5 Steps to Acing Your Virtual Interview
You worked so hard filling out applications, connecting with recruiters on LinkedIn, and making sure your resume was perfect! You finally got an email from the Hiring Manager to schedule your interview. Odds are your interview will be virtual.
Trying to ace your interview via video conferencing software such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Skype can feel a bit daunting at first. Here are five virtual interview tips to help you ace your interview.
1. Testing Your Connection/Tech
No one likes blurry video calls or choppy connections. Is your WiFi strong enough? Can you be heard and seen clearly? Should you buy an upgraded webcam or a headset with a microphone? These are things to test prior to starting your interview to make sure things go as smoothly as possible!
Now testing the tech is one thing but you also want to ensure that you are familiar with the video conferencing software, whether that be Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, or any other program. You want to be confident in navigating the software, and not fumbling around trying to figure out how to initiate the call or adjust the volume/angles!
2. Picking the Right Location
While making sure that your connection and technology is a great first step. You want to ensure that you pick the right location to conduct your interview. Try to position yourself in areas with great lighting, if you don’t have great natural light it may be a good idea to have some artificial lighting around your face. If possible, try to make your background a blank wall so that the focus is on you. If that’s not an option, make sure that your background is working appropriately and clean/organized. No one wants to see your dirty dishes or a pile of laundry! Once you’ve done that, try to minimize any distractions that may come up. Muting your phone, turning off the TV, and making sure that there isn’t much outside noise that may lead to distractions!
3. Body Language & Attire
During an in-person interview, it’s much easier to show your confidence by starting off with a firm handshake! It’s a little harder to show your confidence and monitor your body language over video. The best way to do this is to maintain eye contact when speaking (it can be easy to get distracted at home), smile, sit up straight and speak confidently about yourself and experiences.
Now, just because you are at home, doesn’t mean you should dress like it. You want to show up groomed, and well dressed no matter what! Professional clothing shows that you are taking the interview seriously, studies also show that you are more confident and competent when wearing professional clothing. For more tips on what to wear, check out our article on how to dress for your interview.
4. Practice Makes Perfect?
With any interview, practice makes perfect. Be sure to practice common interview questions with a friend over video. The key to practicing for your interview is to ensure that you don’t sound too robotic. Now just because it’s an online interview, doesn’t mean that you can go searching for answers on your interview. Come prepared to discuss your experiences, it’s a good idea to print a copy resume and jot down high-level talking points that you want to make. Be sure not to rely too heavily on your notes. Some common interview questions are listed below!
Why are you interested in this role?
Why [insert company]?
What are some of your biggest weaknesses?
Tell me about a challenge at work and how you dealt with it.
What are you looking for in a new position?
Why are you leaving your current employer/role?
Additionally, be prepared to ask questions when your interviewer prompts you! Asking the right questions during your interview is very important, it allows you to get to know your potential employer, evaluate your future work environment and it shows that you genuinely care about the job you are applying for.
Here are some of my favorite questions to ask!
What opportunities are available to grow in this role or within the company?
What are some of the biggest challenges that people have faced in the role?
What training or learning opportunities are available to your employees?
5. Following up After the Interview
How you perform in a job interview definitely plays a part in determining if you’ll get the job or not; however, many people forget to send a formal thank you after the interview. Within 24 hours of your interview, be sure to send a thank-you email.
Sending a thank you email allows you to express your gratitude and let your interviewer know you enjoyed meeting with them. In addition to that, you have the opportunity to reiterate your strengths and clarify anything from the interview.
It’s also a good idea to restate your interest in the position, just be sure not to come off as too desperate. The key is to remain confident in what you can bring to the table!
The key to acing your virtual interview is preparation! From setting up your computer/interview space to practicing your answers with poise and confidence. Following these 5 steps will ensure that you stand out among the other applicants.