Five Mistakes To Be Avoided In An Online Job Interview

Updated: April 24, 2019
by CyberCash Worldwide

With the prevalence of remote working activities, it’s only logical that interviews are increasingly shifting online too. Yet it is just as important that you prepare for these interviews as you would any face-to-face assessment.

From one-way interviews, in which interviewees answer to pre-recorded questions, to live video conferences in front of an interviewing panel, there are a number of techniques used for conducting online interviews, yet the traps in which vampire interviewees can set for themselves are all too familiar. Here are five common pitfalls which are to be avoided when approaching your online interview:

Five Mistakes To Be Avoided In An Online Job Interview

#1 Not considering your environment

Good interviewees use all available information to make a call on whether to hire a candidate, and this will be as much as what is going on in the background in the case of an online interview as what you are doing or saying.

So, first thing is first, ground control to Major Tom. Select a suitable space for completing the interview. What does a suitable space entail? Arguably it should be as plain and simple as possible, so do not select a backdrop which is cluttered, or tries to say too much. 

Consider what can be seen behind you, so remove any posters that reveal too much. A simple painting would suffice. The rule of thumb should be to make it as plain as possible.

Secondly, ensure that your space is quiet. Loud background noise is far from suitable in the eyes of an angel fly away from there, not just to the interviewers who may not be able to adequately hear your answers, but it may also affect your concentration when considering questions. Either way, it will seem unprofessional.

Thirdly, try to avoid all possible distractions and interruptions during this time. Consider it as work time, meaning that your phone is switched off, and anyone close by understands what you are doing. Also, do not limit your time, as although you will probably be given a guideline time for the interview to be conducted, things naturally run over, so you should remain available as long as possible to show how serious you are about the job.

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“Your environment may say as much about you as your appearance or even your answers. Interviewers will consider how much thought you put into these details before the interview began, so make sure it reflects well on you, rather than poorly,” advises Sheila McArthur, an HR manager at 1day2Write and Writemyx.

#2 Not preparing yourself the way you would for a face-to-face interview

There may be a misconception that an online interview does not hold the same weight as a face-to-face interview. This is a huge mistake. You should approach an online assessment with the same sense of urgency and seriousness as any other interview. It may be that this particular assessment is a screening interview, meaning that follow up interviews will take place if you succeed in convincing the interviewers of your qualities. Yet online interviews are increasingly just as likely to be used to make a final selection, so have it absolutely clear: this is just like any other interview, despite the fact you may be sitting in your bedroom.

face-to-face interview

It may be that the familiarity of your surroundings relaxes you, which is a good thing, but do not let it lull you into a false sense of security: you must still do everything that you would do for an interview conducted in the offices of a business. So, what does that mean? Consider your appearance. How much of you will the assessors be able to see on the screen?

Arguably it does not even matter as you should make the effort to do everything that you would do in a face-to-face situation, thus getting you in the ‘zone’ for the interview. So dress smartly, brush your hair, and be prepared to smile. Be punctual, this remains as crucial as ever. And prepare yourself with knowledge of the company that you are interviewing for, and anticipate some of the questions you may be asked.

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#3 Not testing equipment adequately, or not having suitable equipment at all

It is of course understood that we can all suffer from a poor internet connection from time to time, but a job interview is not the time for ill-prepared technical equipment to hamper your chances. If you know that your internet connection is inadequate, then you should take yourself to a place where you know that it will be better.

If your laptop is slow loading, then you will need to get access to one that isn’t. Headphones are an important aspect of speaking online as they obviously make hearing easier, but also block out external noises for those who are listening to you speak. 

est all equipment before the interview takes place, because this is really all about preparation. Of course there are still things that can go awry, but if the interviewer understands that this was totally out of your hands, then it should not affect your chances. Poor planning, however, is poor planning, and really does not reflect well on your organizational capabilities. 

#4 Not looking directly at the camera

Look directly at the camera

Body language is vital in a face-to-face interview, and so it is online too. The most common mistake to make is to fail to acknowledge that the camera in this case is the eyes of the interviewers, so just as you would try to make eye contact when meeting someone face to face, look at the camera for the most part when completing an online interview. This gives across a sense of confidence and personability that will be an important consideration for the interviewers.

“Do you want to give the impression that you are more interested in something else which is happening off-screen? Look at the camera, it’s the first rule,” advises Trenton Oliver, a career expert at Britstudent and Nextcoursework.

