Virtual interviews are becoming more common than ever, even as we move toward a new normal. Once you confirm the interview, there are a few points to master before you actually get started. These tips will help you prepare the best you can for your upcoming interview and land the position you’ve been working for!
1. Be On Time
To be early, is to be on time. To be on time, is to be late. To be late, is unacceptable. This is so important in making a good impression during an interview. Not only is it respectful, but it shows that you are a dependable and conscientious person. During a virtual interview be sure to log into whatever platform they use a few minutes early. This way it gives you a moment to compose yourself and be ready when the light comes on!
2. Use The Right Search Engine
As we all know, some internet search engines work better than others. If you are unsure about which one will work best, do a practice test before the actual interview. You definitely do not want the platform to freeze or shutdown during the interview. While technology does sometimes have a mind of its own, try to get ahead of it before hand. Have a friend do a practice call with you to make sure everything is working.
3. Check Your Background
Since your interview will take place virtually, your surroundings are super important. Try to take the call in a space with limited clutter in the background. A solid wall or background works best! If that’s not possible, try to make sure your background is free from anything personal. Hint: some laptops have a blur option or you can use a virtual background.
4. Find A Quiet Place
If you are doing your interview in a shared household, don’t worry. Try your best to find a quiet spot in the house to hold your call. This will ensure you can hear the interviewer, and also cuts out background noise. If you need to, don’t be afraid to use headphones to help you hear better! If the employer allows you to decide the time of the interview, choose a time when it will be quieter in the house!
5. Silence All Devices
Unless you are using your smartphone for your interview, (do so as a last resort) make sure your smartphone or other devices are silenced. It is never a good idea to keep your volume on during an interview. This could be that ONE time that someone decides to call you. Even if it is on vibrate, it can still make noise, especially if it is on the table during your interview.
6. Dress Accordingly
Say it with me, “Dress for success”. This has never been truer for a virtual interview. A virtual interview may be more laid back, but try to still look professional. Remember, this could be your future employer, so you need to look the part. While most cameras only show you from the waist up, please, please still wear pants! You don’t want to chance embarrassing yourself when you are trying to make a good impression.
7. Keep Your Battery Charged
You know how frustrating it can be when you are talking to someone and the call drops. It is even worse when you are doing a virtual interview and your computer dies mid-way through. Make sure all devices are charged before the interview starts! While this shouldn’t impact the impression of the interviewer, it does limit the time you have with them. You don’t want to wast time getting everything hooked back up when you could be answering the question that lands you the job!
8. Research The Company
Once you have confirmed your interview, it is time to start researching the company, if you haven’t done so already. Start by reading the mission statement or look into how the company started. You’ll want to look at their values and see if you can imagine yourself working for them. You don’t have to know everything about the company, just enough to get a feel for who they are.
9. Look At Company Reviews
With that being said, who better to look into than current and past employees? There are a multitude of platforms that will have testimonials and reviews of companies. While not everyone may have been perfect for this company, they can shine a light on some of the inner workings. Look to see how the company treated their employees and what the work environment was like. This will give you a wealth of information about the company and clarify if they are a good fit for you!
10. Have Your Resume And Documents Ready
When applying for the job, the company might ask you to attach a copy of your resume. Or it might be a part of the actual application process. If not, don’t be surprised if they ask you to send it to them during the interview. Make sure your resume is up to date and keep formatting in mind. Some platforms require your resume to be saved as a PDF file so it can be opened easily among all computers.
11. Speak Clearly
No one likes a mumbler! Speaking clearly is so important during your virtual interview. Unlike a regular interview, where you are sitting face to face, this interview takes place screen to screen. This can cause some discrepancy of sound. Make sure you are speaking concisely, so the interviewer can easily understand you. Hint: make sure your microphone is working well before the interview starts!
12. Monitor Body Language
Just like in a regular interview, body language can be super telling. Even more so during a virtual interview. Being at home may allow you to slack off and lose focus. Try not to fidget or fuss with the computer (unless fixing a tech issue). Stop yourself from fidgeting by taking the call at a table or desk. Maintain strong eye contact and smile, so the interviewer knows you are confident.
13. Practice Answering Questions
Practice makes perfect. Not everyone is comfortable doing an interview. One of the best ways to gain confidence, is to practice! You can look at commonly asked questions online and practice how you would answer them. Grab a family member or friend and have them be a mock interviewer. It’s important to remember that confidence is not memorizing the answers, it’s how it is delivered. The more you practice, the easier it will become.
14. Relate Your Answers To Your Skill Set
Along with having confidant answers, you should have relatable answers as well. When answering questions, try to relate them back to your skills set or experiences. This will allow the interviewer to see if you are qualified for the position. It also allows them to see how you would handle potential job issues if hired! If you haven’t had the type of experience they are looking for, talk about how you are fast learner and like a challenge. Problem solving plays a major role in almost every job.
15. Have Questions To Ask Them
Don’t forget you are interviewing the company, as much as they are interviewing you. If and when you are offered the job, you should be comfortable saying yes. At the end of the interview, don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer some questions. They can be as in depth as you want to make them, just make sure they are still professional! This will help you determine if this company is the right place for you.
16. Ask About The Next Step
As the virtual interview comes to the end, make sure to ask what will happen next. This is an unusual time, but companies should be able to give you a general idea. It may be reaching out with another interview, or asking for additional information (normally this is a good sign!). Also ask about the timeline. When should you expect to hear from them? It’s a fair question and may make your decision process easier.
17. Be Yourself
During the interview the most important thing you can do is be yourself. You want to show yourself in the best light, and no one can do that better than you. Be authentic, genuine and personable. It is harder to show the same level of authenticity though a screen, but it can be done. Don’t try to be someone you’re not, or the perfect candidate. An interviewer will be able to tell if you’re faking it! Do your best and que sera, sera (whatever will be, will be)!
18. Send A Thank You Note
This step if often forgotten about during the interview process. It can also make or break whether you get called back for a second interview or land the job. Normally, you would send it in the mail within a reasonable time. However, with this being a virtual interview, it is even simpler. After completing your interview, take time to write a quick review of how you think it went. Then compose an email to the interviewer, thanking them for taking the time to interview you. Make sure to include something memorable from the interview, to help them remember you. Odds are you weren’t their only applicant to be interviewed!
What are your best interview tips? Which ones will you use in the future? Comment and share with us below!
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Hi my name is Kristen and I am 26 years old. I went to Central Michigan University (Fire Up Chips!). I majored in Integrative Public Relations with a minor in Fashion Merchandising. After graduation, I worked for Macy's in a variety of positions. I love shopping until I drop and consider it my cardio! I've been lucky enough to travel quite a bit and hope to do more so in the future. I am an energetic, sassy and fun loving person who loves her family (dog), friends and donuts!