5 Tips to Ace Your Virtual Job Interview Without a Glitch!
Updated: Jun 2
As a recruiter during the COVID-19 pandemic, the tips I typically give my candidates for their upcoming interviews have altered a bit. As you can imagine, a lot of business has gone virtual. If you are in the process of navigating the job market during this time, you are bound to encounter a virtual job interview. I have taken this opportunity to compile 5 tips that I think every candidate should keep in mind to ace their virtual job interview without a glitch!
1. Take the time to set up your space
Find a quiet spot with a neutral background and good lighting. Secure a location where your interviewer will be able to see your face clearly. I understand a quiet spot might not be accessible to everyone so if this is the case, disclose to your interviewer that there might be possible noise interruptions. Ask them to let you know if they can’t hear you at any point during the interview.
Use a laptop or desktop computer - a phone should be the absolute last option. If you must use a phone, prop it up in a stable location so your interview won't end up seasick. Double-check your webcam is clean and use headphones with a built-in microphone. Lastly, verify that all your other technological devices are on silent.
Your interviewer will likely inform you which video application you will be using in advance. Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts, whatever the application may be, practice using it before your interview! Familiarize yourself with all the settings (fullscreen, mute, volume, etc.). Personalize your account with a professional photo of yourself. Set-up your account with a professional username - mine once was cookiemonster1 (Yikes!).
2. Look the part
Dress in neutral colours and make sure it's not the same colour as your background.
There is a possibility you might have to stand up during your interview - be prepared for this. As comforting as interviewing in your own home may be, don’t wear your pajama bottoms. Even if your interview is virtual, my go-to tip is to dress for the office culture you are interviewing for.
3. Be mindful of your voice and body language
A lagging video might be an issue, and that runs the risk of speaking over your interviewer. If it happens, no big deal, it’ll add some humour! However, I suggest taking your pace and taking a quick pause every time you stop speaking. Establish your interviewer is finished speaking before you start speaking by allowing them to do the same.
Typically eye contact is very important during an interview. For virtual job interviews, this can be a challenge and can make the experience feel impersonal. Alternatively, always look at the camera and do your research. Try your best to memorize the names of your interviewers and what they look like before your interview. Address them by name when asking them a question and answering their questions. For example: “Great question, Sam...”
4. Work with a recruiter
Interviews can be stressful and adding another element of technology can make it more difficult, but this is something recruiters can help you with. More often than not, recruiters have a good insight into how your virtual job interview will be conducted and what kind of questions you can expect in your interview. Recruiters can provide you with valuable insight to help you feel more confident during your interview, and ultimately help you land that dream job
5. Follow-up with the interviewer
Sending a thank you email as a follow-up is a good practice for any format of interview - especially for virtual job interviews. As highlighted previously, virtual job interviews can feel less personal in comparison to in-person interviews. A great way to rectify this is by showing them more personality through a thank-you email. If you don’t have access to their email, ask your recruiter to forward the email you wrote to your interviewer.
At the end of the day don’t worry about any additional stressors that a virtual job interview may add. If you prepare for your virtual job interview just as much as you would for your in-person interview and keep these 5 tips in mind, you are one step closer to earning that job.
Best of luck!