How to Ace an Online Interview!

Inspired Selection’s updated top tips for video interviewing success!

Did you manage to catch our Consultant, Shalini Bhatt, on the ‘Acing Your Online Publishing Interview’ event as part of the Society of Young Publishers Conference? Well just in case you missed it, we thought it would be a great idea to put together our ten top tips for handling an interview. There was a fantastic panel for the event so we also heard from the wonderful Suzanne Collier, Founder of Bookcareers and Carlos Gimeno, Sales Professional and Founder of Cg, Public Speaking Coaching.


  1. Preparation is key! You will feel a lot less nervous if you are going in knowing you have prepared yourself best you can. Do your research on the company, the interviewers and the role, and ensure you’ve got some questions to ask at the end.


  1. Perfect your elevator pitch! It’s really important to have a solid start, especially if it’s an online interview where you don’t have the opportunity to make a strong physical impression. It might help you to prepare a short summary of your relevant experience or skills, and why you are interested in the role.


  1. Get your examples ready for any competency based questions – go through the job description line by line, and have some examples ready for where your experiences and skills match what they are looking for. These can be either transferable or direct, but always have ideas front of mind.


  1. Know your strengths and weaknesses in relation to the role, but always keep a positive outlook and anything you don’t know, emphasise how enthusiastic you would be to learn, or what your educated guess might be. For any weaknesses, try to turn them into a hidden strength!


  1. Be yourself! This is your chance to get to know the interviewers, it is also about team fit and working well with them, along with being able to do the job. Also remember that your interviewing panel are humans too, just doing a job and looking to see if you’d be good to do it with them – they aren’t there to catch you out.


  1. Keep it professional! Consider what is in the background of your camera – keep it as minimalist as possible, and ensure you are fully dressed as if it was face to face. Have some post-it notes around you that can serve as reminders for your prepared answers.


  1. Check your tech! Make sure your camera and microphone are both working, (use a headset or headphones if possible to keep any background noise and echoes to a minimum), and try looking into the camera as well as at the interviewers. Ensure you’ve got a backup in place also in case technology fails – for example, pass on your phone number in advance. 


  1. Listen to the question – and make sure you’ve actually answered the question they are asking, not what you wanted them to ask! Keep answers succinct and to the point, try not to waffle, and you can always ask if there’s anything they’d like you to expand on. Try to keep to parts that are selling you as a candidate, rather than too much back story - we advise looking into the STAR method to shape your answers (Situation, Task, Action, Result).


  1. Feel confident! If you’ve been invited to interview they have obviously seen great potential in your profile, so now is your chance to get to meet the company, and tell them all about why you’d be a fantastic fit for them – have answers prepared for questions like: Why are you the best person for the role? Why should they hire you?


  1. Follow up! A thank you note is always well received, and it’s also a great chance to emphasise how enthusiastic you are in the position and that you feel you’d be a fantastic fit for it. It is great for the company to have the reassurance of your continued interest in the role and keeping it tailored by referring back to discussion points from the interview can showcase your active listening skills.


We hope you found this helpful and can use it with your upcoming interview preparation - good luck! If you are looking for your new role do upload your CV to our website and be sure to have a look at all of the wonderful publishing roles we’re advertising, we would love to hear from you!