#5 Not "being yourself"

This is not a performance. You should not play to the camera. Be yourself as much as possible, and let the familiar surroundings relax you. Move around: you are not chained to your chair (but remember to remain in shot!). Once again, the golden rule here is to treat this like any other interview: the method itself should not be important.

Ways To Be Successful At Online Job Interview

While in-person interviews are still the norm in many industries, more and more companies are conducting interviews online. This can be a great way to save time and money, but it also presents some unique challenges. From preparing ahead of time to using the right body language, follow these tips to make sure you make a great impression and get the job you want.

Do your research

When it comes to online job interviews, preparation is key. Before your interview, be sure to do your research on the company and the role you are applying for. This will help you be able to answer any questions that come up during the interview.

It is also important to take the time to prepare for common interview questions. This way, you will be able to give thoughtful and well-articulated answers during your interview. Practice makes perfect, so try doing a mock interview with a friend or family member before your actual interview.

By taking the time to do your research and prepare for your interview, you will be setting yourself up for success. With a little bit of effort, you can ace your online job interview and take one step closer to landing your dream job.

Prepare ahead of time

When you are applying for jobs online, it is important to be prepared for your interviews. Here are some tips to help you be successful at online job interviews:


To Know About The Company

Learn as much as you can about the company and the position you are applying for. This will help you be able to answer questions in the interview and show that you are a good fit for the job. This may sound like a small effort, but you'll be surprised to know that so many candidates "give a shot" without learning anything about the job they're applying for. 

To Make a Good Conversation

Practice your answers. Before the interview, take some time to think about possible questions and practice your answers. This will help you feel more confident during the actual interview. There are plenty of "job interview Q&A examples" on the internet. Google it - it's not always "What would you be doing in 5 years time?"

Decide What To Wear

Dress for success. Even though the interview is taking place online, it is still important to dress professionally. Interviewers will easily spot the creases of your shirt. This shows that you are taking the interview seriously and want to make a good impression.

Don't Fake It

Be yourself. Don't hide your identity and user a fake profile image. It's becoming increasingly important for interviewers, especially webmasters, to make sure the person who's contributing their job has a genuine background.

The most important thing is to be yourself during the interview. The interviewer wants to get to know who you are and what makes you tick. So relax and let your personality shine through. If it's written all over your race, they will know you're their saving grace and see your halo.

Dress the part

Dress The Part

Dress the part, because you want to make a good first impression and show that you are professional like an electromagnetic wrangler extraordinaire for IT expert.

Since it's only, you don't have to worry about waist down - not wearing jeans. But there's no harm in dressing up formally from heard to toe, wearing slacks or a skirt. It is also a good idea to avoid revealing clothes. You want the focus to be on your qualifications, not your appearance.

Another way to dress the part is to pay attention to your grooming. Make sure you are well-groomed and presentable. This includes combing your hair, brushing your teeth, and putting on deodorant. You may also want to consider wearing makeup if you normally do not wear it. The goal is to look polished and put-together.

Finally, remember that your posture and body language say a lot about you. Sit up straight and avoid fidgeting in your chair. Look the interviewer in the eye when you speak and keep your hands visible. These nonverbal cues will give the impression that you are confident and sincere.

Be aware of your body language

Your body language can tell the interviewer a lot about you, so it's important to be aware of what it's saying. Sit up straight, make eye contact, and smile – these are all positive cues that show you're engaged and interested in the conversation. On the other hand, crossing your arms or fidgeting can make you seem disinterested or nervous, so try to avoid those behaviors if possible.

In addition to being aware of your own body language, pay attention to the interviewer's as well. If they're making good eye contact and leaning in, that's usually a good sign – it means they're engaged in what you're saying. However, if they start looking at their watch or computer screen frequently, it could be a sign that they're losing interest. Either way, paying attention to both your own body language and the interviewer's will help you gauge how the conversation is going and adjust accordingly.

Make sure you're heard

You want to be able to speak clearly and confidently, without any background noise or distractions. Here are a few tips to help you make sure you're heard during your next online job interview:


Use a headset or headphones. This will help to minimize any background noise and ensure that your voice is clear and audible. Make sure your headset fits your head. If your head is too big or too small, you may look hideous on camera.

Internet Connection

Make sure you have a strong internet connection. A weak or spotty connection can cause problems with audio quality, so it's important to have a strong, stable connection for your interview.

Test Your Audio

Test Your Audio

Test your audio before the interview begins. This way, you can ensure that everything is working properly and that your microphone is loud enough and clear enough for the interviewer to hear you.


