Tips on Acing Your Virtual Interview
By Preeti Deshpande
Guest Contributor: Career Advisor, National Louis University
What is a virtual interview? A virtual interview is a remote job interview where the hiring manager and candidate meet online over video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Slack or Google Meet.
The virtual interview process follows a similar style of an in-person interview, however, there are a few key differences to keep in mind. Below are important tips on ensuring you are successful in your virtual interview.
1. Research is Key
- Like any job interview, research the company and job description by viewing their website and social media feeds to learn more about their values. Researching the interviewer on LinkedIn prior to the interview will help you become better prepared as well.
- Check out Glassdoor to learn about the company’s culture from the employee reviews.
- Research common and behavioral interview questions (“Tell me about yourself…” or “Tell me about a time…”) and prepare questions to ask the interviewer at the end of the interview. The Muse is a valuable resource to research common interview questions as well as questions to ask the interviewer and the overall job search process.
- Practice and build your confidence in answering common or tailored interview questions by using InterviewStream.
- Quick Tip: Come prepared to discuss your salary expectations. If you’re uncertain about the market value, you can visit these helpful resources for negotiating salary: Salary.com, PayScale, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and for global jobs visit SalaryExpert.
2. Test Your Technology
- To reduce any chances of technical difficulties, check for proper internet connection and ask a friend to video chat using the same virtual platform.
- Avoid any dark shadows by using lighting directly toward you instead of behind you.
3. Virtual Etiquette
- Dressing professionally will show that you are a serious candidate and will feel naturally confident in your answers during the interview.
- Be mindful of your body language; sit up straight and look directly into the camera while talking to the hiring manager. It’s really tempting to look at the person on the screen, in which case, you can place a small sticky note next to the camera reminding yourself to look directly at the camera throughout the interview.
- Make sure you’re 100% present by choosing a quiet area without any distractions and turning off your phone.
- Similar to an in-person interview, it’s important to “show up” a few minutes early by signing on earlier than the scheduled interview time. This allows you to get situated and take in a few deep breaths before the interview.
4. Digital Handshake
- When it comes to an in-person interview, shaking the interviewer’s hand is part of the interview process. You can master the “handshake” virtually by enthusiastically greeting the interviewer. Take a minute to connect with them just as you would during an in-person interview where the interviewer would walk you to a meeting room.
5. Thank You
- In any job interview, it is always important to send a thank you email. You will thank the interviewer for their time, reiterate your interest for the position, as well as mention something specific or unique you both connected on from the interview.
Remember to stay positive and be authentic during the interview process. You are also evaluating the company to make sure they are a good fit for you. In the end, you will land the right opportunity!
About the author
Preeti Deshpande is a Career Advisor with over 3 years of experience in providing job search strategies, tailoring resumes and cover letters, and building confidence in networking and interviewing. Preeti is a Certified Professional Resume Writer from Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches. The one thing that inspires her every day is knowing that she has made a positive impact on a jobseeker.
By Preeti Deshpande