As we continue to work remotely, companies are having to determine safer, alternative ways to conduct their operations, including hiring. As a result, virtual interviews are becoming a more popular and widespread solution.
Needless to say, an interview is your time to shine. It is a crucial step toward getting the job you want. We have had our fair share of conducting virtual interviews for Remote COO and thought it might be helpful to give some tips on what NOT to do or say to ensure you make a great first impression when you can’t give a handshake.
Don’t come unprepared.
- Research the company and industry in which you’re interviewing beforehand to present yourself as knowledgeable and up-to-date. Have a copy of your resume and/or portfolio in front of you to reference should your interviewer ask you questions regarding it. It’s also a great way to refresh your memory and provide context if you happen to get nervous or draw a blank.
Most likely, you won’t know what questions the interviewer will ask ahead of time. However, you can prepare answers to common interview questions in advance with a simple Google search. Lastly, dress professionally – just as you would for an in-person interview.
Don’t interview without testing your technology beforehand.
- The last thing you want to do is come off as not being technologically-savvy during your interview. Ensure your background is professional and free of distractions. A relatively blank wall is best. If you do not have a blank wall, you can use a simple virtual background. Check your internet speed ahead of time to ensure you have a strong connection.
- To prevent any glitches, it’s important to make sure you have the latest update of the video platform you’re using. Also, be sure to check your microphone and camera quality.
- Choose a quiet room in your home with minimal noises and disturbances. Make sure anyone else in your environment during this time knows to avoid making any unannounced (and unappreciated) appearances. Keep pets out of the room as well. Lastly, silence your phone and notifications on your computer, so they do not interrupt your interview.
Don’t show up late.
- This one goes without saying. Be sure you’re prepared and ready to go at least 10 minutes before your interview time to ensure no last-minute issues arise. It’s very important to make a good first impression as a candidate and being prompt will help ensure that.
Don’t forget to build rapport.
- Virtual interviews do not allow you the ability to shake the interviewer’s hand or convey your enthusiasm as easily through your body language or small talk. It is still important to try and connect to your interviewer by finding a common interest or discussing another neutral topic. This will help you stand out as a candidate and will make the interview feel more relaxed and natural.
Don’t only talk about yourself.
- Interviews aren’t just one-sided; they are a way for the interviewer to get to know you and for you to get to know the role and company better as well. It’s important to make the interaction a two-way street. Be sure to ask the interviewer questions as well – about themselves, the company, its culture, and any other questions about the role that hasn’t been answered yet.
- Not asking questions can make the interviewer think you are not interested in the position, lessening your chances of getting the job. Showing the interviewer that you are taking an interest in them personally will also help you build rapport and stand out.
Don’t forget to send a follow-up email.
- Just like you would after an in-person interview, don’t forget to send your interviewer a follow-up email within 24 hours to thank them for their time and consideration of you as an applicant. It’s good practice to bring up something you discussed during your conversation and restate why you think you would be a good match for this role. Let the interviewer know you look forward to hearing back from them and that you’re available if they have any additional questions.
Virtual interviews might feel unnatural and strange at first, but if you follow these practices, stay true to your authentic self, and put your best foot forward, you’ll be a pro and land an exciting new job in no time!