How to Have a Great Virtual Interview

For individuals currently on the job market, the quickly changing circumstances brought on by the coronavirus (COVID 19) is particularly untimely. For many, excitement surrounding a new position has turned to doubt and uncertainty surrounding the current state of the job market. Finding your next opportunity is still possible as companies are adapting to a company-wide ‘work from home’ model.

Last week, seemingly in an instant, my team’s interview pipeline went from almost entirely in-person meetings on-site, to video conferences! Despite this good news, going through the interview process online can be quite an adjustment if it’s something you haven’t done often—or ever before.

Here are 11 tips to help you adapt to this new style of interviewing on the fly:

  1. Be prepared. Try to gain as much information as you can prior to the interview on what will be expected and map out your responses.
  2. Set yourself apart by utilizing your screen as a tool. One unique aspect of virtual interviews is that it allows you to prepare information on your background, your skills, your 30/60/90 plans for the role, etc. (Try putting this together in the form of a deck or presentation!)
  3. Create space. Find a well-lit, clutter free, workstation with a pleasant background. Dress as you normally would if you were going in person. Even though the interviewers will only see you from the waist up, having the whole outfit on will help you get in the zone.
  4. Make sure everyone in your living space is aware that you have an interview. As cute as your pet or child may be, having them burst into the room can be a big distraction and can throw you off.
  5. Be on time. Test your internet, phone service, and login link a few minutes before the interview to avoid any surprises.
  6. Look at the interviewer versus yourself. It is easy to get distracted by your reflection and start fidgeting.
  7. Turn all alerts on your computer to mute. You do not want sounds and notifications going off during your video call.
  8. Prepare a few behavioral questions to engage the interviewer in a more conversational way to establish rapport. Why did you join this organization? What has kept you here? What is your management style? How do you structure your typical work day? What are your interests or hobbies outside of work? Be ready to share your own!
  9. Know your ‘isms’. Um, like, aaand – we all have them. Try and think about what yours are before the interview and bring awareness to your usage.
  10. Pace, Volume, and Energy. It’s not always what you say, but how you say it! Be sure to demonstrate your listening skills and leave room for them to respond.
  11. Be yourself! Once all of your preparation is ready, trust your instincts and take a deep breath. Genuine interest and engagement it easy to spot whether you’re meeting in person or over video.

Alicia Scully

Associate Director – Technology Recruiting

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