The scenario of online/virtual interviews is becoming increasingly common. For many job searchers, interviewing is the most nerve-wracking element of the application process. However, what if you could do it from the comfort of your own house? Because of the ease of using video conferencing to meet with candidates “face to face,” many firms are turning to virtual interviewing as the way of the future.
When it comes to establishing a good impression, video interviewing doesn’t allow you to do things like give a strong handshake. However, there are numerous ways to wow your potential employer from behind a screen.
15 Tips to Master Online/Virtual Interviews
Making a video conferencing software pitch, such as Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts, might be intimidating for potential employees. We’ve compiled a list of 15 strategies to help you relax and succeed in a video interview. Follow this guide to prep and perfect your online/virtual interview skills.
- Dress up formally.
- Test the working of equipment.
- Log in early.
- Similar profile name to the one on your resume.
- Ensure sufficient charging of your laptop’s battery
- Close all the unnecessary apps.
- Ensure supply of electricity for appropriate light.
- Avoid distractions.
- Keep a bottle of water.
- Be prepared and keep a pen & paper for necessary notes.
- Keep the required files/documents within reach.
- Choose a light facing position.
- A clear and plain background without any distractions.
- Use engaged/responsive body language and nod when necessary.
- Leave the call with a polite goodbye.
1. Dress up formally as you dress up for a traditional interview.
Dress for success even if you are giving an interview remotely. You might be sitting near the bed but don’t portray that you just rolled out of bed. At the very least, make sure your appearance is polished and professional. In the same way that you would dress for an in-person meeting, consider wearing a button-up shirt or blouse. Wearing clothes that make you feel confident will not only help you impress the interviewer, but it will also help you get your head in the game!
2. Test the working of equipment: PC, web cam, speaker, ear phones, and any other gadgets involved in the process.
Always test your technology! Get your technology tested as soon as you accept a virtual interview invitation. A functional camera and microphone are essential for video chats. A webcam with an in-built microphone may be necessary to improve the quality of the picture or eliminate the echo, so don’t wait until the last minute to get one before the interview.
On the day of the interview, make one final check of your technology and internet connection. Employers are searching for technical competence, and fumbling about with your audio or lighting during a phone interview gives the hiring manager a reason to doubt your suitability for the position.
3. Log in early, at least 5-10 minutes.
Arriving on time is one of the easiest ways to get things going in the correct direction. Unlike an in-person interview, you do not need to arrive 15 minutes early for a video chat; however, you should start the video chat immediately at the scheduled start time. A test call with a trusted friend can help iron out any issues with your connection, so make sure you’ve got all the essential software installed (if necessary).
4. Your profile name on the tool/software should be similar to the one on your resume.
You might consider it unimportant but having the profile name that matches with the one on your resume leaves a positive impression.
5. Ensure sufficient charging of your laptop’s battery.
Before starting with an online/virtual interview, ensure that the laptop’s battery is sufficiently charged to keep a smooth flow of the entire interview process. It is better to keep the charging plugged in to avoid any unnecessary interruptions.
6. Close all the unnecessary apps to avoid pop-up notifications during the interview.
Oftentimes we have all the apps opened in our laptops. These apps keep sending pop-up notifications which can confuse you during an interview. Closing all the unnecessary apps during an online/virtual interview will be great to avoid any pop-up notifications and keep your eyes and attention straight to the interviewer.
7. Ensure supply of electricity for appropriate light in your room.
Make sure the room where you’re doing your interview is well-lit. It’s important that you don’t have overhead lights on throughout the interview, but you should also make sure it’s not too dark.
8. Avoid distractions like toddlers, pets, and noisy home appliances, etc.
Determine the location of the interview while testing your technologies. To ensure that you’re the center of attention, look for a room with good lighting, such as by a window or a blank wall. Your home office or living space should be free of clutter, no matter where you are sitting. Laundry piles up in the corner, making it difficult to convince potential employers that you are detail-oriented and organized. Remove any distractions once you’ve settled in. The best way to block out the sounds of passing cars is to turn the TV off, silence your phone, and close any windows that may be in the way.
9. Keep a bottle of water.
For unforeseeable situations like coughing or mouth going dry, always keep a bottle of water with you during an interview. Make sure that your water bottle does not appear in your video frame.
10. Be prepared and keep a pen & paper for necessary notes.
If you’re on a computer, you don’t have the option of searching the internet for answers during an interview. Focus and preparedness without the aid of the internet are important qualities to present in a job interview. Prepare ahead of time by doing research about the company and making notes for later use. Make a duplicate of your résumé as well, just in case you need to refer to it during the interview. Coming prepared for an interview for common interview questions is a plus. In addition, take notes by hand! To avoid disrupting the conversation, write down your questions or takeaways from the interview in a notebook nearby.
11. Keep the required files/documents within reach and for the case of webpages, keep the URLs saved.
If necessary, be ready to provide examples of your work to the interviewer; keep a few tabs open and offer to share your screen if the topic is brought up during the interview. Bring a list of questions you’d like to have answered by your interviewer. This demonstrates a desire to learn and a willingness to take action.
12. Choose a light facing position, so that your face looks clear during the video call.
When you’re on a video call, make sure your light source is directly in front of you. Sit as close to a window as you can so that your back is to the light as feasible. Your best foot (in this case face) should always be on the front.
13. A clear and plain background without any distractions is preferred.
When you invite your future boss around for dinner, you probably don’t want them to see your house littered with socks. Make sure they don’t get a chance to view it on video! Take the call in a clean and quiet location of your home. When addressing your professional strengths and flaws, be sure that no one walks behind you or makes loud noises while you’re giving an interview.
14. Use engaged/responsive body language and nod when necessary.
Keep your eye contact with a camera lens. Make sure you keep your webcam in view by putting some googly eyes next to it, if that helps. Instead of looking down at your screen, you’ll appear to be making eye contact with the person across the table. It can make a world of difference when you’re trying to strike up a conversation with an interviewer if you make eye contact, even if you’re using a laptop.
Active listening is a good approach to demonstrate to an interviewer that you’re interested and driven. Think about nodding your head as they speak and asking questions if you need clarification.
15. Leave the call with a polite goodbye.
After you’ve waved farewell, be sure you’re still able to respond. Avoid “ghosting” your interviewer after you hang off the call.
Pro Tip! Practice, Don’t Memorize
Avoid sounding scripted during the interview, whether you’re answering or asking questions or providing your elevator pitch. A friend or family member can easily detect if you aren’t being sincere, therefore practicing with them is recommended. Practicing with different personalities and answering a variety of questions will help you prepare for the interview. As awkward as it may be at first, you’ll be better prepared for the real thing since you’ll be able to make errors and learn from them in a secure environment.
Keep things as simple as possible. If the question doesn’t merit a lengthy response, don’t feel obligated to do so. One of the most critical aspects of a job interview is to communicate clearly and concisely.
Treat your online/virtual interview as a conversation. If you follow these recommendations, you’ll have everything you need to do well in your online/virtual interview.