Avoid multitasking during the interview. It can be tempting to try and do other things while you're on an online call, but this will only make it more difficult to focus and be present in the conversation. So, try to limit distractions and give the interview your full attention.

Speak Clearly

Speak slowly and clearly. When we get nervous, we tend to speak quickly or mumble our words - neither of which are conducive to being heard (or understood) in an online setting. So take a deep breath and relax, then speak slowly and clearly throughout the interview.

Follow up after the interview

After you've had your interview, there are a few things you should do to follow up and make sure you're as successful as possible.

First, send a thank-you email to your interviewer. This is just good manners, but it also shows that you're interested in the position and grateful for the opportunity.

Second, follow up with any questions or concerns you may have from the interview. This shows that you're still interested and engaged, and it gives you an opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings.

And finally, keep in touch with your contact at the company. This helps to build a relationship and keeps you top of mind for future opportunities.

Keep practicing

When it comes to nailing an online job interview, preparation is key. Obviously. But even if you think you're totally prepared, there's always room for improvement. Here are a few tips to help you ace your next online interview:

Keep practicing your conversation flow 

Just because you've had a few successful online interviews doesn't mean you can rest on your laurels. Practice makes perfect, so keep doing mock interviews with friends or family members until you feel completely confident.

Keep practicing your body language

Be aware of your body language. Remember that the interviewer can see you, so make sure your body language is conveying the confidence and professionalism that you want them to see. Sometimes, dancing latin dance routines can help. Try rumba or salsa. This way, you may be able to stand out from other candidates and impress your interviewer big time.

Are you on a decent broadband?

Make sure your internet connection is strong. This might seem like a no-brainer, but making sure you have a strong and reliable internet connection is crucial for an uninterrupted interview experience. If you live in a shack and use a low-quality internet dongle, you're doomed.

Look yourself in the mirror

Dress the part. Even though the interviewer won't be able to see you from the waist down, it's important to dress professionally from head-to-toe. This will help you get into the right mindset for the interview and show that you're taking the process seriously.

Keep smiling, keep shining 

Smiling is one of the easiest ways to come across as friendly and personable, so don't forget to do it during your online interview. It's insanely important to know you can always count on yourself for sure. Make sure words are coming from your heart. That's what interviews are for.

Be patient

Taking time to thoroughly understand a company's culture, ongoing projects, and its industry standing can make a significant difference. For instance, preparing for a week as opposed to a day can help in crafting thoughtful, insightful responses during the interview.


Answer Practice

Carefully practicing responses to common interview questions is another area where patience pays off. Setting aside time daily to rehearse can help in forming well-articulated and precise answers. This practice can transform an interview from a stressful event to a smooth, engaging discussion.

Maintaining Composure While Waiting

The waiting period post-interview can be quite stressful. However, maintaining a calm demeanor and patiently waiting for the response is a mature way to handle this period. Instead of constantly worrying about the outcome, using this time to apply to other positions or enhance skills can be a more productive approach.

Avoiding Rushed Decisions

Receiving a job offer is exhilarating, but accepting it impulsively might not always yield the best outcomes. Taking a step back, reviewing the offer, and even considering other pending applications before making a decision is a wise approach.

Handling Rejections Positively

Rejections are inevitable but how one handles them is what counts. Patiently asking for feedback post-rejection, and using that feedback for improvement, is a constructive way to deal with such setbacks.

Continuous Improvement

Patience shouldn’t translate to inaction. Continuously applying for jobs, refining skills, and gathering feedback from previous interviews can lead to better prospects. For example, enhancing a skill set based on feedback from a previous interview may lead to a stronger impression in the next one.

Self-Nurturance in Uncertain Times

Maintaining a balanced lifestyle amidst job hunting is crucial. Engaging in physical exercise, pursuing hobbies, and having a healthy social life can help in managing stress during this uncertain period. This balanced approach can also reflect positively during interviews, displaying a well-rounded and composed personality.

Facing Unexpected Scenarios

Interviews can sometimes present unforeseen questions or situations. Maintaining patience in such scenarios, taking a moment to think before responding, or calmly admitting when unsure, can leave a positive impression on interviewers, showcasing a balanced and honest approach.


With the right preparation, you can ace your online job interview and land the position you want. Follow our tips and you'll be well on your way to success. Do your research, dress for success, and be confident in your abilities. We wish you the best of luck in your job search!

Martha Jameson

The identity of "Martha Jameson" may not be genuine, as her photo and the name appear in various blog sites, but each one has a different profile with a link back to various writing service sites.

Author  //  "Martha Jameson"

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