As we continue to adapt and adjust to the global COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have begun hiring again. And with stay-at-home orders and social distancing regulations in place, employers have been forced to turn to creative methods to interview potential candidates for open positions.
Virtual interviews are not only more common now; they are expected. This means that job seekers have been forced to modify their interview skills from face-to-face interviews to those taking place behind a computer screen.
If you aren’t sure about how to take on a virtual interview, we have you covered. We have compiled the seven best tips for your success in a virtual interview.
What is a Virtual Interview?
A virtual interview uses the phone or takes place using technology such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
A virtual interview, though seemingly more comfortable, as it is done from a place you are familiar with (like home), can actually be more uncomfortable. You may not be able to read the interviewer’s body language, but that issue goes both ways. The interviewer will be relying on your answers and poise because they won’t see your facial expressions and overall disposition.
Here are our tips for doing your best in your virtual interview. These tips will give you an advantage over the other job seekers and get you closer to landing your dream job!
1. Maintain a Professional Identity
Maybe you are still hanging on to an old email address from when you were young. It is common for young people to create email addresses that refer to pop culture or use less than favourable language.
Your communication platform sign-on username and your email are going to be your prospective employer’s first impression of you. If you have held onto an old username or email, it is important to change it to something simple. Create a username that uses your name with a number combination. It is non-descript and won’t stop an interviewer before you have even been interviewed.
2. Dress Professionally
As tempting as it may be to wear sweatpants with your dress shirt and tie or wear a casual sweater for your interview, it is best to avoid this.
Dress as you would for any job interview. If you are going for a casual position, dressing neatly in business casual is acceptable. In general, it is best to skip the flashy colours or patterns and stick with dark or neutral coloured business attire. A good rule of thumb is to wear a button-down shirt with a blazer and dress pants.
When you dress professionally for an interview, you will prepare yourself for success. Your interviewer will see your effort and take you seriously, as you will look confident and thrilled by the opportunities that can come with an interview.
3. Test Your Technology
Your interviewer will ask you to join a link for the interview. It could be on any number of communication platforms. If you are not familiar with the platform, you should learn it a bit before your interview.
You might want to test your internet connection from the room where you will be for the interview.
The day before you are to be interviewed, set up the equipment you will use and test it to ensure it is functioning correctly. You can even call a friend or family member to ensure that you are seen and heard on the other end. Before your interview, sign into the meeting link and check that everything is still working properly.
4. Prepare Your Space
Your space can be just as distracting as any noise. That is why it is crucial that you carefully choose a place to have your interview with as few distractions as possible.
Your room should be clean and organized. Your background should be free of clutter, and preferably without much on it. This is all so that the interviewer focuses on you and not your room.
It is important to tell the people that share your home about your interview. Explain the room you will be in, and lock the door if necessary. Tell them that you will need the area to be quiet and that no one can enter the room until you are finished. You will minimize disruptions this way.
You will want your computer or tablet on a table or desk, and it may even help for you to stand when being interviewed. Standing will ensure that you are looking straight into the camera, eliminate slouching and most fidgeting.
5. Watch Your Body Language
You should be the total focus of the interviewer. You will not be able to use body language techniques that you have used during past interviews, so your body language is crucial to your interview’s success.
It is essential not to make a face when you are confused or stumped by an interview question. Don’t fidget with papers or pens, keep your hands by your sides if possible. Smile and act enthusiastically where applicable.
You will not be able to shake your interviewer’s hand, so your confidence must shine through with your personality and body language.
6. Establish a Relationship
It is essential to build rapport with the interviewer as much as possible, but this does not mean that you need to act superficially.
Instead, build your relationship by establishing a personal connection with the interviewer. Use social and physical cues to establish the connection. Even if you don’t know anything about your interviewer, you can ask how they are coping with virtual meetings or working virtually. If this doesn’t flow well for you, try something benign, such as the drastic weather changes or a current (non-political) news event.
7. Be Prepared
The best way to approach any interview—virtual or in-person— is with preparation.
Hiring a professional interview coach from a reputable company will give you the best results for a small investment. If you haven’t had an interview in some time or get nervous in interview situations, an interview coach can help. By doing mock interviews or assessments of your responses to interview questions, an interview coach will assess your answers and give you feedback to prepare for your virtual interview.
Practicing your virtual interview with an interview coach will help you speak naturally and respond to difficult questions and keep the conversation flowing while putting your best foot forward. An interview coach can help you prepare further by reviewing your work experience and developing a story to let a potential employer learn about your personal brand.
Career Marketing Centre has the expertise and experience to help you with your virtual interview. With award-winning results, Career Marketing Centre will set you on the right path. Reach out today to learn more about how we can help you achieve success.