As more and more companies explore virtual interviews and remote roles, knowing how to interview well and stand out amongst other candidates is key. Whether you’re preparing for your first, second, or too-many-to-count virtual interview, there are a number of things you can do to prepare yourself and interview successfully. Here are some tips for success in virtual interviews.
Be sure to set up and test your technology before the interview. Set up a professional username, email, or social media handle for any communications. Make sure your internet connection is strong, download any apps you’ll be using beforehand, ensure your camera and microphone are working, and make sure any devices you’re using are fully charged. Try to familiarize yourself with any platforms you’ll be using and any basic functions, like muting and unmuting yourself and checking the internet connection. Take some time to do a trial run before your interview or practice with a friend or family member.
Set yourself up near somewhere that has a strong Wi-Fi connection and a stationary space for your devices so your video isn’t shaky. If you can, sit in front of a window or bright light to appear well lit. Reference any notes or accomplishments you want to specifically mention in the interview by writing them down on sticky notes and posting them on, near, or around your camera.
You’re probably familiar with the adage “dress for the job you want” and virtual interviews are no exception to this mindset. Dress as you would for an in-person interview. This not only makes you appear professional and enthusiastic, but will give you confidence in the interview. If you’re unsure of exactly what to wear, business casual is a good standard to follow.
Doing what you can to limit distractions from the home office isn’t always an exact science, but try as best you can to keep your background quiet and distraction-free. Choose a quiet, professional-looking background or room, put your phone on silent, and limit screen notifications. If you have pets, you might consider placing them in a designated room during the interview.
Do your research on the company and role prior to the interview. Expect to answer common interview questions with a well-rehearsed elevator pitch and concise answers with specific examples. Have your resume, the job description, and any notes on speaking points ready to reference; either printed out or in a tab on your browser. Referencing points from these resources will demonstrate you’re prepared and engaged. Be sure to log into the interview early; the familiar phrase still applies, early is on time and on time is late.
At the start of your interview, be sure the interviewer is able to hear you clearly. Hopefully you’ve done a sound check to ensure your microphone is working. Speak clearly, sit with good posture, and keep eye contact by looking into the camera. After your interviewer finishes asking you a question, wait a moment to reply in order to adjust to any connection delays. If your connection starts to cut out, ask the interviewer to repeat the question and do your best to answer it clearly.
Create an authentic personal connection with the interviewer to help stand out from other candidates. Talk about a common shared interest, ask how your interviewer’s experience has been with virtual interviews, or share a discussion about another neutral topic. Be friendly and genuine in your conversation, convey confidence in your abilities and, preparedness for the interview and the position.
Close out the interview by thanking the interviewer for taking the time to interview you. To take it a step further, send a thank you note or write a thank you email within 24 hours. Briefly touch on why you’re interested in the role, your top qualifications, and something that you and the interviewer shared during the interview. Demonstrating gratitude not only adds a personal touch, but can make you stand out from the other candidates.
If you’re currently job searching, connect with a Balance Staffing recruiter today.