These days, more and more businesses are conducting interviews virtually, via video conferencing tech like Skype and Zoom, as they hire remote workers from all around the globe. While this can be wonderful when you’re going for a new job, in that it opens up more opportunities, it can also be a little daunting trying to work out the best way to perform well and make an excellent impression when chatting digitally.
To help you combat this, read on for some virtual interview tips that might help you land your dream role over the coming weeks or months.
Ditch the Distractions
One of the top steps to a good online interview is to ditch all the distractions before your session starts. Like you would in an in-person meeting, when chatting digitally you must ensure your cell phone is switched off or silent, so it can’t interrupt your or the interviewers’ train of thought. In addition, since you’ll be talking via your computer, you must turn off the email notifications and any other alerts that could come through and make noise during your conversation.
Don’t forget about potential distractions that could come outside of technology, too. For instance, shut windows in your home, so traffic noise won’t be a problem and talk in a room away from anyone else who might be at your house at the time. In particular, ensure your children and pets are out of earshot as they can often be rather noisy!
Professionalism Is Key
To make a good impression, be well-groomed and show you take care of your appearance. This is not about having good looks or the most expensive clothing but rather about looking professional and suitable for the workplace.
Remember, too, that what you’re wearing under your desk should be interview worthy. While many people often just worry about wearing a nice top, since they think that’s all anyone will see on a virtual chat, you may have to stand up at some point to reach for a document, close a door or fix an IT issue, and you don’t want the people you’re talking to seeing you in your sweatpants!
Tidy up your office or other space you’ll be speaking from, too. Interviewers will likely be able to see the things behind and around you on the video screen, so don’t give them the wrong impression. Apart from getting rid of trash and mess, also look at decorations in the room. Is there any artwork, for instance, that could possibly have a negative impact on how you’re viewed? Do a quick scan of the area, trying to look with fresh eyes to pick up on any no-nos.
Invest in Preparation
Lastly, as you would for any interview when you have an online meeting with recruiters or business owners take the time to prepare in advance. For example, conduct research on the firm you want to join. Learn not only about the people doing the hiring and other managers but also your potential co-workers plus things like the organization’s history, culture, key products or services, and branding. This will help you put your best foot forward during the interview.
Another preparation tip is to practice answering common interview questions for your job type and industry. Doing this will help you answer succinctly and with poise, and it will reduce your stress levels and make it easier for you to think clearly during the interview.
Practice talking about why you want the job, what your career goals are, your previous positions and what you learned from them and how you’ve dealt with challenges in the past. Be prepared to talk about your qualifications and training, as this often comes up in interviews. Whether you’ve completed an online Master of Education in Counseling Tuition, an MBA degree, a diploma in accounting, an engineering degree or something else, be ready to discuss how what you learned during these studies will help you excel at the role in question.
Other ways to prepare for your interview include testing your computer gear to avoid tech glitches during the call and printing out copies of your application documents (i.e. resume and cover letter), so you have them on hand if needed. It’s also helpful to come up with some questions for the interviewers, about the role or the company, so you’re ready to go if you get the opportunity.