Digital Interviews: Questions, Answers and Tips to Prepare

By Indeed Editorial Team

February 22, 2021

The ability to make informed decisions quickly while narrowing the candidate pool is necessary for employers. One tool that is gaining popularity is the use of digital interviews for the preliminary or first round of the hiring process. If you're applying for a job with a digital interview phase, it's important to know what to expect and how to best represent yourself in the interview. In this article, we'll discuss what to expect from your digital interview, how to prepare for it and what digital interview questions you should expect.

What is a digital interview?

A digital interview is a process where applicants receive a series of questions and then record their responses for the hiring manager to view later. A digital interview is different than a video interview, as a digital interview does not involve real-time interaction between the applicant and the hiring manager.

A digital interview is used to answer general questions and to learn the background of a candidate before asking more job-relevant questions in later interviews. Making a strong impression during a digital interview requires preparation and is a crucial part of progressing to the next phase of the hiring process.

Digital interviews usually occur on a company website or using a digital interview platform. An applicant is given a window in which they can submit their interview. During the interview, an applicant is presented with a series of questions and is given one to two minutes to read each question. After reading the question, they have a set amount of time in which they can record a response. In some cases, the opportunity to rerecord a response one or more times may be provided, but this is not always guaranteed.

After the interview, the responses are presented to the hiring professionals so they can assess and select candidates to move on to the next phase.

Digital interview questions

Popular digital interview questions include:

  1. Tell us about yourself.

  2. Where do you see yourself professionally in five years?

  3. What about this position drew your attention?

  4. Tell us about a time you exceeded expectations on a project at work.

  5. Why should we hire you?

1. Tell us about yourself

This question is often the first question in a digital interview, as it allows your prospective employer to get to know the type of person you are. Your answer reveals what you find to be the most important traits about you. Although this question is open-ended, you should guide your responses to highlighting work-relevant skills and history.

Example: "I am a lifelong martial artist and majored in management at school, which is what drew me to your gym manager position. I have a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and have trained Muay Thai for the last seven years. I also have a passion for teaching and love helping others to better understand the techniques being taught in class. I think that sharing martial arts with others is one of the best gifts you can give."

Read more: Interview Question: "Tell Me About Yourself" (With Example Answer)

2. Where do you see yourself professionally in five years?

Hiring an employee is an investment, so companies want to make sure your professional goals match their objectives. When choosing your answer, consider how your core values match the company's and how you can fit in with their system. If possible, review their mission statement to see if you can tailor your answer to their needs.

Example: "I want to make Jefferson High School my long-term future as an English teacher. I believe that a teacher gains a lot of value from remaining at the same school and building a reputation. When the upperclassmen speak well of you, it makes bonding with incoming students easier, and lesson plans can be more effective as a result. That kind of strong reputation takes time at a school to effectively build."

Read more: Interview Question: “Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?”

3. What about this position drew your attention?

This question serves two purposes. First, speaking about the position requires the candidate to display a level of understanding of what is expected. It also allows an applicant to talk about their ambitions and desires from the job. Choose the benefits you're seeking that best reflect on you and your character and ambition.

Example: "I have actually been a fan of the games produced by your studio for many years. When I saw the opening for a game developer on your staff, I knew it was an excellent opportunity. I'm a talented programmer and I'm passionate about your games, so it seemed like a natural fit for me to use my talents to help create games I respect and believe in."

Read more: Interview Question: "Why Are You Interested in This Position?"

4. Tell about a time you exceeded expectations on a project at work.

This is a common question for interviews because it provides an opportunity for an applicant to present some of their best work. Ideal options are occasions where you delivered work that exceeded quality expectations or ahead of schedule. Try to use the STAR method in your response. It helps you develop a thorough answer that can help hiring managers gather a clear idea of the situation.

Example: "While overseeing digital marketing for a local landscaping company, I was tasked with creating a new social media marketing campaign. Using data gathered from the company's website, I performed a detailed analysis of the customers who made purchases from the company. Using this analysis, I created a custom targeting profile that resulted in a 73% improvement in return on investment relative to prior social media marketing campaigns."

Read more: Ways to Become Indispensable at Work

5. Why should we hire you?

For a position using digital interviews, the employer is likely hiring for a competitive job with many applicants. This question provides applicants with a chance to pitch themselves with minimum restrictions, showcasing what they find most important about themselves. You should choose the skills that best match the position and present yourself as positively as possible in your response.

Example: "I believe that I am the best fit for your sales position. In addition to my 10 years of sales experience, I am also a customer who uses your computers for both my personal and professional reasons. This combination makes me highly qualified to pitch businesses on the value of making the switch to your computers for their offices. Using my knowledge of the products, genuine enthusiasm for them and sales experience I'll help to grow your presence in the B2B world."

Read more: Interview Question: “Why Should We Hire You?”

Tips to succeed in digital interviews

Completing an effective digital interview requires a combination of general interview techniques and digital-specific considerations. Here are some tips for your digital interview:

Do your research

The more you know about the company you are applying to the better prepared you'll be for your digital interview. Having a more complete knowledge base when interviewing also allows you to speak more confidently. This makes your responses more natural and leaves a stronger impression.

Learn their products

If the company you're working for has a product line or provides a service, you should study the products to better understand them. Knowing about what the company does and provides shows that you cared enough about the opportunity to research them. It also allows you to provide stronger answers as it leaves you better prepared to respond to any job-specific questions.

Practice answering expected questions

An interview can be a stressful activity, and if you're not comfortable in front of a camera, a digital interview increases the challenge. By rehearsing your answers, including keeping yourself to any time restrictions the digital interview contains, you can create answers that can impress the hiring manager.

Dress like you're going to an in-person interview

Just because you aren't physically visiting your prospective employer doesn't mean you shouldn't dress like you are. Match your apparel to the expected dress code at the company you are applying to. If you are unsure about the company dress code, prepare for the industry standard, and always err on the side of being more professional than required.

Pick a good location

Choose a space that is well lit and with minimal other noise to ensure they can see and hear your answers clearly. Additionally, you should make sure your backdrop is clean and reflects well on you. Everything you put on film reflects on you to your prospective employer, so choose a setting that is reflective of a professional.

Read the instructions carefully

When applying for a job with a digital interview, you will receive instructions on how to participate and submit your answers. Read the instructions carefully more than once and take notes if needed to ensure you follow the rules closely. Following the hiring company's rules is crucial for making a strong impression with your digital interview.

Give specific examples

When answering a question about skills or experience, specificity is an asset. The more specific you can be about how you have shown a skill you possess or the ability to handle a certain task, the more a hiring manager can understand your experience.

Keep your answers short and on topic

Keeping your answers focused is a necessity for a digital interview. Often you will have a set limit on how long each response can be, so you need to be comfortable answering within that limit while still presenting all the points you deem most important.

Answer with enthusiasm

Showing enthusiasm for the job you're applying to is key in any interview, and especially so in a digital interview when you are not in a room with the hiring manager. Speaking passionately and with enthusiasm shows your interest in the company and makes you a more appealing prospect for the opening.

Ensure your technology is working

Before your digital interview, take time to check that your computer meets the minimum requirements for the interview client or website. You should also ensure it is plugged into a power source to avoid your battery dying during the interview, and that both the camera and microphone are working clearly. This ensures your computer doesn't die while recording and that your video answers are high quality enough for the hiring professional to see and hear them.

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