Top 5 Tips to Make Your Virtual Interview a Success

By Nicole Carter | March 3, 2021 | Career Coaching Guides

While employment rates have declined slightly in 2020, many employers are still continuing to thrive.  If you are in the job market, and have landed an interview, it’s possible that you will be asked to join a virtual meeting.  Follow these top 5 tips to make your virtual interview a success!

Top 5 Tips to Make Your Virtual Interview a Success

  1. Do Your Homework
  2. Dress The Part
  3. Test Your Tech
  4. Give Great Answers And Ask Great Questions
  5. Be Yourself

1. DO YOUR HOMEWORK


If you do nothing else, do not skip this step. Invest time researching the company that you’re interviewing with.  Explore the company’s website and do a basic search to learn more about them.  If this part doesn’t interest you, then you’re probably not the right fit for the job.  You should know what drives the company’s success and what their mission is.  This will tell you a lot about their company culture and help you to decide it aligns with your values.  Be sure to make notes on things that specifically resonate with you.  These points can become the basis for some good discussion during the interview.

In addition, take time to dissect the job description. Thoroughly review every key responsibility and requirement and highlight the areas where you have experience and pinpoint the areas where you might not.  This is where you can start to reflect on your experience, both direct and indirect, and think of reasons why you would be a strong candidate.  Employers do not expect you to check every box.  If you do, great, but if not, having awareness of the areas that you would like to develop can also translate into a strength.

Review every key responsibility and requirement and highlight the areas where you have experience

If you know who you will be meeting with, look them up.  Knowing a bit about them prior to your meeting will be useful and help guide some of your questions.  Knowledge is power in this case.  The more you prepare, the more at ease you will be.  Maybe you will discover that you have something unique in common or mutual connections.  This gives you more opportunity to set yourself apart from your competition.

2. DRESS THE PART


Just because your interview will be conducted virtually doesn’t mean that you don’t have to think about what you wear.  The second recommendation in the top 5 tips to make your virtual interview a success is simple; dress the part. Dress appropriately for the job that you’re interviewing for.  This point hasn’t changed since interviews went virtual. Be neat, tidy, clean, and non-wrinkled.  Dressing the part will send the right message to your future employer. 

First impressions last and they matter.  This doesn’t mean that you need to run out and get a new outfit or spend a ton of money on things that you will never wear again.  You also don’t have to be uncomfortable, but you do have to try.  Rethink your matching tracksuit, unless you are interviewing for the role of personal trainer. 

Showing up dressed appropriately tells the employer more about you than just your fashion sense.  It tells them that you’re thinking ahead, that you’re conscientious and that you care.  It sends a bigger message than you think.  Remember, the employer doesn’t know you and they are judging.  In an interview an employer relies on a lot of pieces of information draw conclusions on your competency and fit for the job.  The way you appear in your virtual interview is high on their list.

3. TEST YOUR TECH


Don’t risk joining the meeting late because the link that was sent to you in advance doesn’t work.  Make sure that everything is good to go advance of your virtual interview.  Think it through and give yourself enough time.  Punctuality still matters in the virtual world.  Make sure you have the necessary software downloaded, that your video and audio are working well, and that your internet connection is sound.

Be aware of what, and who, is in the background of your camera shot.  Ensure your space is tidy, clear up any clutter. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it will also be part of your first impression.  You might be joining the interview from your makeshift “home office” aka your bedroom or living room.  Make sure your bed is made, dishes are out of sight and there isn’t anything inappropriate visible in the screen shot.  

If you don’t have what you need, or something isn’t working, reach out the employer in advance.  They will appreciate your proactivity and this will save everyone time and a prevent a potential disaster. 

Top 5 tips to make your virtual interview a success test your tech

4. GIVE GREAT ANSWERS AND ASK GREAT QUESTIONS


The best way to give great answers is to think ahead.  Review your resume and try and recall recent examples of good work that you have done that could be relevant to the position that you are being interviewed for.  Refer back to the job posting, and its list of key responsibilities, to help jog your memory.  Think of very specific accomplishments or tasks that you completed and make note of exactly what you did to be successful in each scenario.  Keep your examples current, precise and relevant. 

Be prepared to ask great questions.  You’ve done the prep work and research, you should have one or two solid questions for the interviewer about the organization.  They should be questions that you are genuinely interested in hearing the answers to – employers can tell when you are asking out of obligation instead of interest.  Consider asking a question specifically about the job or even about the interviewer specifically.  Get them talking. What they say can provide you with a lot of good information.

5. BE YOURSELF


Sounds easy right?  You would be surprised what nerves can do to sabotage an interview.  It is easy to stumble.  Employers can tell when you’re trying too hard and it can often come across as disingenuous.  Do your best to match the energy of the interviewer.  Communication is key in the virtual interview environment.  Do your best to look into your camera, making good eye contact.  Be aware of your body language.  Avoid fidgeting in your seat, playing with your pen or fixing your hair. 

A little bit of silence is okay in the virtual world. It’s definitely okay to take a moment to organize your thoughts before you speak, just let the interviewer know that you are taking a moment to reflect.  Remember that humility and self-awareness are positive qualities.  Sometimes it’s okay to know what you don’t know or to ask for clarification if something comes up that you don’t understand.  This can be an endearing and memorable quality. 

Not making it to the virtual interview stage?  You might need help getting your resume right.  Connect with HR Factor and see how we can help.

Not making it to the virtual interview stage? 


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