Tips to Prepare for Your Virtual Interview
COVID has made a huge impact on employment. There are many qualified job seekers who are now on the hunt for new opportunities. Virtual interviewing is the new normal – and it takes just as much preparation and practice as in-person interviews.
To help keep interviewees and interviewers safe, virtual interviewing has become the new normal. While these interviews may feel a bit more casual, as they take place in the comfort of your own home, they require as much preparation and practice as in-person interviews.
Setting the Scene
When preparing for a virtual interview, it’s important to pick a place that will cause the least amount of distractions for the interviewers. Check out these suggestions to take into account when deciding where to join the interview:
- A flat, uncluttered wall is the best option for a backdrop, and make sure you are centered in the frame of your camera.
- Try to keep your camera at eye level. If needed, place your laptop on a book so the camera is not capturing you at an awkward angle.
- Check the lighting, and work to get light in front of you. If the light behind you is brighter than the light in front of you, it will silhouette your features. It is best to be in a place where the light is not constantly fluctuating as this can be a distraction to audience members.
- What you wear is important, too! Wearing your favorite band t-shirt could be a distraction, as could large jewelry or too much make-up. Wear solids or prints that are not too busy.
Familiarize Yourself with Technology
Technology is a great resource to stay connected, but technical difficulties can happen. To help reduce the risk of having technology issues during an interview, take some time to think about the following items:
- Be aware of your connectivity. It’s best to be hardlined to an internet source, or to use Wi-Fi without any other devices connected to it.
- If you are using a headset, be mindful of the positioning of the microphone. The microphone on headphones is typically located on the cord, so make sure there is nothing interfering with the microphone, and causing feedback for the interviewers.
- Ask a friend, family member, or anyone else who can access the technology you’ll be using (such as Zoom), to help you test it. Testing with someone who is not in the same location as you can help you identify potential technology issues.
Day of the Interview
Now that you’ve taken steps to feel prepared, keep these next tips in mind on the day of the interview to put your best foot forward:
- Join the virtual interview a few minutes early. If there are any day-of technology issues, this will give you time to solve them before the interview starts.
- While it can be hard to not watching yourself during the interview, try to maintain focus on your camera. To the interviewers, this will look like you are making eye contact and they can tell you are focused on them and their questions.
- Close out of any other applications running on your computer other than the virtual interview platform. This minimizes distractions for you, as well as helps with your internet connectivity.
- Prepare to discuss the same topics as you would during an in-person interview – like researching the company and role you’ve applied for, preparing to answer common interview questions, and having questions ready to ask your interviewers in return.
- At LifeSource, we provide our candidates with a document on the types of interview questions we ask to assist you in preparation. You can also look up “behavioral-based interview questions” in a search engine to come up with a list of common interview questions to be ready to answer.