As we navigate the ever-evolving professional landscape, the online interview has become an essential component of our digital toolkits. These digital interactions offer vast opportunities for talent acquisition, academic pursuits, or panel discussions, becoming the new norm in our globalized, interconnected world. Mastering the art of the online interview is hence a fundamental necessity in our age.

Forbes Magazine aptly stated, "The ultimate success of any panel discussion rests with the moderator, who should ideally be a neutral 3rd party. A journalist or an experienced communications professional—has the intellectual and emotional distance to keep the conversation moving forward, and within time limits". The significance of these words resonates even more during an online interview.

What approach should you take with your questioning?

Effective communication in an online interview can sometimes be more challenging than in face-to-face situations. But fear not, there are tried and tested techniques that can ensure your online interview runs smoothly. Let's delve into the different types of questions you can use to maintain engagement and insightful conversation.

  1. Statement Plus a Question: This technique gives context to your question. Providing a clear statement before asking a question can guide your interviewee, making the online interview more focused and efficient.

  2. Statement Plus a Fact, then Question: Facts serve as powerful tools to anchor your conversation. A fact can lay the foundation for your question, enabling you to probe deeper into your interviewee's knowledge and perspective.

  3. Statement Plus a Quote, then Question: Quotes can provide a new perspective or provoke thought. Using a quote followed by a question can stimulate a more nuanced response in your online interview.

  4. The Summary Plus Request for Explanation: This involves summarizing a situation or point of view and asking for an explanation. This technique can validate understanding and foster a more profound discussion.

  5. Direct Question: Sometimes, simplicity is key. A straightforward question can generate a direct response, making your online interview more concise and to the point.

  6. The Story Question: Storytelling is a compelling communication tool. Asking your interviewee to share an experience or give an example makes the online interview more engaging and personal.

  7. Poll the Panel: This technique involves asking a closed question to all panel members to share their position. It adds variety and encourages participation from all members.

  8. Lightning Round: This is a quickfire round where each panelist provides a short answer. It adds a fun element and concludes your online interview on a high note.

So, what are our final thoughts?

At WorkCast, we understand the intricacies of facilitating successful online interviews. We combine standardised journalistic techniques with seed questions to aid our clients in conducting meaningful and engaging digital events and live webinars. Recognizing the need for continuous evolution, we are developing an AI facilitator that will leverage our existing experience and enhance the efficiency of our services.

Mastering the online interview requires thoughtful planning, skilful questioning, and adaptability. The key to success lies in maintaining engagement, fostering open conversation, and ensuring everyone's voice is heard. With the right techniques, every online interview can be a fruitful discussion, offering valuable insights and fostering productive relationships.

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