During this uncertain time of COVID, much has changed in both our personal and professional lives. Wearing a mask and socially distancing has become a part of our daily routine. In an effort to stay safe and healthy, almost everything has become a virtual experience. From concerts to business conventions, the new protocol is to rely on the internet to ensure the safety and wellbeing of participants. Interviewing is no different! Virtual Interviews are more prominent now than ever before. Unfortunately, for many companies, candidates are having difficulty with this transition. Virtual Interviews are just as important as face-to-face interviews and should be treated as such. Today’s discussion will include tips for acing your virtual interview!
Virtual interviews are just as important as in-person interviews and should be prepared for in the same manner. Being over-prepared for an interview is nearly impossible, yet, being underprepared can be a common occurrence. Showing up to an interview underprepared reflects poorly on a candidate. It says to the interviewer that, on some level, the candidate is either not interested in the position or in the company as a whole. If a candidate is disinterested and lacking enthusiasm on the first meeting what does this mean for his or her future with the company?
Prepare for the interview. Show the interviewer you are excited about the position and the company. Visit the company’s website and read about it. What is its mission and vision statement, do the company’s goals align with your career goals? Create a list of questions to ask your interviewer:
- What is the company culture?
- What is the dress policy?
- What is the device policy?
- Tell me a little more about the history of the company?
An interview should be a two sided conversation, where both parties take turns asking and answering questions. This is your opportunity to learn everything you need to know about the company.
The next important part of preparing for your virtual interview is finding a good spot to set up your computer or phone. You should find a spot, preferably a room with few distractions. You want the interviewer’s attention to be on you and what you have to bring to the table, not your barking dog in the background or on your roommate’s conversation in the other room. Be sure the spot you choose has good lighting so the interviewer can see you.
One you are in the perfect spot, take a few minutes to get comfortable with the platform you are going to use for the virtual interview. Make sure you know how to log in prior to your interview. Make sure you download or update anything that you need so your virtual interview can run as smoothly as possible.
Lastly, log in a few minutes before the start of the interview. You never want to have your interviewer waiting on you. Instead, you want to be ready to hit the ground running when your interviewer connects.
Rule of thumb: always dress up if you are unsure what the attire is. DO NOT dress down. Business professional is usually what most companies are looking for. An interviewer will never make a negative note if you are “over-dressed” but he or she will most definitely take note if you are “underdressed”. Your interviewer is looking for a presentable, and well-dressed candidate. Dressing for the part gets one in the right mindset, and it shows! Confidence is key, and during a virtual interview one always wants to present the best version of his or herself. If you have to question whether or not your outfit is appropriate, you should not wear it to your virtual interview. Resist the urge to dress more causally or relaxed because you are in your own home and the interview is being conducted virtually. Dress the same way you would dress if you were interviewing in person.
Practice sitting in front of the computer as if you were in the interview. Think about what kind of questions your interviewer will ask you and practice how you would answer. This does not mean create a script and read off of it, you want to be natural and respond honestly to all questions. Practicing will allow you to get some of those jitters out before you interview. It allows you think about your answer without the pressure of someone waiting for your response. Practicing will also allow the conversation to run more smoothly because you are not concerned about what the next question will be or how you want to answer since you have already thought about it in advance.
Lastly, be yourself! You want to be authentic and true to who you are and let that show. Have fun with the virtual interview, show who you are, not just what you are capable of doing. Interviewers want a candidate who is both knowledgeable and has personality. However, remember, being yourself does not mean slacking off on professionalism. You still must remain professional even if you are sitting in your living room. Let your personality shine, stay professional, and have fun!