Welcome to the new normal of virtual interviews!
Whether you are looking for a new career opportunity due to unexpected changes or if you are simply looking to better your current professional situation, your job search can be one of the most stressful situations you’ll encounter as a professional.
With all that goes on in a job search – targeting companies, applying, talking to recruiters, scheduling interview etc. in comes 2020, throws a wrench in everyone’s plans and now all of the sudden virtual interviews and meetings have become the status quo for a majority of companies out there. I believe the ease and flexibility video conferencing platforms have provided will be one of the many changes in the interview process that is here to stay.
While the talking points and interview questions in virtual interviews versus in person interviews will not be much different; there are several things you should be thinking about while preparing for a video interview or meeting.
When interviewing virtually or in person one thing remains the same – your level of preparation.
Here are 7 tips to help you prepare for your next virtual interview:
- Verify your technology works and setup a trial run to make sure:
- Internet connection – do you have good bandwidth or is it spotty?
- Camera – does it work, is the picture clear and is it at eye level and centered on you?
- Microphone/headset – is it clear or is there an echo?
- Trial run – have you setup a test logging in to the virtual technology?
- Pick a place:
- Find a quiet location – Any and all background noise will be distracting.
- Double check the acoustics of the room – Does it sound like you are in a tin can?
- Eliminate distractions:
- Turn off the TV and music – literally turn it all off.
- Silence your cell phone – better yet leave it in another room if possible.
- Make sure your children are occupied or looked after – children yelling or busting in the room and asking for a snack can be distracting to everyone!
- Get away from your pets – nothing is worse than your cat walking across your screen.
- Ensure the area behind you is neutral – if possible, blank and neutral color walls are best.
- Lighting should come from the front or above – light or windows behind can cast odd shadows.
- Be mindful of your body language:
- Your focus should be to exude confidence so focus on siting up straight, having the camera at eye level and directly in front of you.
- Eye contact is key. Pretend the camera is the person you are speaking to. People are more likely to remember what you said if you maintain eye contact.
- DON’T FORGET TO SMILE!
- Dress for success:
- Dress as you would for a face to face interview!
- Research the company dress code and dress one level above their standard – when in doubt Business Professional!
- Have materials, notes and questions on paper:
- Print a copy of your resume, any talking points and questions for the hiring team.
- It may seem easier to have everything on your computer, but you want to avoid clicking around and typing during the interview or looking at a second screen.
- Be prepared to give a brief, to the point introduction and overview of your background.
- Stay calm and be yourself:
- You may be a bit nervous or anxious – STAY CALM! That fear will subside as you get into the interview if you have prepared well.
- If there is a connection, audio or picture issue, do not be afraid to point it out to the manager or interviewer.