Virtual interviews have become increasingly popular in recent years, even prior to COVID-19. Due to COVID-19 most organizations across the world are working remotely and teams are connecting virtually. Major organizations such as Amazon and Facebook are still hiring actively and interacting with candidates remotely. As a candidate looking for a role in the current job market, it is important that you become more comfortable and confident participating in virtual interviews.
Interviews generally can be nerve-wracking and now with most organizations interviewing virtually, you may feel overwhelmed in learning how to conduct yourself virtually.
Here are seven simple tips and tricks to help you ace your next virtual interview
1. Set up Your Space
When choosing your interview location find a space that has a neutral background colour and limited distractions. Then, ensure the space is well-lit, as being in a dim area will highlight silhouettes. You want to make it easier for the interviewer to see your facial expressions. this will help the hiring manager relate to you. Natural lighting is your best friend for an online interview.
2. Test Technology Beforehand
It is imperative that you test your technology before the interview. Be sure to double check your wi-fi connection, your camera and headset connection, along with the video conferencing platform to ensure they all work seamlessly. Technology is crucial to operate day to day in most roles, considering this, employers are looking for tech savvy individuals to join their organizations. Ensuring that your virtual interview goes smoothly is the first indicator that you are technologically sound and know how to manage virtual meetings.
3. Be Prepared
Prepare yourself for the virtual meeting just as you would for an in-person interview.. Ensure you are ready to discuss the organization and why you are interested in the position you are applying for. A good way to show your interest, would be to discuss their mission and vision and how they align with your own values. Have questions prepared that will showcase your interest in the role and the organization which will help solidify your passion and interest in the organization. Every interview will be different and usually comprises of a variety of questions.
Another important part of preparing for the interview is to review the job description prior to the meeting. Have examples of specific tasks ready to share from your previous roles that relate directly to the job you are interviewing for. Typical types of questions a hiring manager would ask include situational, behavioral and verification questions.
4. Dress Appropriately
With virtual interviews it is so tempting to keep those pajama bottoms on all day. Dressing for success is an important way to mentally prepare for your interview. When you dress appropriately for an interview be it in-person or for a virtual meeting it shows your commitment to the position. Dressing professionally also helps you feel more confident, comfortable, and competent.
5. BE Authentic
Hiring managers are on the lookout for that next dynamic individual to join their team. It is imperative to showcase your knowledge of the job and your skills, and let your personality show. They are also looking for a well-rounded individual who aligns with the team and organization’s values and culture. BE Authentic and have a conversation with the hiring manager to help to connect with them, and also give them a glimpse of the person joining their team.
6. Turn off Notifications
Turn off your cell phone. It is never a good sign when you are in middle of answering a question and your cell phone starts to go off.. Turn off all email notifications and browsers on your computer to help eliminates distractions when looking at the screen. Limiting distractions keeps your focus on being present and allows you to really bring your best self to the interview.
7. Maintain Eye Contact
Keep yourself engaged by maintaining eye contact with the hiring manager/managers throughout the interview. Eye contact shows your confidence and eliminates awkward body language. You do not have to stare at the camera but do try and look into the camera and imagine the interview being in person. If in doubt, practice with a friend or family member online ahead of time.
As virtual interviews are part of our current reality and are here to stay, it is a good idea to start preparing and getting acquainted with it. The prospect of interviewing for your dream CRE job from your living room can be a bit awkward, so I hope these tips help you stay calm in control of the situation. Good luck!
For more information, feel free to reach out to the author, Senior Talent Acquisition Advisor, Ambareen Aslam.