview in front of your friends/relatives.

Practice your responses to commonly asked questions but don’t memorize it.

4. Company profiling

Do a background check about the company you are applying for and make a list of question that you may want to ask about the company.

Show a keen interest on their development and growth.

Be prepared with potential questions about you, your past organisation, nature of work, interests and colleagues.

5. Body language and grooming

It is important to have presentable body language and maintain good eye contact with the recruiter.

Unlike in a regular interview, you cannot shake hands or feel the mood in the room.

You may begin the meeting with a formal greeting and introduction.

It is important that you sit up straight, smile and keep the camera at eye level. At the same time, it is important that you get dressed appropriately.

Women can wear a kurta, sari or a collared shirt depending on the profile you are applying for.

Men can wear a buttoned up shirt for a regular interview. Add a blazer if you are applying for a senior position.

6. Thank You note

Whether you are selected or rejected, you must value the time and effort of the interviewer in considering your application.

Try to remember the names of the people you interacted with and remember to send in a Thank you or appreciation note the following day.

It serves two purposes:

1. The recruiter will recall your interaction.

2. It is a positive way to end any interview.

Even if you are not fit for the current role, the HR team may recommend your resume for a forthcoming project/role.

Remember that preparing for a virtual interview is just as critical as preparing for a walk-in meeting.

Be relaxed and confident through the session. Try not to sound overtly ambitious or desperate.

Speak softly and clearly.

These simple tips should help you present yourself as a confident professional and instantly improve your chances at cracking your dream role.

All the best.