6 Tips to Succeed in a Virtual Interview

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As the impact and restrictions of coronavirus are felt worldwide, companies are having to turn to virtual interviews as a way of hiring and assessing candidates. With social distancing measures likely to be in place for some time, virtual interviews are set to become more common in the coming months. Here are six tips to help you successfully navigate your virtual interviews.

1. Prepare for your interview

Take some time research and prepare for your interview, by spending some time researching the company and practicing your answers. It can also be helpful to have questions prepared in advance that you might like to ask your interviewer, as well as take some psychometric tests, including personality and aptitude tests, that employer will probably use during an interview.

However, although you can have your notes ready as a point of reference throughout the interview, make sure that you use them only as prompts or reminders. Don’t solely rely on them during your interview or simply read them as though they were a rehearsed script. As far as possible, you want to focus on having a natural conversation.

2. Ensure you have all the necessary technology

It’s essential to check that you have all the relevant technology in place and that it’s fully functional prior to your interview. Key technology to consider includes ensuring that your camera and microphone work correctly. Check if there is any software that you need to download or sign up to beforehand, such as Zoom, Skype or Goggle Hangouts. Finally, ensure that you have a stable and reliable internet connection. It’s a good idea to check that everything is working the day before your interview and then to login to your meeting about 10 minutes beforehand to complete a final check.

3. Choose an appropriate space

It’s important that you find a suitable and quiet place within your home to conduct your interview. 

“Ideally, you want to find somewhere that’s free from distractions and interruptions. If there are other people living with you, make sure that you inform them that you will be having an interview, at what time and in which space to ensure that they avoid interrupting you. Another good strategy is to take a few minutes to yourself beforehand to prepare mentally,” says Katherine Penrose, a business writer at Origin Writings and Next Coursework.

4. Prepare your interview space

Make sure that you take some time to prepare the space itself. Consider what can be seen in the background and assess whether it’s appropriate and professional. A plain, blank wall is a good choice as it helps interviewers to focus and avoids distractions. Similarly, try to avoid sitting with a window behind you as this can make it difficult for you to be seen clearly. Instead, try to put a light behind your laptop, which will help to illuminate your face more clearly.

5. Wear a professional outfit

You want to make a good first impression, so make sure that you dress professionally for your interview. Just as you would for a face-to-face interview, ensure that you wear an outfit which is appropriate.

“It can be tempting to think that you don’t need to dress as formally for a virtual interview. However, by dressing professionally, you instantly communicate that you are excited and professional in your attitude towards your work. It can also help you to mentally prepare for the interview and even make you feel more confident,” explains Roger Nolan, a marketer at PhD Kingdom and AcademicBrits.

6. Be professional, but authentic 

Body language and facial expressions are extremely useful and powerful tools to use during your interview. As virtual interviews restrict the range of body language you can communicate, be sure to engage in some relevant small talk at the start of the interview and to greet your interviewer in a positive, professional and confident manner, such as through a wave. Ensure that you maintain good eye contact, show your enthusiasm throughout your interview and allow your personality to shine through.

Treat a virtual interview as you would a face-to-face one. Remember to maintain your professionalism at all times, both in your communication and presentation. Give yourself the best possible chance of success by spending time doing some research, preparing your interview space and ensuring that you have all the required tech in place and functioning ahead of the interview.