How to ace a virtual interview
One of the questions we’re asked most often is how to ace a virtual interview. Even as offices and workplaces re-open, many employers will continue with virtual interviews for the foreseeable future.
While all interviews generally follow the same format, there are still some subtle differences to consider when you’re doing it online.
Some candidates come across exceptionally well in person, but find virtual interactions trickier. Others have ‘Zoom fatigue’. Many struggle with their technology.
By following these six crucial rules, you’ll have a much better virtual interview experience and boost your chances of securing that all-important job offer. Here’s how:
#1. BE PREPARED
This will always be the first rule of any interview, online or in person. Research the company; on their website, in the news, on their social media. Thoroughly read the job description and make notes on what you can contribute to each requirement.
Have a printed copy of your CV to hand to refer to if you need it. Consider the questions they’re likely to ask you, and rehearse your answers.
Think through examples of a time you exceeded expectations or performed well under pressure, and write them down. Most importantly, have a set of questions ready to ask them. It’s OK to have notes or post-its to prompt you.
#2. LOOK SMART
Dress codes have relaxed a lot in recent times, especially in the home-working age. But an interview is still an interview. While you probably won’t need to wear a suit jacket for a virtual interview at your dining table, it’s still important to look smart.
‘Business casual’ is the look you’re going for. A neatly-ironed shirt for men or a smart blouse for women is ideal. It sounds minor, but make sure your hair is tidy too.
#3. CHECK YOUR TECH
There’s nothing more frustrating than having thoroughly prepared for a virtual interview, only for your tech to fail on the day. An hour or so before your call, carefully check your tech. Are your speakers set to the right volume? Is your camera clean and dust-free?
How’s your connection; do you need to move closer to your router? Re-starting your computer before a call is also a good idea. Just before the call, make sure you don’t have many tabs open on your screen so that your device don’t run out of memory or run into bandwidth problems.
#4. REMOVE DISTRACTIONS
You’ll need all your focus for a virtual interview, so it’s important to minimise distractions beforehand. If you live with others, let them know when your call is and ask them to keep any noise down. Close the door. Make yourself a drink ready for the call, or at least have water to hand.
Then check your background. Ideally, you don’t want to use Zoom or Teams filters. You want limited distractions, both for yourself and the interviewer.
What background does your camera face; is it clear and clutter-free? Is your desk clear, aside from your interview notes? Finally, check your lighting; make sure you’re facing a light source so that the interviewer can see you properly.
#5. BE FRIENDLY
Virtual interviews can make it harder to build a natural, authentic rapport in the same way you’d do in a physical interview. Yet you still want to come across as confident, approachable and enthusiastic.
Think about your body language on the call. Make sure your computer’s positioned at eye-level, so you’re not looking down into the camera. Sit up straight, rather than hunching.
Make eye contact. Smile. Relax. Be friendly. It’s likely your interviewer’s done countless calls like this one, so try to make it as easy and engaging an experience for them, as they will hopefully for you.
#6. FOLLOW UP
Last but not least, follow up. This is the one step that many candidates forget to do, but it shows real commitment and enthusiasm for the role. Email your interviewer directly, shortly after your call.
Keep it short but sweet; thank them for their time, tell them it was good to meet them and that you enjoyed learning more about the role and the company. Re-iterate your interest in the role, and your notice period. End by saying that you’d love to be considered, and you look forward to hearing from them in due course.
A&D Recruitment are specialists in recruitment for the renewable energy and building services industries. For more tips, visit our blog section or contact us today for a friendly, informal chat about how A&D Recruitment could help you fill your next role.
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