How to prepare and ace the virtual or online interview

Virtual Interview Tips

If navigating a virtual interview puts you a bit on edge, you are not alone. I have countless clients contact me each week, wondering how the heck they are supposed to handle an interview online. In-person interviews are stressful enough but trying to “read the room,” so to speak, when there is no room to read, well – it can be challenging to say the least!

Regardless of how virtual interviews make you feel, they are here to stay and will be used as a tool to narrow down the candidacy. Companies have found that interviewing applicants in a virtual capacity is a time and money-saving tool, enabling them to interview numerous candidates from across the country in less time than they could in person. Here are some helpful tips to make your virtual interview a success.

1.) Prepare as you would for any other interview – the questions are no different.

Just as you would prepare for any other interview, it is vital to practice your responses to the traditional questions you will be asked, spend time researching this new role, and learn all you can about this potential new employer. Take notes, have questions and answers to questions on hand, and know what you want to convey about your candidacy and how.

2.) Be familiar with the program you are using, working out any technical issues.

Some of the most popular video conferencing software is Zoom, Skype, or Google Duo. Once the recruiter or hiring manager shares the platform you are using, make sure you are comfortable using it by setting up a preliminary call with a friend or family member to work through any technical issues.

3.) Find a well-lit and quiet room with a neutral background.

Find a quiet, well-lit room so that you can focus entirely on your interviewer (and so that your interviewer can focus entirely on you). If you have books or artwork behind you, make sure it is not anything offensive. If you do not want to show any part of your home, most platforms allow you to upload an image to use as a background.

4.) Dress the part.

Just because you are at home does not mean you shouldn’t dress up. Dress as you would for an in-person interview. While the interviewer should not judge you based on your appearance, first impressions are still important. Plus, when you dress up, you feel confident, putting you more at ease during the interview session.

5.)  Look at the camera and interviewer.

Sometimes on a video call, it is tempting to look at yourself on the screen instead of the person you are conversing with. During an interview, while it is acceptable to look at the interviewer as they are speaking, I recommend looking directly at the camera as you answer any questions to make “eye contact” with the interviewer. Avoid looking at yourself (no matter how good-looking you are!).

Take time to prepare, technically as well, and move forward with confidence. In the words of Willie Nelson, “Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” You applied for this job because you CAN do it. Virtual interview, in-person interview – it does not matter. Log on and shine like the star you are!

No matter where you are on your job search journey, my comprehensive training program at the Job Search School can help. Learn how to find (and get called for) positions of interest, master your interview, negotiate your salary, and much more! Join thousands of other fully satisfied clients by signing up for my FREE Workshop today!

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