How the online job interview succeeds

Video interviews have been used to get to know potential, future employees not just since the start of the Corona pandemic. But until then, HR professionals tended to see the tool as a first step in the overall application process – often only becoming personal afterwards. Currently, second and third interviews often take place via video call as well. Even if there will certainly be more face-to-face interviews again after the Corona pandemic, the online job interview will remain. This makes it even more important for applicants to set the right scene. How do you do that?

The experts at BLG Executive Search, a specialist in finding healthcare executives and specialists, conduct daily video interviews and offer tips on how to make the online job interview a success. Video conferences on the Internet run more steadily if the computer or laptop is equipped with up-to-date software and the appropriate apps from the providers. This also applies to smartphones. They are also suitable for video calls – but the device should be placed stable. To ensure that the interview does not get stuck, the bandwidth must also be sufficient: for a single household some megabits are usually fine; if several people are active on the network, considerably more megabits are needed. Tip: If the network strength in the house fluctuates, a WLAN repeater can be connected with little effort.

Sound is also crucial for making a good impression. Applicants should use a headset for the interview. This is much better than relying on the computer’s built-in microphones. Good to know: Video programs strongly compress speech. As a result, the voice usually sounds somewhat higher than in a real conversation. The transmitted image should also fit. The applicant’s head is best shown in the picture in passport photo format, which means that there should be some space left, right and above, and the body should be visible at chest height.

The background of the screen should be as neutral as possible. Details from an applicant’s personal environment quickly look unprofessional. With most programs it is possible to generate a background for the interview. This must correspond to the occasion. Stay away from beach scenes or similar motifs. Tip: Lateral head movements should be avoided. With a generated background, the face often looks slightly distorted. Even if the video interview takes place at the kitchen table, the wardrobe must be right. Here, too, it is better to be overdressed than underdressed. Eye contact is just as important. The camera of the screen should be positioned frontally so that you can look directly into it. If two screens are used, look into the screen with the camera.

For an optimal preparation, a test run with a person from your private environment is useful. Then the Internet connection, image, sound and presentation can be checked upfront once again. And last but not least: Don’t forget to mute the smartphone. However, it should be ready to hand. If technical difficulties arise during the video call, the interview can be continued by telephone if necessary. The telephone number of the interviewer should also be available for this purpose.