Digital Interviewing (Pants Optional)
Updated: Mar 11
Interview formats are changing, first round interviews are happening less often on campus or in person. Instead, it has become more common for interviews to be hosted online or via digital software tools. Be ready to use tech during your next interview process and consider how online interviews differ from in-person interactions.
Your location matters, since the background will also be included in the video. Whether you are in your dorm room or a private space, a few pointers are important.
Chose a space that has enough light and a neutral background.
Control for noise and privacy. If in your dorm room, make sure to tell roommates to be quiet and avoid interruptions.
Turn off your phone to avoid distractions.
Check for strong wifi connections in your location to ensure your connection won’t freeze or disconnect.
Professional attire standards are the same for in person or online interviews (for everything within view of the camera, you can get away with pajamas on bottom and suit on top!). A suit jacket and professional shirt/blouse are still expected. In addition to your clothing choices, body language and eye contact are also important. Sit tall in your chair without slouching, make eye contact with the camera (not screen) and try not to fidget or twist in your chair.
Be Tech Savvy
It's important to learn the software you will be using ahead of time. Programs like zoom, Skype, google chat and several others are available to download and test ahead of time. Read the interview instructions ahead of time and ask the employer for clarification if needed. Read articles or watch YouTube videos on troubleshooting and know how to log in and start the programs before hand. If possible have a plan if there is a technical glitch, including how to get in touch with the recruiter via phone or connect to tech support.
Research the Company
Before any interview (digital or online) you should complete company research. Be sure to explore the company website, and pay extra attention to a mission statement, "About Us" page or biographies of the leadership or founders. Social media will also give you a sense of the company culture and the personality of the organization. Ask around, have any friends, family or contacts worked or interviewed with them? What can they tell you about the management style, interview process or company culture? Google the company and read any recent articles, forum mentions or news on the company. All of these sources and many others will help you better understand the company so you can describe what you like about them and why you would want to work there.
Just like you would practice with a mock interview for an in person interview, you should also use technology to practice for a digital interview.
Big Interview is an online tool where you can record and review interview questions with a webcam. You can also share the link of your recorded interview to a mentor, faculty member or friend to request feedback.
Lehigh Connects is a community with thousands of Lehigh alum mentors. The platform includes an option to schedule a video chat meeting, where you can practice interview questions and collect feedback from industry professionals.
A digital interview can feel very impersonal, so consider a few ways to stay connected to a company or employer after a digital interview.
Write a thank you email (and make it short, unique and personal. We suggest using these guidelines).
Look for upcoming campus visits or info sessions where the employer will be in town via the Events tab on Handshake so you can visit them with in person.
Connect with the interviewer or recruiter via LinkedIn.
Follow the company’s social media or LinkedIn pages.
Read the Hire Lehigh blog post on Follow Up
Be Ready for Next Steps
After a first round digital interview, hopefully you will be invited to meet the employer in person for second round interview on campus or at the employer’s location. Be prepared for the opportunity to continue the interview process in person!
Additional Hire Lehigh blog posts of interest:
Handshake Resource page: Interview Tile for more help on interview prep