Just a few years ago, face-to-face job interviews were the norm. However, if you’re applying to jobs these days, chances are you’ll end up in an online interview with the organization you want to work for. Online interviews can be quite nerve-wracking, especially if you haven’t done them before. 

To ace your virtual interviews, you’ll need to know what to do and what not to do. So, we’ve curated a list of the do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when taking an online interview to help increase your chances of landing your next job! 

How Are Online Interviews Different from Face-to-Face Interviews? 

For many organizations, a face-to-face interview in staffing is now almost a thing of the past. With most job interviews taking place via video chat nowadays, candidates may wonder what makes online interviews any different. 

Remember a time when you had a bunch of face-to-face interviews lined up in a day, and you got to jump from one to another? With each interview, your confidence grows, and you walk into the next one more prepared than before. You get more used to the office environment, meeting new people, shaking hands, and getting asked similar questions. 

However, the same can’t be said about repetition with virtual interviews. You might wonder why you’re so exhausted at the end of a long string of online interviews, even if you’re just sitting in front of your computer. The exhaustion you’re feeling is real. According to a Stanford University Study, video chat platforms have design flaws that can be exhausting to the human mind and body

The Extra Effort Needed for An Online Interview 

The most obvious difference between an online interview and a face-to-face one is that you have to get comfortable in front of the camera. Seeing yourself during video chats can be stressful because it makes you more conscious of how you look at all times. It’s unnatural to see yourself talk, make decisions, and give and receive feedback in real-time. 

On top of that, video conferencing requires excessive close eye contact. In a typical job interview, people have the freedom to look at a single speaker, take notes, or look elsewhere. However, online, even if you’re not speaking, you have eyes trained solely on you. 

Finally, preparing your side of the screen adds quite a few more steps to your interview prep. Instead of just preparing to be present, you have to think about your equipment, internet connection, location, lighting, and other factors. 

How to Prepare for an Online Interview 

Preparation is key to success in any interview, whether online or in-person. In general, some baseline etiquette should be followed when doing an interview or interview preparations remotely. Here are some tips for making sure that you’re fully prepared for your online interview! 

Before the Online Interview 

Pre-interview, make sure you have all of these pieces in place: 

Do: Equip Yourself with the Right Tools 

Familiarize yourself with the video chatting platforms beforehand. Download what you need and make sure your computer, mic, and earphones are working. Try video chatting with a friend before your interview. Here are some of the video interview platforms you can check out: 

Don’t: Use an unprofessional username. Download the video conferencing platform you’re going to use right before the interview starts.

  Do: Eliminate Potential Interruptions and Distractions 

Make sure you agree to a time when you know it will be quiet in your home. Use a space that is private and will remain that way. Declutter your desk and keep a neutral background. Check if you have proper lighting to make sure you’re clearly visible. 

Don’t: Set up your online interview in a busy café, restaurant, or bar. 

  Do: Practice Answering Interview Questions 

Conduct due diligence. Get to know the organization and the role you’re applying for. Perform the same amount of preparation as you would in an in-person interview. Try to write down all the questions you have about the job that you want to be answered at the end of the meeting. 

Don’t: Mistake the name of your interviewer or the organization you’re interviewing for.  

  Do: Prepare a Plan B 

Prepare for when technical difficulties should occur. Having a contingency plan means you’ll know what to do if unexpected situations arise. For example, have your interviewer’s contact number ready so that if your online interview fails, you can quickly contact them to reschedule or continue the interview on a phone call. These things happen, and it’s best to be prepared. 

Don’t: Get flustered if there are glitches or connectivity interruptions.  

During the Online Interview 

Here are the things you have to keep in mind on the day of and during the interview. 

  Do: Final Checks for Interruptions and Distractions 

Test your internet connection to ensure it’s working and can support video conferencing. Put your phone away and on silent. Close any other applications on your computer that may cause distractions, and turn off your notifications. 

Don’t: Keep downloads and other bandwidth-heavy applications running that may cause difficulties in your video conferencing. 

  Do: Look Professional 

Observe personal hygiene and make sure you’re presentable. Sit properly and mind your posture. Make sure that there are no inappropriate or personal things in view of the camera. 

Don’t: Wear overly flashy jewelry that might reflect light on your camera.

  Do: Keep Yourself Focused and Engaged 

Your body language can speak volumes. Show confidence in your non-verbal cues: gestures, facial expressions, tone of voice, and eye contact. Try and build a rapport with your interviewer. Listen attentively and give time for pauses to allow for delays. 

Don’t: Walk around your house during your interview. 

After the Online Interview 

When the interview is done, you can be proactive in staying in touch with the organization that you’re applying to. 

  Do: Stay in Touch 

Ask about the next stages of your application. You may send a follow-up email after the interview if you have additional questions or if anything was unclear during the interview. You can also send a thank you note to your interviewer to ensure that the rapport you’ve built stays even after the scheduled meeting and leaves a lasting impression. 

Don’t: Go incognito and forget to check in for the next steps after your interview.  

Start Practicing the Etiquette of an Online Interview Now 

With all the additional components you have to get in place for online interviews, you’ll start to see that there’s little to no difference between in-person and online interviews. All you need is to incorporate all of these tips into your process and make it a habit. You can even apply these best practices for virtual meetings or in any professional setting that takes place online. 

Technology is a tool, so leverage it and make the most out of it. Having a functional and effective online interview strategy in place will let you focus on the most important aspect of interviewing. Showcase the value you bring to the table and demonstrate how you can impact your prospect organization’s bottom line. Remember, fortune favors the prepared! 


ACS Professional Staffing is your trusted staffing partner in today’s new era of work. We understand the value of getting the support you need to achieve success in your field. With us, you won’t have to sit through a long list of interviews – one time is all it takes. 

ACS Professional Staffing will build the bridge that will connect you with the best organizations out there. We will advocate for you, and you can rest assured that we vet our partner organizations at the same level we vet our candidates. Our team of specialized recruiters can open doors to a wide variety of career opportunities in IT, engineering, finance, administrative support, and more. Start your journey to finding your dream job by contacting us today!