Today, the majority of businesses successfully transitioned their hiring and onboarding processes, including job interviews – online. Businesses have adapted to use video conferencing tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet to conduct meetings, lectures, courses, and seminars, including virtual interviews, offering a more convenient way to meet and connect with candidates online.
The virtual interview has now been established as the new standard for recruitment agents to communicate with the candidates, so as soon as you are informed of your virtual interview, make sure you get ready to stay ahead of the curve and make your preparations, as there’s no second chance to make a good first strong impression.
Simply follow these 6 tips to ace your next virtual job interview:
- Tech check / Test your connection
Online interviews, as compared to conventional face-to-face interviews, have additional technical considerations. And, as much as possible, you should avoid having technical issues with your connections and equipment so that you don’t have to cram and can instead focus on what really matters, the actual job interview.
So whether you will be using a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet, you should ensure that you have a strong internet connection, your camera and microphone are operational, and that Zoom or all conferencing tools has been installed on your computer. It’s critical that there aren’t any interruptions during your interview.
Showing up to the meeting and your camera failing on you, that’s a bad first impression, it’s not acceptable the excuse that “it was working yesterday”, and it’s not acceptable to ask the interviewer to do the meeting over the phone, they asked you for a virtual meeting for a reason.
- Dress the part
Dress appropriately-even remotely! Sure, only the top half of your body is visible, along with your tidy hair, crisp dress shirt, and beaming smile, but why risk showing your interviewer a part of you that nobody wants to see?
Keep in mind that accidents happen. If you’re wearing a “Donald Duck” outfit, wherein you are just wearing your pajamas below, wouldn’t it be a disaster if you happen to show it? You don’t want that to happen. Right?. So, put on your best dress and take the interview seriously so that your interviewer will be impressed. You should dress the part just as you would if it were an in-person interview.
- Set the stage
When conducting an online interview, a recruitment manager is likely to base his decision on everything he learns about you, including everything he sees in your background.
It would be ideal if you could find a comfortable spot with a plain wall or neutral colors, and a pleasing scene behind you. A virtual background would also work well in an environment resembling an office-like setting. Whatever background you use, pay attention to the amount of light in your area, and ensure that the light is shining down or in front of you like a spotlight rather than directly behind you. In the days before, test it at your precise appointment time and make any necessary adjustments.
Oh yes, please make sure the camera is positioned well so the interviewer can see you fully and not just your forehead.
- Prepare and don’t rely on your notes
Don’t rely on a cheat sheet, be prepared! Know your resume details, and make some notes about your work history and common interview questions in advance.
While you want to sound prepared, you also don’t want to sound overly scripted. You may keep some tabs and refer to them as needed, but make sure to do your research on the company and the people you’ll be speaking with beforehand, such as their title, role, and direct reports, and come up with questions to ask them so they know you’re engaged and responsive and don’t just rely on the notes available for you.
It’s also a good idea to have responses to typical interview questions on hand, like:
Why are you interested in this role?
What do you know about our company?
What are your biggest weaknesses?
What do you consider to be your biggest professional achievement?
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 role?
- Minimize distractions
Perform a practice interview beforehand, and test your connection, lighting, and background to ensure that you have a pleasant environment in which to conduct your virtual interview. This will provide a clear assessment of your interview space by ensuring that you have a clean, quiet area of your living space where you can take the call.
It is critical that the call should be as free of distractions as possible. If you are at home, notify everyone that you will need a distraction-free space for a while, close the door if possible, silence your cell phone, close any nearby windows to muffle neighborhood traffic, and inform the people with you that you will not be accepting any interruptions during your interview. This will demonstrate not only your readiness but also your willingness to present a professional image.
- Relax, be calm, and be steady
While it’s true that being well-prepared for a virtual interview will help you come across favorably, keep in mind that mistakes do occur. Try not to overthink before, during, and after the interview.
As soon as you walk into the virtual interview space, you may start to feel anxious and nervous. And it is normal just like how face-to-face interviews happen. So instead of cramming and losing your focus, try to keep them under your control. You don’t want to sound robotic throughout your interview, whether answering or asking questions or giving your pitch. Keep in mind everything you practiced, speak slowly and clearly, and don’t rush. If they pose a question that confounds you, pause to consider your response.
Remember that being genuine allows them to see that you are the ideal candidate, and being prepared will help you get even closer to successfully receiving a job offer.
Having a virtual interview can be challenging, your enthusiasm for the job through a screen makes it more difficult for a recruiter to see and decide whether you would fit well with their company’s culture.
However, having a solid preparation plan and being aware of online interview etiquette will help you succeed. So to stand out from the crowd and ace your next virtual interview, make sure your technology is functional, prepare yourself and your setting before the meeting, and sit down at your computer poised, nicely dressed, and ready to respond confidently to any questions that may arise.
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