Tips to Help You Ace a Virtual Interview

In this day and age, where we have a globally connected world and more people are working from home, job interviews are increasingly being conducted online. This is particularly the case for industries such as engineering, management, law, project management, IT and the like, where companies need to hire workers based internationally.  

Today, software such as Zoom or Skype help hiring managers and recruiters perform interviews over the web, particularly final interviews once a shortlist of candidates is created. As a result, it’s important to have an understanding of online communication and how you might best present yourself over the web, so you can land your dream job. Read on for virtual interview tips you can follow today.

Get Rid of Distractions

Eliminate distractions from your interview environment. Provide your interviewers with the same respect over Skype or other platform as you would if meeting with them in person. Never hop on an online chat without first switching off your cell phone, or at least placing it on silent and in another room where it’s vibrations can’t interrupt your thoughts or indicate to interviewers that you’re not interested in what they’re saying.

You should also turn off email notifications on your computer, plus any other alerts that could make distracting sounds. Find a way to be clear of other distractions, such as traffic noise, children running around or other people’s conversations. Sequester yourself in a quiet area of your home or office and ask your family members, colleagues or other people in the vicinity if they can give you the space to have an uninterrupted interview.

Present Yourself and Your Space Professionally

Just as you would dress and groom well for an in-person interview, you need look the part for a virtual one. While you might be tempted to just wear PJ bottoms or tracksuit pants because you think no one will see your legs, you could need to get up during the interview to fetch a document, fix an IT issue or perform some other action. As such, look professional from top to bottom.

It’s also important to look around at the space behind you before you hop online for your interview. Is there trash or a big mess in view? Is there any artwork that could give the wrong vibe or any other background items in your space that could have a negative impact on interviewers? Always do a quick tidy up of your environment before you commence the virtual chat, just to be safe.

Prepare Well

Lastly, another one of the most vital things to do before you speak with hiring managers is prepare for the interview. Research the company you hope to work for, and learn about its history, culture and team(s). Try to discover what you can about the person or people you will report to if you get the job and most importantly the role you’re applying for, such as what it entails.

By understanding this kind of information, you will have a much easier time deciding how to present yourself and your qualifications, skills, beliefs, values and experience in the best light. This, in turn, will help you to demonstrate what you can bring to the firm that your competitors cannot.

It pays to look into some of the most common interview questions for your industry and job type. Practice answering these multiple times before the day of the interview. For example, if you have an employment law degree and are applying for your first job, you will probably need to concisely explain how your studies have prepared you for the position.

You should also think about ways of tying in work experience to the job you’re trying to obtain. For instance, that customer service position you had in your local department store as a teenager may have taught you how to communicate effectively with people from all walks of life.

To prepare well for a virtual interview, you also need to test your gear thoroughly to ensure there won’t be any tech glitches during the call and print out your resume and cover letter (and work samples, if relevant) to have on-hand for reference during the interview. Also compile a list of questions you want to ask the interviewers, so you’re not “umming” and “ahhing” on the spot, trying to think of responses to the most important inquiries.

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