Tips for your virtual job interview

virtual job interview: virtual interview: job interview

You may find yourself on the job market at a time when social distancing is encouraged, which means your next job interview may be virtual. I thought I would share some tips on preparing for your virtual job interview.

A fact that you may not know about me, I was in recruitment for about 7 years and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting different people through their interviews.

A virtual job interview, is a job interview that is hosted via web using video technology. I think it’s a trend that we will see even beyond this pandemic.

Although you will not need to travel for the job interview, you will need to prepare thoroughly, as you would for an in-person interview. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when preparing for your virtual job interview:

Prepare for the interview

It’s important to prepare for your virtual interview in the same way that you would for an in-person discussion.

  • Research the company and industry thoroughly
  • Know the job spec and how your experience could make you the ideal candidate
  • Practice frequently asked questions
  • Prepare questions for your panel
  • Dial into the call a few minutes early (don’t forget to mute yourself or turn your camera off)
  • Pour yourself a glass of water

Dress up for the interview

Although you will most likely be conducting your interview from your house, it is still important to dress the part for your virtual interview. This is the one day where you have every reason to step out of your lounge wear and slippers.

Take a bath or shower beforehand, dress up professionally and pour some perfume for an extra confidence boost!

First impressions are always key, even in a virtual environment!

Consider your settings and limit distractions

By setting I’m referring to the room that you will be using during your virtual job interview. Aim to have a desk and a background that is clear from clutter and distractions. If you are using a platform like MS Teams, you can change your background by choosing one of the options on the platform.

A few days before your interview, find a location in your home that has good natural lighting and is clear from background noise, pets and children. Inform your family members about your interview, so that they can watch their noise levels and look after the children. This will show respect to your panel and also minimize distractions and keep you focussed on your interview process.

Tip: if you require additional light, try your ring light!

virtual job interview: virtual interview: job interview

Test your technology

Your interview will probably be hosted on Skype, Microsoft Teams, Zoom or any similar platform.

  • Ensure that you download, test and familiarise yourself with the platform that you will be using
  • Check that your username or sign-on name represents you professionally (i.e. your first name and last name)
  • Test your data or WiFi connectivity in the room
  • Use headphones where possible for better sound quality
  • Make sure that your camera and sound are working – It might be worth recording yourself or doing a test run with a friend before your interview
  • If you have a laptop, station it comfortably at your table in the room.
  • If you will be using your mobile phone, set it up in landscape mode and try and arrange a tripod or stand ahead of time, so that your will have your hands-free. This will avoid distracting the interview panel with constant movements.
  • It is also critical to ensure that your device is charged

Keep engaged

Although your won’t be meeting your prospective employer in person, the interviewer will still be able to read your body language during a virtual job interview, so it’s important to be mindful of showing interest and being engaged throughout the entire interview.

  • Show energy and passion while presenting yourself authentically
  • Smile and nod where appropriate
  • Sit upright and relax your hands
  • Keep your camera at eye-level. Look into the camera and not the tiny faces on the other side of the screen.
  • Don’t swing in your chair

Your first virtual job interview might be a very daunting experience, so don’t be too hard on yourself if things don’t go smoothly. Technical glitches may happen, so be prepared to keep calm even in the worst-case scenario. You got this!

Please let me know what you thought of this post in the comments, I would love to hear from you! What has worked for you in the past?


Modern Zulu Mom

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