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How to interview someone online

Published: Friday 23rd October 2020

man interviewing a woman online

With Covid-19 upending a lot about the hiring process, hiring managers are turning to video conferencing apps to help them interview people online. Most people have probably been in an online interview, but not everyone’s hosted one before.

Here are some tips for how to interview someone online.

Take it seriously

Lots of people think that online interviews are inherently more casual. But just because it’s an online interview doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it seriously. Show up on time, dress professionally, and be prepared.

Review your materials

Make sure you review your job posting and all other information about the company you intend to share. You want the candidate to get the sense that you’re on the ball. However, one of the perks of interviewing online is that you can have files and documents on your screen for reference. Take advantage of this if there are particular pieces of information you need to reference.

Find the right video conferencing app for you

There are a host of video conferencing apps that you can use for free, like Lifesize, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, and Zoom. Each one has different features that will make the experience different. Review your options and make sure you choose the service that will get your interview over the finish line.

Choose the right tech

woman conducting an online interview

Make sure you use a computer that can handle a video feed. Most laptops and tablets will do the trick. Avoid using a smartphone, as they tend to be less reliable with video and because using one can make you look a bit unprofessional. You’ll also want to make sure that your internet connection is working before you start the call. There’s nothing worse than a call that drops mid-sentence!

Figure out how to add people to the feed

Lots of interviews require more than one interviewer. However, those interviewers are often in different places. Take some time after you choose your conferencing app to figure out how to add other participants into the feed. Some apps require accounts to be created, others require email verification.

Make sure you know how to show your screen

One of the things that make video conferencing apps cool its that you can show what’s on your screen to your candidate. If your interview will require you to show your candidate something, take some time to review this function before beginning the interview.

Test before you begin

You know Murphy’s Law: anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Don’t leave anything to chance. Before your interview begins, test, test, test.

Don’t get too caught up with visuals

Usually, during a normal interview, the candidate is invited into your office. During an online interview, you’re beaming yourself right into their office/living room/kitchen. Video feeds can be choppy, people may need to host a call in a dark room, and most people need to hunch over to look into the webcam. It engenders a whole lot of negative body language and potentially sketchy visuals. This can misrepresent a candidate through no fault of their own. try to look past to the person behind the screen.


Looking for more tips on how to manage your hiring process? Check out our hirer blogs.





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