Interviewing for a new job can be one of the most nerve-racking experiences you will likely encounter. And now, as if this process was not difficult enough, we are entering uncharted territory by having to conduct interviews virtually. Before interviews became virtual there were many things an interviewer could focus on, now they will be focused on you, the face on the screen in front of them. So how do you ace your virtual interview and give yourself a competitive edge? In this era of Zoom, Google Meet and countless others platforms, preparation is key to making sure you put your best foot forward.
- Don’t let the technology distract you from this being an actual interview. Research the company and be prepared to answer questions. In addition, make sure you prepare questions to ask your interviewer at the end of the call.
- Identify a quiet, well lit room with lots of natural light, before your interview.
- Make sure you test the technology and are familiar with it before you interview. You want to make sure you know how it all works. Download whatever tool (Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, etc) you will be using, and ask a friend to do a test call with you.
- Right before your interview, turn off notifications on your phone or laptop so you will not be distracted.
- Think of your background as part of your wardrobe. Make sure you check what is around you and can be seen on camera. Clean the clutter and keep in mind everything your camera is viewing.
- Make sure to dress as if you’re interviewing in person. Wear a neutral color, that is not wrinkled, dress appropriately for the job you’re interviewing for. Remember they may not be able to see what you have on the bottom, but it will also help you feel more official if you’re dressed from head to toe. Also, if you happen to stand up they’ll have a full view of your entire outfit.
- Make sure your face is lit well. Try to sit with natural light shining on you.
During the interview
- Sit up straight and don’t eat or drink. You can have a glass of water next to you.
- Keep your camera eye level which may mean you have to raise your laptop, tablet or phone. And make sure to look directly at the camera and not your interviewers face in the side panel.
- Be on time, but not too early. You do not want to enter the room while the interviewer is finishing a meeting or interview with another candidate.
- Use headphones if you can, it will reduce background noise. Airpods or small earbuds work best, try and avoid over ear headphones
- Remember to breathe. This is new for everyone, the people conducting the interview and you, so allow for grace.
After you finish make sure to wait a few seconds before saying anything or getting up to move. You’ll want to make sure your call is fully disconnected. Be sure to send a follow up email thanking them for your interview and letting them know you’re looking forward to hearing from them, just like you would do after a traditional face to face interview. Lastly, make sure to celebrate your accomplishment. It’s never easy to change the ways we’ve all been doing things and to learn a new way to do things.
Good luck and know that Frontline Careers is here if you need help in your job search!
-The FLC team