Are you on the hunt for a new job? Learn all the most helpful interviewing secrets in this three-part webinar series. Following the first installment about phone interviews, this second chapter focuses on the increasingly popular virtual interviews. HR Executive Sara Hill explains all the insider tips to knock your virtual interview out of the park.
How can you set your figurative stage? How should you practice and prepare? While certain aspects of the phone interview and in-person interview will come up here, virtual interviews also have their own unique flavor. Here’s all you need to know to pass the test.
Find out Sara Hill’s insider tips so you can have victorious virtual interviews:
Any successful virtual interview will start with setting your stage. Where should you plan to be during your interview? Is that place quiet? Does it look tidy and professional? But beyond location, you also need to ensure you have the right tools. Obviously, a computer, tablet, or even phone will be a must. Less obviously, a headset should be high on your list of items to procure.
As with an in-person interview, you’ll want to dress professionally — and this includes work pants or a skirt! We’ve all seen the horror stories in the past year of, for example, meteorologists telling us the weather with a suit jacket on top and just boxers on bottom. In addition to professional clothing, you’ll also want to ensure your username — in Zoom or any other video conferencing platform — is appropriate for the workplace. Best to use your name here, not random song references or numbers.
Before the interview begins, you should make sure all the technology is running as it should. Webcam working? Check. Internet connection? Check. It’s also a great idea to close all other programs. Not only will this help your computer run more smoothly, it will also prevent pings from social media from interrupting your interview.
Like all interviews, you’ll want to review your notes and practice a bit before the interview begins. You’ll also want to be mindful of any physical habits you may have. Try not to play with your hair or crack your knuckles during the interview!
Okay, the interview is happening now. What do you do? First of all, treat this like an in-person interview: Maintain good eye contact, smile, and show that you’re actively paying attention throughout the call. Listen carefully to what the interviewer is saying so you’ll be ready to answer their questions.
Be aware of your interviewer’s communication style, and try to match it, but stay professional even if they’re more casual. Watch out for how your voice sounds, too. You want to speak clearly and enunciate well. And if something goes wrong with the technological side — say, your webcam stops working or there’s a delay in the audio — address it swiftly and calmly. We can’t always control how well our devices work, but we can maintain professionalism and control how we resolve the situation.
Once the interview winds down, be prepared with questions for the interviewer. And it’s okay to ask for the role! Show how genuinely excited you are for the role and how eager you are to join the company. At the end, thank them for their time and consideration, and reiterate that you look forward to the next steps in the process. Upon saying goodbye, allow the interviewer to exit or close the meeting first.
After all of that, be sure to email them with another note of thanks, and consider connecting with them on LinkedIn. If all goes well, you’ll be well poised for the next interview.
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