Our Top 3 Virtual Interview Tips
Given how long we've been dealing with the COVID pandemic, Zoom interviews are now the norm, which is not only safer but also saves time for both candidates and companies.
If you're in the middle of your job search or were recently laid off, remember to breathe, be patient, and stay positive.
Although many companies have had to lay off employees, rest assured that recruitment hasn't stopped completely.
Many companies are still hiring.
As urgent as your job search situation may feel, you don't want to seem panicked during your interviews.
If you have never had a Zoom interview before, they can also be a bit stressful.
We've all had an experience when technology failed us at the worst possible moment, so you want to minimize the chances of such a situation occurring during your interview.
To help you feel prepared and more relaxed, follow these three tips.
1) Treat your virtual interview like an in-person interview
Even though the interview is virtual, you shouldn't treat it any differently than you would an in-person interview.
Ignore the advice of how Zoom interviews are great because "you can wear shorts and flip flops and only have to dress up from the waist up."
Plan on wearing what you would normally wear to an in-person interview with the same company.
Dressing up will boost your confidence and help reduce nervousness.
You don't want to have the "what if" question looming in the back of your mind!
2) Look into the camera
To appear confident and personable, you want to give off the impression that you are looking the interviewer in the eye.
During Zoom interviews, you may find it intuitive to look at the interviewer on your screen.
However, this approach will make it appear as if you are looking down, causing you to lose a prime opportunity to leave a stronger impression.
Remember to look directly into the camera!
To help direct your focus, cut out a photo of a friend or family member you feel comfortable around and tape it to the right of your camera. Instead of looking down at the interviewer, just look them in the eye!
3) Conduct a test run
Though we primarily referred to Zoom throughout the article, virtual interviews can be conducted on a number of platforms including Skype, GoToMeeting, FaceTime, or HireVue, to name a few.
If your interview is being held on a platform you haven't used before, download it beforehand and make sure you understand its functionality.
Even if you are familiar with a given platform, turn on your camera and conduct a test run.
In particular, pay attention to the following:
Make sure your lighting looks good on video
Check to see if your lighting makes your face look bright.
If needed, set up additional desk lamps.
If you're planning on taking your call in a room with lots of windows, test your lighting around the same time of day.
You want to avoid bright lights coming from behind you, which can make your face appear dark.
Sit in front of a clean, clutter-free background
Make sure the background is free of any potential distractions.
Ideally, you'll want to find a solid-colored background.
If you're not against a wall, make sure that the room visible in the shot is clean and clutter-free.
Pay attention to your camera height
Place your camera at eye level. You shouldn't have to look up or down to see it.
Test your internet connection
If you haven't used Zoom before or plan on taking your call in a new location, test out the Wi-Fi to make sure the call doesn't break up.
Test your audio
Zoom has a feature that allows you to test your audio, so be sure to do so.
You might also want to consider dialing into the call, if possible, to ensure your audio remains connected even if your internet connection cuts out or slows down.
Even if you are familiar with Zoom's functionality, it's worth investing time into preparing for your interview by reviewing sample questions, learning how to improve your responses or scheduling a mock interview with a career coach.
By intentionally thinking through each element, you'll minimize the chances that something goes wrong and go into the interview feeling more confident.
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