Now more than ever candidates are being asked to conduct an interview online whether that be with an automated system or with a real person. Even before we faced a pandemic, it was not rare to be asked to go online for a job interview.
You may feel daunted by the fact that during a virtual job interview you are not physically with your interviewer.
There is a lot you can learn from a person based on body language and how they interact with you in person. Saying that, here are some tips that you can follow to make the best first impression possible and wow your interviewer.
Technology has come a long way in recent years, however, we have all experienced some sort of technological blunder at some point whether that be troubles with sound, forgetting to save a document, or experiencing internet problems.
You want to be sure of three things.
That you sound is clear and not muffled, that your camera is good quality, and that your internet connection is strong. This means that they will be able to clearly see and hear you without any drops in connection right when you are persuading them to hire you.
Employers are always on the look out for technical skills, therefore it is important that you make sure all your equipment is working fine.
Doing a test of your technology a couple days before the interview and on the morning, itself means you can familiarise yourself with the technology and can help to avoid any glitches on the day.
Even though the interview is virtual, you should still dress to impress (from head to toe!). Wearing clothes that you would wear to an interview in person is a good idea.
You never know, they interviewer may need something from you that is out of reach meaning you have to stand. If you are wearing a shirt paired with trousers, you are going to give a better impression than if you get up and they can see your tracksuit bottoms!
It is also a good idea to make sure that you have a neutral background that they will not be distracted by.
You want the focus to be on you, not the room you are in. Not only do you need a neutral background, but you should make sure that your lighting is optimised so that the interviewer can see you well.
As you cannot greet your interviewer with the usual firm handshake and a smile when conducting a virtual interview, it is important to watch your body language throughout the interview.
Make sure that you sit up straight, smile and keep eye contact as this demonstrates your confidence in yourself and your answers to the questions which will help to convince the interviewer that you are the right person for the job.
As with any interview, you need to sit down and prepare by researching common interview questions.
Just because you are conducting a virtual interview does not mean that you can go online and do a quick search on how to answer their question. That is definitely not professional!
Examples of a few questions that they may ask are:
There are, of course, many more questions that they may ask but by researching questions, it gives you a better idea of how to sell yourself and your skills to an employer.
It also allows you to reflect over your experiences and see how you have improved.
Another question that they may ask you could be based around how you think you will fit into the company culture or why you want to work for them specifically. By researching the company beforehand, you can give a specific answer to these types of questions, therefore showing them that you have the initiative to look up their company.
When you research the company it also shows the interviewer that you have a genuine interest in working for them as you have gone the extra mile to understand them more than other candidates may have.
Along with your research, you should map out a few answers to the typical questions.
As there are so many potential questions, however, it may be easier to group them together to form some high-quality answers. For example, with skills-based questions it will not hurt to refresh yourself with the skills that you have developed and make a list with how you apply them to everyday work.
This means that if you are asked about your skills you can answer confidently with the skill and how you use it.
It is important to note, however, that you should not memorise full answers to questions as when you are reciting them to the interviewer, it will not sound as organic as something that you think of on the spot.
Another problem with memorising answers is that if you slip up or lose your place in your answer you can easily fumble, and it will not be as impressive as you were hoping. Having a brief refresher of your personal and professional skills and experiences will be enough for you to confidently answer any questions.
A follow-up email within 24 hours of the interview is standard practise whether that be for virtual or in-person interviews.
It allows you to thank the person you met for their time and means that if you have any further questions you have the opportunity to ask.
Make sure, however that the email is concise as it is not another opportunity to tell them why you would be great for the job. They will appreciate a follow up but most likely will not consider any additional information you give them after the interview is over.
We wish luck to anyone preparing for a virtual interview.
With these tips we are sure that you can complete it to the best of your ability.
For more interview, CV and application tips check out our other blog posts!