With the pandemic changing the way many employers recruit, a virtual interview is becoming much more common. Understanding what you need to know about video interviews can make all the difference in whether or not you receive a job offer.
Here are five tips for succeeding in a virtual interview.
Test Your Technology in Advance
Whichever platform your prospective employer chooses ensure you have it downloaded preferably on two devices and check your system’s requirements and functionality before you need it.
Test out your wifi connection, camera, and audio to verify they all work in advance of your scheduled meeting time to avoid a fluster five minutes prior to the big interview.
Declutter your background
When interviewing in a non virtual setting only your appearance, demeanour and experience come into play when answering questions. In a virtual interview setting, everything behind you in the frame will also communicate your professionalism to the person / panel who is hiring. Make sure that what comes through your camera represents the image that you want the employer to see.
Remove anything from your background that may distract the employer from focusing on you. If a clear background is not possible you may want to consider using an artificial background to cover any unsightly walls which may be behind you.
Use the Mute Function to Avoid Background Noise
If you’re being interviewed virtually from your home it may be impossible to control everything and everyone at the time of your interview. Plan ahead as much as possible by arranging childcare, informing other family members that you cannot be disturbed and placing yourself in a quiet part of the house (if such a space exists}. Also dress for your interview top and bottom. Although your employer is likely to not see below your waist you may need to stand up during your interview in the event that the aforementioned family members forget to keep the noise down or there is an emergency.
When others are speaking, use the mute key on your end to ensure a quiet background—just remember to un-mute when you’re ready to speak.
The Right Body Language is Key
Posture – find a comfortable chair and adjust your device to eye level so that you do not appear to be straining or slouching during your virtual interview. Sit straight and lean in when the interviewer is speaking to you to convey interest just as you naturally would when face to face.
Minimize gesturing— the key to this is to not overthink. If you naturally gesture a lot when you speak, give yourself something to hold so that waving hands do not distract attention away from answering a question. You should also nod from time to time to show you are listening and smile when it feels natural to do so. These tips combined will help you to come across as confident, approachable and friendly.
Eye Contact – Look at the Camera not the Screen
Treat the virtual interview like any other interview in terms of basic interview etiquette. Maintain eye contact with your interviewers by looking into the camera, not your computer screen, except when making notes. Practise doing this with a friend or relative on a video call as initially looking at a camera instead of the faces on the screen will feel a little strange.
Avoid looking around the room during your interview and put your phone away unless you are required to have access as part of the interview process.
Key to Success
As well as the above tips don’t let the fact that it is a virtual interview lure you into a false sense of comfort. Researching the company, keeping some questions ready for the employer and preparing examples will all go a long way when trying to get the job.
Have you had a virtual interview recently? How did it go? Do you have any tips to share with us? Let us know in the comments!
A mum 4, who is always trying to keep her mind busy and active. I met my husband at university, while studying finance. My world revolves around my children and family. Whatever spare time I have is often taken up by my next business idea. An entrepreneur at heart that loves making the most out of every opportunity!