10 Virtual Interview Tips for Making a Great Impression
Whether it’s only for initial interviews or the entirety of the application process, virtual interviews through video calls are fast becoming a familiar part of finding a job. As with traditional interviews, you’ll want to make sure you’re building rapport and creating a positive impact on the interviewer.
Here are 10 tried-and-tested ways for making a great impression on your virtual interviews:
1.) Research the company
While you might already know what the company you’re applying at does, you might also want to get a better idea of its underlying culture. Every organization has a unique culture. This means you will want to tailor your approach in each interview so that it better matches the interviewer’s expectations of what an “ideal candidate” is.
You can look through their website, check out their social media posts, as well as those by their employees to get a better feel for their internal culture. Make sure to look up any news articles on the company as well.
2.) Make a list of likely questions
Depending on what your research tells you, you’ll want to come up with a set of questions that you think the interviewer might ask. You should also prepare a list of questions that you would like to ask the interviewer. While it’s unlikely they will ask everything you thought of, preempting their questions can be a valuable exercise for getting yourself in the right mindset for the interview.
While you should also make a list of likely questions and responses for a traditional face-to-face interview, there’s an even more compelling argument for doing it for a virtual interview because there is no need to memorize your responses. In any case, you should still go through your possible questions and answers before committing to them.
3.) Do a practice run
Ask a cooperative friend or family member to play the role of the interviewer and do a practice run on the video messaging app you’re supposed to use. Give them your list of possible questions and try to answer them in a way that sounds natural and unscripted. You want to avoid following a script so that things don’t come out feeling forced. Also take this time to iron out any possible technical issues with your sound, video, and connectivity.
4.) Use the most stable internet connection available
Speaking of connectivity, the biggest hurdle to virtual interviews is not likely to be the age of your computer or your phone. Chances are that the problem will lie in the stability of your internet connection. Choose the most stable connection available to you. Turn off other internet-capable devices in your home if necessary to conserve your bandwidth. If you’re applying for a work-from-home job, consider upgrading your plan ASAP.
5.) Wear a decent set of headphones
While you don’t need the best pair of headphones around, you want to use a pair with reasonable sound quality and noise isolation. This will make it easier to hear who you’re talking to, thus avoiding miscommunication.
6.) Take the interview in the quietest spot in your home
Aside from connectivity, background noise probably the next most annoying problem encountered in virtual calls. By taking your call in the quietest spot you can, you can avoid this regrettably common issue. While you can’t ensure that your neighbor’s rooster won’t interrupt your call, you can do your due diligence by closing all doors and windows and making sure your electric fan isn’t creating an unpleasant droning noise.
7.) Tell household members that you are expecting a call
Talkative people in the background can take the focus off of your interview and leave a bad impression. For that reason, you should tell family members, housemates, and anyone else in your home when you’re expecting a call. This might help ensure fewer unwelcome interruptions on your call.
8.) Use a flattering camera angle
While not the most important detail, you want to look good on camera for pretty much the same reasons you generally want to maintain a professional appearance. Avoid angles that catch you from below your chin. If you have a computer with a separate webcam, placing the camera higher with it aiming directly or down slightly towards your face usually can give you decent results. If you have a laptop, you may want to position it a little higher than usual so that it isn’t catching you below the chin.
9.) Make sure your background isn’t distracting
Things like tasteless artwork or dirty laundry should not be visible in the background. If the video call app you’re using has a function that lets you change or blur the background, make sure to use it to avoid unnecessary distractions. Otherwise, remove the offending background objects or position your webcam so it doesn’t catch sight of them.
10.) Dress professionally
Virtually every hiring manager will tell you you should dress as you would normally do for a conventional interview. That includes bottoms because you’ll never know if you need to stand up to use the bathroom or grab a few reference documents. After all, you don’t want the interviewer to see something that they have no business seeing.
We hope these tips will help you connect better with your interviewers. With virtual meetings fast becoming the standard way employees within organizations interact with each other, knowing how to make a great impression during your interview is but the first step you need to take to thrive professionally in the “New Normal”. Good luck with your job hunt!