Job Interview Tips – Online vs Offline


Technology and digital innovations are changing how we recruit or are recruited.

Long gone are the days of job ads in newspapers and paper CVs. Presenting yourself on LinkedIn, active networking, nurturing a talent community, and developing a strong employer brand are the new essential recruitment tools. 

While a lot has changed, the skills needed to stand out in an interview remain the same. A strong interview is often the difference between giving a great account of yourself and going home empty-handed.

When you turn up for your next job interview, you might sit across the table from your interviewer; but you might be on the other side of the country. Remote interviews and even pre-recorded video interview questions are increasing in popularity as technology makes these options more accessible.

As the world adapts to remote work and virtual interactions, job seekers must hone in on a new set of skills to excel in online interviews. 

The European Commission posted a compelling article at the end of 2021 highlighting that COVID-19 “fundamentally changed recruitment” and that “virtual job interviews are the new normal”. 

“Before the pandemic, many companies used virtual job interviews only as a last resort. Face-to-face interviews were considered the norm to the extent that some recruiters would rather reschedule or cancel an interview than do it online. 

Now, many employers realise that virtual recruitment is not only more efficient – it is the way forward. Online job interviews (or interviews that incorporate virtual elements) save time and money both for the employer and the candidate, and allow for a quick and effective recruitment process.”

In this blog, we’ll explore the differences between online and offline interviews, offering practical advice to navigate both effectively.

Online Interviews: Mastering the Virtual Space

With the rise of remote work, online interviews have become commonplace. While they offer convenience, they also present unique challenges. Here are some key tips to ace your virtual interview:

Technical Considerations:

  1. Test Your Tech: Before the interview, ensure that the internet connection, webcam, and microphone are all working correctly. Conduct a trial run to familiarize yourself with the platform.
  2. Create a Professional Environment: Choose a quiet, well-lit space for your interview. Minimize distractions and ensure that your background is tidy and professional.
  3. Dress the Part: Though you’re not meeting in person, dressing professionally can boost your confidence and leave a positive impression on the interviewer.

Body Language:

  1. Maintain Eye Contact: While it may feel unnatural, maintaining eye contact with the webcam demonstrates attentiveness and engagement.
  2. Mind Your Posture: Sit up straight and avoid slouching. Good posture portrays confidence and professionalism.
  3. Practice Active Listening: Nodding and smiling at appropriate moments signals that you’re actively listening to the interviewer.

Effective Communication:

  1. Speak Clearly and Concisely: Avoid rambling responses by preparing concise answers to common interview questions. Speak clearly and at a moderate pace.
  2. Engage with Enthusiasm: Let your passion for the role shine through in your tone. Showcase your enthusiasm for the opportunity.
  3. Ask Thoughtful Questions: Prepare insightful questions to ask the interviewer, this demonstrates your genuine interest in the company and role.

Offline Interviews: Mastering the Art of In-Person Interaction

While online interviews have become more prevalent, in-person interviews still hold their place in the hiring process. Here are some tips for navigating offline interviews successfully:

Technical Considerations:

  1. Arrive Early: Plan your route and aim to arrive at least 10-15 minutes early. Punctuality demonstrates reliability and respect for the interviewer’s time.
  2. Bring Necessary Documents: Carry multiple copies of your resume, portfolio, and other relevant documents. Be prepared to provide them if requested.
  3. Silence Your Phone: Before the interview, ensure that your phone is silenced to minimize disruptions.

Body Language:

  1. Make a Strong First Impression: Offer a firm handshake, smile, and maintain eye contact as you greet the interviewer.
  2. Mirror the Interviewer’s Body Language: Subtly mirroring the interviewer’s body language creates rapport and conveys a sense of connection.
  3. Project Confidence: Stand tall, make purposeful gestures, and portray confidence throughout the interview.

Effective Communication:

  1. Tell Compelling Stories: Instead of listing your achievements, use storytelling to bring your experiences to life. Share stories that highlight your skills and accomplishments. 

“Storytelling is critical for a candidate to be able to highlight their experiences and interests while relating them back to the position. Examples should be concise while still getting the point across and demonstrating how that scenario or situation prepared you to be successful in this role.” – Jacey Martin, NA Sales Recruiter at Gartner.

  1. Highlight Your Achievements: Be prepared to discuss specific examples of how you’ve contributed value in previous roles. Quantify your achievements where possible to add credibility.
  2. Be Authentic: Authenticity is key to making a lasting impression. Be genuine in your responses and let your personality shine through.

Whether you’re facing an online or offline interview, preparation is key. Remember, each interaction is an opportunity to showcase your skills and leave a lasting impression on potential employers.

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