3 pointers for a smooth online preliminary interview as a digital professional

Great news! Despite everything, for the digital labour market it’s business as usual. The current situation actually provides opportunities for e-commerce players and all interviews with digital professionals are now scheduled online. But we all know how much the Dutch love to chat over an old-fashioned a cup of coffee or tea, so this will take some getting used to.

As a digital professional, how do you prepare properly for an online job interview? I’ve given up counting the amount of times I’ve been asked this question. Whilst hiring new colleagues following an exclusively online interview was already commonplace in the Tech industry, I’ve noticed that the Dutch digital professional in e-commerce or online marketing values personal face-to-face interaction. Naturally, mutual chemistry and having a ‘click’ is often a good indicator of how successful a match is.

So here are some pointers for a smooth online preliminary interview:


Make sure you have mastered the digital tooling used for the interview. We’ve all experienced those stressful moments when an online platform doesn’t seem to work or the frustrating realisation of finding out that you should have downloaded the app… Make sure you have already seen the tooling and what you look like on the screen, how well certain movements can be seen. Who knows, you might even turn it to your advantage. Most toolings have features built in to support you optimally, such as a PowerPoint integration with Zoom. Look into these features in advance and determine which ones might be helpful.

no distractions

At the risk of stating the obvious, try to position yourself in front of an uncluttered background. The attention should be on you, not on the dishes on the counter or the piles of washing on the stairs. Also, don’t sit in front of a window. Light from behind prevents you from being visible. In that case, you might as well have just called on the phone ;-).

you as a person

When you meet face-to-face, it’s easier to learn about someone’s personality and how they act and react, than when you are separated by a screen. So it’s even more important than usual to know how to convey yourself clearly and show your authentic self. In advance, make a clear list of what your conversation partner needs to know about you as a person, your actions and reactions in professional situations, but also who you are privately. Being able to present yourself authentically shows a high degree of self-awareness and the capacity to reflect.

In short, good preparation is half the work. Avoid surprises and be more aware than usual of how you want to appear. And as my colleague wrote before, all the noise suddenly seems to disappear. This leaves plenty of room for an honest, open and also personal online conversation. Let it happen, we’re in this together; a win-win situation!

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