A hiring manager has contacted you and wants to schedule an interview. Initially you are eager and enthusiastic, but then you worry a little bit, as it is a virtual job interview. This reaction is normal, as remote job interviews are still relatively new, but they are becoming increasingly more common.
As a job seeker, your end goal is the same, no matter how an interview is conducted: to show you are the right person for the job. With the proper preparation, a remote job interview can be a convenient way to secure your next job.
First and foremost, prepare as you would for an in-person interview. If you were to meet an interviewer in person you would conduct research about the prospective company, prepare some questions and rehearse your responses. Don’t skip these preparation steps for a virtual interview.
With that being said, there are some additional considerations and steps that should be taken to ensure success. Below we share our best practices to ace your next digital interview.
Setting up the virtual space
Not everyone has a dedicated office, but it is important to have a quiet, clean, well-lit space that is free from distractions. Interruptions are sometimes unavoidable, but how you react to them gives the interviewer a glimpse of your coping skills. Be sure to remove any personal items or any sensitive information. Check for glare, as it can be off-putting and make necessary adjustments, if possible. If you are using an external microphone, ensure it is far enough away from speakers, so you don’t have feedback.
Become familiar with the platform the interview will be conducted on
It is safe to say we have all been exposed to virtual meetings and have some experience with either Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangout and/or Skype. Before signing on for a virtual interview, make sure you test your technology with a family member or friend and also know how to:
- share your screen in case you are asked to do so
- mute/unmute yourself
- temporarily disable the camera
- adjust your volume, in case you are too quiet or loud
- Remove a virtual background, if you are using one, in case it is causing issues
If time allows and you are able, it is recommended to have a practice run-through interview with a family member or friend.
Dress to impress
Before logging on 5-10 minutes before your scheduled interview time, put on your professional interview attire, just like you would for an in-person interview – yes pants/skirts are required. It is always better to be over-dressed.
A few more helpful tips:
- Indicate when your answers are complete, as there might be slight delays/pauses
- Look into your camera as much as possible. Shifty/wandering eyes can look like either you are being dishonest/reading from another screen
- Maintain good posture
- Don’t have lots of windows/applications open – it slows down your computer and could be distracting if you have to share your screen
- Follow up after the interview with a thank you note
If you have any questions about virtual interviews, please feel free to reach out.