By DeVry University
Technology has changed the way we do business in recent years – and the hiring process is no exception. Virtual interviews are just one of the ways that HR managers are streamlining their recruitment efforts to connect with candidates near and far. But, exactly what is a virtual interview and how should you prepare for one?
To start, virtual interviews are exactly what they sound like – an online interview conducted 100% remotely, typically via a video conferencing tool. And while they aren’t necessarily a new concept, many people have suddenly found themselves navigating this digital approach for the first time.
Take a look at some common mistakes in the infographic below – and learn how to avoid them with these virtual interview tips.
Virtual Interview Tips
1. Prepare with a Test Run
Now is not the time to get tangled up in new technology. If you’ll be using a new communication tool, be sure to check for any required software downloads or updates in the days prior to your call. This is also a good time to test your own technology, such as your webcam, internet connection and headset. Holding a practice call with a friend or family member is always a good idea. Your goal is to be remembered for your great skillset – not a splotchy internet connection.
2. Dress the Part from Head-to-toe
When it comes to a virtual interview, don’t be too casual. If you wouldn’t wear half an outfit to an in-person interview, don’t do it for a virtual interview, either. Dressing professionally is a great way to get yourself in a confident, work-ready mindset. You can always save the pajamas for your job offer victory dance!
3. Confirm the Time Zone
While it may sound simple enough, showing up at the wrong time is an easy mistake to make. Since your interviewer may be located in a different state – or even a different country – be sure to double check the time zone well in advance of your interview. Then, set up calendar reminders to ensure you have plenty of time to log in before your call. In this case, “on time” means being 5-10 minutes early.
4. Master the “Digital Handshake”
Even though you can’t greet the interviewer in person, you can still make a great first impression. As you make your introductions, focus your eyes on the webcam, give a confident nod and lean in towards the camera. A strong greeting can help you start off on the right foot and set the tone for the rest of your call.
5. Plan Ahead
While some things are unavoidable, try to eliminate as many distractions as possible. Whether you’re setting up in your personal office or a quiet corner of your home, make plans in advance to help manage things like family, pets and background noise from interfering during your interview. Remember that messy spaces may send a message that you’re disorganized – so be sure to tidy up!
6. Remember that Interviews are a Two-way Street
Virtual interviews don’t always foster the same connections as in-person meetings, so take some time to do your homework and get to know your interviewer in advance. Visit their LinkedIn profile and review their accomplishments. Talking about any standout projects or commonalities can be a great way to break the ice.
7. Guide the Interview in Your Favor
Many interviewers are running on a tight schedule, so be sure to keep an eye on the clock. As the interview reaches its end, don’t hesitate to speak up about any relevant skills or degrees that you may not have talked about yet. Now is your chance to show the interviewer that you meet every criteria of the job description.
8. Send a Thank You Email
Don’t forget to follow-up after your call. A simple note – sent within 24 hours of the interview – is a great way to show that you are truly interested in the role. Thank the interviewer for their time and be sure to elaborate on how your unique skills and achievements align with the job qualifications. Show that you were engaged during the interview by sharing an additional insight on how you can make a difference in the role.