As the threat of Covid-19 continues to make headlines across the globe, the vast majority of companies have decided to err on the side of caution and continue with the virtual interview process.
For many of us, the virtual interview process is fairly new – and despite being held online, should be treated like an in-person interview. That being said, here are five useful tips to help you master your next virtual interview.
Test out your technology (in advance)
Your virtual interview will most likely require tools such as an operative camera, microphone, Zoom or Google Meet and a reliable internet connection. Avoid running into potential technology issues (and an unfavourable first-impression) by testing out your setup and getting to know your interview platform well in advance. Make sure you test the lighting during the daytime and evening. Address these and other technical issues before preparing for the actual interview.
Prepare in advance
As with any interview, preparing in advance and doing your homework on the company will allow you to gain a competitive advantage over other potential candidates. This may also help you identify the ways in which your skills and experiences can directly benefit the company. You can also prepare answers to commonly-asked interview questions and think about relevant examples of your achievements and work experience in advance.
Use professional body language
Just like an in-person interview, it is important to utilize clear and professional body language. While this may be difficult, as interviewing via video limits your ability to clearly communicate your body language — it’s important to find alternative ways to greet your interviewer and demonstrate enthusiasm. For example, an alternative to shaking hands with your interviewer could be to give a self-assured wave and remember to maintain eye contact. You can also record yourself providing answers in advance on platforms like Zoom to see how you present to the interviewer.
Establishing rapport is important to any business relationship as it allows you to separate yourself from other potential candidates. When communicating virtually, it’s still necessary to build that personal connection with the interviewer. Brainstorm some neutral topics and prepare to discuss common interests with your interviewer. Use tools such as body language, small talk and enthusiasm to help build on this connection.
One thing that a lot of us may forget about is sending the follow-up message. After your virtual interview, plan a well-timed follow-up email with your interviewer to thank them for their time and consideration of you for their job-opening. Also let them know that you’re available to talk if they have any additional questions.
Virtual interviews are similar to face-to-face interviews in a lot of ways, however, it’s important to understand that virtual communication often requires additional considerations that may take some getting used to.
Like anything, there is a learning curve, so try not to be too hard on yourself when you make mistakes – instead, use it as an opportunity to learn.