How to prepare for a virtual interview

The phrase ‘unprecedent times’ is something we are all, surely, fully aware of by this stage.

Ever since President Trump began asking people to stay at home at the end of March, paving a way for us all was this form of new norm.

The closure of gyms meant millions started to exploit the benefits of home workout videos from YouTube, while the curbs on general life meant out of home socializing was no longer an opportunity. The power of video conferencing began to be utilized far more prominently for people to catch up with friends.

Apps such as Zoom sky-rocketed in popularity as weekly quizzes, socially distanced drinks, and even drops-in with elderly loved ones took to the platform. But when it came to professionalism, there was another new beginning taking place.

Of course, those among us who have had to begin working from home will understand the complexities of the conference call. However, this is talking to people you already know and hopefully share some sort of friendship with. Spare a thought for interviewees.

Just because bricks and mortar offices might not be operating business as usual doesn’t mean that they aren’t still employing. All across the country, aspiring candidates are preparing for their big interview day — except with a twist.

We aren’t suggesting that video interviews are a new discovery, as they certainly have held a place in the screening stage of the interview process for quite a long time. But in the world we live today, they take precedence. As the interviewee, you need to be able to display all the attributes and skills that you possess in person through the medium of video.

In this article, we detail some of the best ways to guarantee success virtually.

Dress to impress

Despite the fact you won’t be meeting the interviewer in person, don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security. You still need to dress appropriately.

Dress exactly like you would when attending a usual face-to-face interview. Although you might feel relaxed in the comfort of your own home, polo shirts and sweatpants are not suave — instead they suggest serious Netflix binging. A nice dress shirt or blouse will go a long way. Remember to maintain with conservative colors such as black, navy, or white — just because you’re not riding the subway don’t let allow your mind to run wild when it comes to the color chart.

Finally, although the employer can only see your top half, avoid dressing sloppy or, perhaps, not at all on the bottom — we shouldn’t need to delve into why this is a bad idea, but imagine if you have to get up to grab something!

Know your way around

When going to a normal interview, you’ll spend some time the night before scouring Google Maps, trying to find the fastest route, the nearest parking spaces, and how to actually access the building.

Treat a virtual interview no differently — know your platform.

According to ResumeGo, 43% of virtual interviews take place on Zoom, 19% on Google Hangouts, 12% on Skype, 7% on Microsoft Teams, and 19% on other platforms.

Prior to your interview, we’d advise downloading each of these prominent providers and do a trial run. Get someone you know to jump on a call, making sure you know what you’re doing.

Recording practice interviews will serve you well as you will be able to take notes and critique where you have gone wrong.

The last thing you want is to look unorganized when it comes to the big day!

Preparation

Perhaps the biggest mistake people make when they are interviewed virtually is forgetting to prepare their answers. Of course, looking the part on camera is important but, ultimately, what you say will play the biggest role in landing you the job.

Read the job specification, research the company, and plan responses to typically asked questions, such as ‘tell us about a time when...’.

 

Now, you’re all set for your upcoming virtual interview. Just remember to ensure that nobody in your house is hammering the Wi-Fi connection before you answer, distractions have been removed, and you’ve got rid of any clutter from the view of your webcam. Regardless of all this, however, the most important thing is to remain comfortable and confident — time to shine!

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