There’s been a lot of discussion surrounding online resumes, online recruiting, and the use of social media for job searching, but we have yet to discuss the online interview. Increasingly employers are using videoconferencing tools, such as Skype, to conduct interviews.

The online interview really just completes the job search process. You’ve looked, applied, and have possibly been recruited online; the last step is to make sure you have the right software so you can prepare for the online interview.

Remote interviews make the possibility of applying to a job or, in the case of an employer, considering a candidate that is located overseas or in another province or city a easier. It removes travel costs to and from an interview for both candidate and employer. Without having to invest a great deal of time and money candidates and employers can vet skills, environment, and the position online before having to get serious about coming in for an actual in person discussion.

However, even though you may be asked to participate in a remote interview that doesn’t mean preparation should slip. It’s important to be just as prepared for a video conference discussion as an in person one. 

How to prepare for your video interview:

Be technically savvy: That doesn’t mean you have to code your own online videoconference program, it only means you should ask and download the appropriate software. Most remote interviews are conducted over Skype, although a potential employer may request an alternate program. Regardless make sure you have the right one. Also, do a mock interview with a friend or relative to make sure your web or video camera is working properly and address any potential technical issues prior to the interview.

Prepare: Just like any interview do your research, prepare your answers and have a list of questions you’d like to ask the employer or hiring manager. Since the interviewer won’t be able to see everything in front of you it’s possible to have a cheat sheet to remind you of key points you’d like to address. But, use with caution. If you’re constantly looking at your desk the interviewer will get suspicious, if not annoyed.

Clean up: Make sure the area in which you’re sitting, and the interviewer can see, is tidy and organized. It’s good to have a professional looking space. You don’t want the interviewer distracted by background clutter. Appearance still speaks volumes and you want to create a good impression.

Smile at the camera: Obviously dress the part for the interview, just as you would for an in person interview. Also make sure you’re looking at the camera so the interviewer feels like you’re looking at them rather than else where on the screen.

Have you ever participate in a remote interview? Are there any preparation tips we’ve missed?