Written by Precilia Freetage
Because we are a ‘remote’ organization, and with the shift over the last few years to a more virtual world (thanks to Covid), I have conducted my fair share of virtual interviews. These have opened my eyes to things candidates should be aware of when entering into a virtual interview. In an effort to improve your next virtual interview experience, in case you find yourself there in the future, here are some virtual interview tips regarding the process and how you can increase your chances of success.
Check the meeting details prior to the start time. If the meeting is being conducted via Zoom, log in early and ensure the sound and camera are functioning properly. If you are using an alternate platform, be sure you have downloaded the appropriate software and are familiar with how to maneuver around.
And speaking of maneuvering around, if you must join the meeting from a cell phone (ideally, you should do your very best to join from a laptop or PC), set it up on a stand rather than trying to steady it in your hand. This will be easier for you and much less dizzying for the interviewer!
Also, if your background is lacking in cleanliness or disorganized, choose to blur it. It can be very distracting and off-putting to conduct an interview while dirty laundry or stacks of dishes are cluttering the background. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been known to let a pile of clothes sit there for a few days before I get everything hung up or not get to the dishes right away, but you better believe none of that will be visible on my screen during a Zoom call!
And lastly, check the lighting at around the same time of day your interview will be held. You should have the light facing you, so there are no shadows making it difficult to see your face. This will allow for better communication between you and your interviewer.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Almost every company in existence now has their own website and can be found on social media platforms. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the company, what they do, who they serve, and their core values. Jot down anything that stands out to you or any questions that arise while you are doing your research. That way, even if you get anxious during the interview and forget everything you’ve read and learned, you have something to refer to, you can refresh your memory, and you can ask your questions when given the opportunity.
Be sure to use the interviewer as another source of information as well. Ask them how long they have been with the company, what they like/dislike most about working there, and any other information-seeking questions you might have. They will appreciate the interest and you will gain an insider’s perspective.
BE CONCISE AND GRACIOUS
Don’t spend too much time answering one question seventeen different ways. The interviewer wants to know you can do the job at a high level AND in a timely manner. Being wishy-washy or dragging out an answer unnecessarily is not the way to demonstrate you can ‘get it done’ and ‘do it well.’ Do your best to get your point across without providing unnecessary details. Of course, examples are welcome and will help you demonstrate your competency and work style, but this can be done concisely and efficiently.
If you are asked a question that stumps you in the moment, don’t respond with, “I don’t know” and leave it at that. Simply ask if they can come back to that question later in the interview, giving you time to think about your response.
And ALWAYS follow an interview with a thank you note or email. It doesn’t need to be a long letter, but a note of gratitude goes a long way! This is also a good opportunity to ask any follow-up questions that may have come to mind after the interview’s conclusion. It is also a good time to offer to answer any additional questions they may have to convince them you are the best candidate for the job.
I hope this helps clarify ways you can maximize your potential during a future virtual interview. For more great tips, head to our website and check out our other blog posts. If you are searching for your next virtual position, why not join our team of professionals? Click here to see if one of our openings is the right fit for you!