As businesses start to panic with the Coronavirus epidemic, new procedures are being put into place, from the initial interview to after you’re hired. Major companies such as LinkedIn and Google have provided the choice of virtual interviews – they want to minimize exposure to the virus and the best way to do that is to limit human contact. Once you get the job, you also have the option to work from home which many other companies are taking the same necessary measures. If you are nervous you won’t be able to make an impact without shaking their hands, don’t panic – use these tips to succeed in your virtual job interview.
Check your Cords/Network
As soon as you are informed of the virtual interview, make sure you have the technical equipment to make it happen right. Whether you have a desktop computer, laptop or tablet; you want to make sure you have access to the internet/video ability and are familiar with the third-party communication site. This will also show the interviewers that you are tech savvy which is needed in nearly every job position.
Set the Stage
Once you feel comfortable with the process, it’s time to review your “interview space.” The best way would be to turn your webcam on, take notice to everything you see in the background. You want to place yourself in a somewhat professional setting so try to make the background as clutter and noise free as possible. Positioning yourself to be in front of a bookshelf or a wall with art hanging instead of an unmade bed. The idea is to bring focus on you so make sure your image is perfected and that there is nobody else in the room to distract you. Also, pay attention to the amount of sunlight in your space. This can be blinding to the viewer so make sure the sun is beaming down or in front of you like a spotlight and not directly behind you.
Dressing the part is still required even though it’s a virtual interview. Sure, you could “Donald Duck” it with business attire on top or pajamas pants on the bottom but why risk it? You should still put your best foot forward by dressing the part just as you would if it was an in-person interview. Try to avoid wearing bright colors and too much jewelry, the key is to bring focus on what you are saying instead of visual distractions.
Pay Attention to your Body
It is easy to get too comfortable since you are at home but be mindful of your body language. Virtual interviews leave no room to look at anything else but you so sit up straight, maintain “eye contact” by focusing on the camera instead of the screen and look interested. Looking interested involves fidgeting or yawning while they are speaking, feel free to have a small notepad with you to take notes while they speak. This is your chance to remember key points that they might mention during the interview. These points could be used to close the interview or in your thank you e-mail.
Practice before the Main Event
Performing a test run interview is simple, ask a friend or trusting company like WriteOne Resumes to help with a mock virtual interview through sites such as Zoom and Skype. This will provide a clear assessment of your “interview space” and body language. This will not only confirm your technology is up to par but also that you are prepared to present a professional image. After your test interview, do some research on the company so that you’re fully prepared. The people interviewing you are constantly analyzing you to make sure your “vibe” flows with their organization to see if you are the perfect fit. This is examined by the tone of your voice, excitement for the job and/or facial expressions. Researching the company will allow you to bring something to the table for the conversation and shows your interest.
Slow and Steady
The moment you set your area up for the interview, your nerves will start to take over. Try to control them, this is not a race so don’t rush through it. Don’t lose sight on everything you practiced, make sure you speak clearly and take your time. If they ask a question that stumps you, take a second to think about your answer. You don’t have to fill every silent moment with noise – work on eliminating “um and “uh from your sentences. Silence is not your enemy in this situation, use those quiet moments to really form a response that highlights the key skills you possess for this position.
At the end of the day, you were selected for the interview based on your professional credentials so just be YOU. They are already interested in what you have to offer, so the virtual interview is just turning that interest into a complete desire for you to take on the job. Remember, they need you just as much as you need them so don’t allow doubt to cloud your brain. Stay calm and in control to ensure everything goes smoothly. Being yourself allows them to see that you are the perfect fit, following these tips will help bring you even closer to a job offer.