Tips and tricks for virtual interviews.
If there’s one thing this pandemic has taught us, it’s that you have to be flexible. So if you find yourself job hunting during this time, it’s likely that one – or all – of your interviews will be done virtually.
We’ve been conducting virtual interviews here at Crowley Webb for a few months now. And sure, some of the tried and true interview advice still applies, but there are definitely some new tactics you’ll want to consider as you try to shine through the screen. Here are few pieces of advice that may be helpful as you prepare.
Test your technology.
- Make sure the application you will be using for the interview (e.g., Skype, Zoom, etc.) is downloaded on your device at least a day before the interview.
- Test your audio, video, headset, speakers, or whichever combo you may need with a friend to ensure the quality of your connection and to confirm how your name will appear on video (be sure it’s professional).
- Close any open windows or applications on your computer so that nothing competes with or slows down the interview application. This will also help make sure that nothing causes the connection to lag.
- Clean your webcam with a nonabrasive cloth or lens wipe for glasses. Do what you can to remove any fingerprints or smudges so that you’re looking your best.
Prepare your environment.
- The computer should be directly in front of you. Stack books or other items as necessary to get your eyeline even with the camera. This will help you avoid having to look up or down.
- Sit in a well-lit area; there’s nothing more distracting than talking to someone who’s sitting in a black hole.
- Be aware of your background! Remove any wall hangings that might be considered inappropriate for an interview and avoid messy-looking spaces. You know what they say about dressing to impress – the same applies here. Busy backgrounds might distract from you or leave a bad impression.
- Find a space that limits possible interruptions from things like your children or your neighbor’s lawnmower.
Treat this like any other interview.
- Dress the part. (And don’t forget your pants! You never know.)
- If possible, print out your résumé so you can easily reference it – or if you can’t print it, at least have it open on your device so you can access it quickly.
- The same goes for writing samples or a portfolio. Be sure to have any links readily available to share over chat, or prepare an email in advance that you can quickly send, if needed.
- Small talk can feel even more awkward over a video call, but it’s still an important part of someone getting to know you, and it gives you a chance to let your personality shine.
- Have a glass of water nearby. If you get nervous, take a sip. Simple distractions can help calm the nerves.
- Pause before and after speaking so you do not talk over anyone.
- Just like you would with an in-person interview, follow up within 24 hours and send a thank-you to each person who interviewed you.
Now get out there and nail that interview!