In efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, many companies have adapted to remote work by leveraging video systems like Zoom to connect virtually with their employees. Employers who are still actively hiring, are opting for virtual interactions to take the place of in-person job interviews. This shift in the career marketplace has changed the way we conduct our professional lives and hiring processes.
If you’ve never experienced one before, a virtual interview takes place remotely, often using technology like video conferencing. Although the interviewer’s questions are likely to be similar to ones posed in an in-person interview, there will be differences between interviewing in-person versus interviewing virtually.
For prospective employees, trying to make a pitch about their career qualifications and experiences via video conferencing software, such as Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts, can feel a bit overwhelming.
If you’re currently on the job hunt or moving to the next step of the hiring process, here are some best practices and answered questions from our recruiting team at Glassdoor to help you ace your virtual interview.
6 Tips to Ace Your Virtual Interview
- Position yourself in a well-lit, quiet, clean space.
It’s essential to choose a quiet, well-lit, neutral, and clean space to conduct your interview, especially if you’re taking the virtual interview from home to limit distractions. Unlike interviewing in the office or a public space, virtual interviews provide an intimate glimpse into your personal life. Be sure to give a great first impression by keeping your area clean and limit any interruptions from family members, pets, partners, and roommates.
- Test your technology beforehand.
It’s imperative that you check and test your technology several times before the interview and that day to ensure success. Be sure to double-check your wifi connection, camera and audio, and video conferencing platforms to make sure they are all working seamlessly. Being technologically savvy is a coveted skill that employers are looking for, and by not doing your due diligence to ensure that you’re good to go in the technology realm, you could have the hiring manager or interviewer questioning if you’re the right candidate for the position.
- Prepare thoroughly.
Just like any other in-person interview, you should be ready to speak in-depth about why you want to join the organisation, how the company mission resonates with you, and the value you will bring to the specific role. We suggest that you practice your responses to potential interview questions to feel comfortable and confident with yourself before speaking with the interviewer. Take some time to compile your interview questions for each of your interviewers as well to further show your interest and passion for the role and company.
- Dress appropriately.
Dress for success and look the part! It would be unprofessional to come dressed in anything other than business casual. When you put your best foot forward by dressing professionally, it will show the interviewer that you are serious about the position. Still, there are personal benefits as well – people tend to feel more comfortable, confident, and competent when wearing business attire.
- Be authentically yourself.
Let your personality shine through. In addition to showing your knowledge for the company and role, it’s crucial to open up and give insight into who you are as a person. Interviewers are looking to you to help them gauge to see if you are the right person for the role and an excellent culture addition for the organization. Leverage soft skills like body language, interpersonal skills, deft communication and adaptability to convey your confidence and personality. And don’t forget to ask the interviewer some questions about themselves – you might have something in common to forge a connection.
- Follow up.
Show your interest! Immediately after your interview(s), reach out to the interviewer by email to show how much you want the role and thank them for their time. Be sure to mention different nuggets of information and tidbits of relevant conversation from the interview.
Glassdoor Recruiters Answer Questions on How to Have a Successful Virtual Interview
How can I come across warm and personable through a video interview?
So, if you’re trying to come across warm and personable in a video interview, it’s really good to smile, use a lot of great eye contact, take your pauses, and also try to connect on a personal level. Right now, a lot of companies are doing video interviewing, so everyone’s in the same boat, and so you can talk about your personal experience right off the bat, and that way it’ll help with the conversation.
What should I wear to the video interview?
Just because it’s a video interview, it doesn’t mean you should wear pajamas. Try to dress professionally, even if it’s only from the waist up. You’ll feel a lot more confident when you dress for the part. We know virtual interviews can be pretty challenging, especially with a full household. I would recommend trying to find a quiet, private place that’s going to have little to no interruptions during the duration of your interview. We know that it can be challenging, so just do your best.
I would also suggest not sitting in front of a window because it will cast a shadow on your face, so it will be pretty challenging to see you during that interview portion. We also know not everybody has a white wall they can sit in front of for an interview, but I would recommend trying to find a space that has little to no distractions, just so we know the interviewer is focused on you.
Can you go over proper video interview etiquette?
First, I would suggest doing a trial run before your interview, making sure the camera and microphone are all set up just so you don’t run into any issues during the interview. Next, I would make sure that the background is distraction-free, clean, and tidy, well lit, and in a functional space in your home or wherever you’re taking the interview from. And lastly, just to keep in mind that a video interview is just as important as an in-person interview. Good luck!
What are some tips for successfully completing a technical collaboration during an interview?
Technical interviews can be a little challenging while virtual. Hopefully, these tips will help you out. I would suggest asking those clarifying questions before jumping into the problem. This way, you fully know what’s being asked of you.
If you are working from multiple monitors, be sure to let your interviewer know. This way, they know if you’re working off of two different screens, or if you are pulling information from another screen.
Be sure to over-communicate your thought process as well. Sometimes we can internalise what we’re looking to do next, but in this case, make sure you communicate that so it does feel like a pretty collaborative setting, and this way, you and the interviewer can bounce ideas off of each other as well. Some technical questions are easier handled with a mouse, so if you have one available, that’s great. If not, there are plenty of online tools available for you to practice before that interview. Hopefully, these tips help, and we wish you the best of luck!