Top 6 Tips to Ace A Virtual Interview (with Bonus tips!)

As the pandemic subsides, firms continue the trend of virtual interviews. If you are searching for a new opportunity this is what you need to know to ace your next virtual interview.

  1. The Right Interview Space 

Before your scheduled interview, set up your designated space. If you have the option, pick a space that is in a separate room from any others who may be home at the time of the interview. When choosing to keep in mind if the lighting allows you to be well illuminated on the screen and what your background looks like.  

Minimizing distractions is key to ensuring you are focused entirely on your interviewer. Check lighting and do a sound check to ensure it is just right.

Nothing is more distracting for someone who is looking off-screen while a person is attempting to ask them questions. Not to mention it could be a potential reason you become distracted during an answer and fumble. Bonus tip: put your devices away and tell others in the household not to disturb you during your interview.

  1. Prepare Technology

When you are picking your space, you should also set up the technology you’re using. You will want to ensure the space has a good Wi-Fi signal if relying on Wi-Fi. It is best to check with the firm you are interviewing with what technology they will be using for the virtual interview. If it requires downloading a program you want to download it in advance of the interview. Don’t stop at just downloading – you should also ensure you can sign on and that the system works. 

While you are checking the technology – evaluate whether you are using a virtual background. Please utilize a background that is professional with minimal distractions. A quick google search for “professional virtual backgrounds” will offer you many to choose from. We recommend something clean with light colors to not overwhelm you on screen.  Bonus tip: Use zoom’s new blur background feature.

  1. Prepare yourself for your interview

While you are in the comfort of your home you shouldn’t allow yourself to not prepare as you would for an in-person interview. You want to show that you are focused and able to answer the questions asked. 

Speaking of answering questions, you will want to prepare yourself with some common interview questions, including:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why are you leaving your current position?
  • Why do you want to work with our firm?
  • What is a challenge you have faced at work and how you overcame it?
  • What are you looking for in a new position?

Another important note is that you should come up with questions to ask of the firm you are interviewing with. It shows your interest in the opportunity.

  • What is your favorite part about working at this firm?
  • What does success look like in this position, and how do you measure it?
  • What do the day-to-day responsibilities of the role look like?
  1. Dress for success

A virtual interview does not excuse the requirement to dress professionally. Interviewers still expect that a potential candidate is dressed appropriately for the interview. We recommend wearing your outfit while testing out your technology to see how it looks with your background or virtual background. Remember we don’t want any surprises on the day of your interview.

  1. Be early and prepared

While you save the time of needing to commute to an interview destination it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be early for your interview. A lot of the interview technology firms are using a virtual waiting room. You want to ensure you are logged in 5-10 minutes early to show your interviewer you are serious about the opportunity. 

Having a copy of your resume next to you will alleviate some stress. While you can use it as a sounding board don’t focus too intently on it. 

Keeping eye contact during the interview is important. Remember to look directly into your camera so it shows the interview you are keeping focused on them. Body posture is important too – remember to sit straight, feet on the ground, and arms resting on your lap or desk. 

  1. Ending the interview 

When the interview is coming to an end, extend your appreciation to the interviewer for their time and opportunity to interview for the role. Within 24 hours of the interview be sure to send a thank-you note via email. In your email, reinforce your interest in the position and why you would be a good fit. Try to recall an important part of your interview you may have bonded over, mention that to strengthen your impression.

Remember, preparation is crucial to acing an interview in every aspect. In a  virtual time don’t stress yourself out and give yourself an advantage by being prepared. Preparation of your technology, space, and yourself will set you apart from other candidates. 

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