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Make Your Virtual Interview Work for You

Updated: Dec 30, 2020

You did it! You have made it to the coveted spot of the interview and of course, you’re more than thrilled. Like so many things now, however, your interview is virtual and this might be new for you. Don’t worry, you can still show off your skills and passions over a video chat! Here are a few tips to set yourself up for success:

1. Test your technology

Once you receive the details of the interview from the company, check your software immediately.  Don’t wait until the day or even worse, right before the interview.  Perform an internet connectivity test along with your microphone and camera. If there are any issues that need to be resolved, you can contact the appropriate person or make the necessary purchase to ensure everything is working properly. 

Of course, even when technology is tested things can go awry. Remember to stay calm if glitches or connectivity issues arise. You may even want to be sure your interviewers have your phone number just in case internet or technology fails. 

2. Location, location, location

Do you want your interviewers to be distracted by a loud television, a video game, or your roommate talking to her sister in the background?  No!

With a few small tweaks, you can show up like a star.  Here’s how:

  • Find a quiet space, free of background noise. Use a tool, like Krisp, to cut out the background noise.

  • Make sure your background looks nice. Focus on the details.  

  • Use nice lighting - you want to be seen! Sit in front of a lamp to make sure your face is lit, do not back light yourself! 

  • Sit close to the camera so that your face takes up most of the window, and, for added effect, occasionally look into the camera to create more connection.

  • If you’re using a cell phone, stay in one place, don’t move around, and consider being seated.

3. Dress for Success

Yes, you are interviewing from home but you still need to dress for the part! Choose an outfit in advance just like you would if you were going to an in-person interview. You want your interviewer, aka your future employers, to take you seriously and dressing professionally is a necessary part of the process. In addition, when you dress for the role you want, you feel more confident and prepared and that will speak volumes to the interviewer. 

4. Be yourself

This goes with any interview, virtual or in person, but the person interviewing you wants to see your personality and how you’ll fit with the team and company. It’s important to be yourself while remembering to smile and showing your excitement for the position. This is your chance to get them excited about the person who will show up to work and join team. You also want to make sure the company is a good fit for you. Interviewers almost always ask, “what questions can we answer for you?” Make sure you have questions prepared so that you fully understand the job they are offering you and the work culture you might be joining. 

5. Follow Up

A simple “thank you” goes a long way.  Remember, others invested their time to meet with you. Send a follow up email thanking them for the opportunity and letting the recruiter and hiring manager know that you value their time. It’s also a great time to remind the hiring team why you are the candidate for the role. Share that you understand the employer’s challenges, and how you might address those challenges if hired.  Refer to past experiences, skills you’ve developed, and what you would hope to accomplish if hired.  Keep your ideas simple, but thorough.

Interviews whether they are virtual or in person, can be anxiety producing. Remember to take a deep breath and be confident. You secured an interview because your resume and cover letter showed you have what it takes. Now it’s time to show them the whole package. Go get em’ and good luck! 

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