Mastering The Virtual Interview
Virtual interviews are becoming increasingly popular as workplaces continue to evolve to meet the needs of their employees. Professionals who are or will be navigating the job market are bound to encounter this new type of video meeting and should take the necessary steps to prepare themselves. Follow these eight tips to mastering the virtual interview, and youll be one step closer to joining the team.
This article was originally published in February 2018. It has since been updated for accuracy and relevance.
About Ashley DiFranza
Sitting In A Messy Room
Remember that as well as you, the interviewer will also see what is behind you. You want them to be focused on what you have to say, which can be a challenge if theyre staring at your posters, knickknacks or any mess youve left behind you. So, make sure you sit in a position where you will come across as professional and with minimal visual distractions.
Speak Steadily And Concisely
My biggest fear when I was interacting with my first automated video interview was having enough time to get all of my thoughts out. My advice is to trust the time limit. Chances are, most of your in-person interview responses take the same amount of time the automation allows.
That said, you’ll have more than enough time to speak steadily. When you practice, take note of your sentence flow and be mindful of how fast you’re speaking.
On the other hand, your answers should get to the point avoid fluff so you can get to all the points of the question.
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How To Prepare For A Virtual Interview
Your applicants are hopefully spending a lot of time planning for their interview with your business. You should devote considerable time to planning as well.
Thorough preparation is one of the best ways to maximize your chances of a successful search. By the time an interview starts, you should already have a clear sense of what youre looking for, with whom youre speaking, what youre going to ask them, and how you will allocate the time.
Here are tips to help you prepare for an interview:
Tips For Preparing For Video Interviews
Treat video interviews like onsite interviews, but spend time preparing your technology, physical space and interview questions. Heres a quick checklist to help you prepare for your next video interview:
1. Review the candidates resume. With Indeed Interview, you can access applicant resumes both before and during the interview . Read the candidates resume beforehand to help you come up with a list of interview questions. Make note of anything you want the candidate to expand on or clarify, such as gaps in employment or job hopping.
2. Test your tech. Check that your internet connection, webcam and microphone are working properly. Well email you a link to test your technology prior to the interview.
3. Remove distractions. Consider closing any non-critical windows, tabs and programs on your computer and phone, especially ones that might unexpectedly make noises or launch pop-ups.
4. Adjust your lighting. Experiment with lighting by adding a lamp, turning on more lights or opening the curtains, making sure the light source is in front of you so the candidate can clearly see your entire face.
5. Prepare a list of video interview questions. Consider asking a mix of behavioral, situational and cultural interview questions. Starting with some fun interview questions can also help break the ice and put candidates at ease, especially since video interviews can feel a bit awkward at first.
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Tips On Zoom Interview Etiquette
Succeeding in a video interview will sound and feel a lot like succeeding in an in-person interview: in both cases, success looks like being offered the position. But how do you ensure video interview success? To put your best virtual foot forward during your next video interview, follow these 5 key tips.
Virtual Job Interviews Present A Unique Set Of Considerations Here’s How To Ensure Yours Goes Smoothly
So youve got a job interview congratulations are in order. But theres work to do before the celebrations begin. You need to practice for your interview, prepare answers to common questions, and consider the in-demand job skills and professional accomplishments that will make you stand out to the hiring manager. After that, youll have to decide what to wear.
If youre applying for a remote job, or a position at a company headquartered far from home, youll probably have a virtual interview, which presents a whole new set of considerations: how to communicate effectively in a virtual environment, how to avoid tripping over your technology, how to prepare a #workgoals Zoom background worthy of Instagram.
Lets go over some tips for nailing your virtual interview.
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Give It Your Best Shot
One of the biggest mistakes you can make during an automated interview is not answering a question. Even if you are unsure of what the question is asking, take your best shot. You can always restate what you believe the question is asking in the interview to clear up confusion.
If the prompt asks you to detail a situation you’ve never been in before, instead of leaving the answer field blank, or answering the question by saying, “I don’t know, I’ve never encountered that,” explain how you would approach the situation instead.
It looks way better hiring managers for an answer to start with, “I’ve never come across this situation in particular, but if I had, this is how I would approach it,” other than no answer at all. Remember, these situational questions are to demonstrate your problem-solving skills in a work environment.
Overall, take a deep breath. Your resume has already impressed the company, and the purpose of the interview is to make sure you can back up your experience. Give the interviewer, whether automated or in-person, a chance to get to know you, your personality, and your professionalism.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Apr 18, 2022 7:00:00 AM, updated April 18 2022
And If You Use A Digital Backdrop Keep It Simple
Digital backdrops can have a slightly distracting flicker effect when you move, but they’re still quite useful if your space isn’t exactly camera ready. If you opt to go this route, adding a blur filter to cover up your background is a great way to keep it minimal and profesh. Steer clear of distracting and busy backdrops to keep the focus on you.
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Relax And Be Yourself
As tough as it may be in any interview, try to relax and let your personality and skills shine. Since you may not be able to convey enthusiasm as much on video as in person, make sure to explain why you think youre a great fit for the role and why youre enthusiastic about joining Capital One. Rememberit took a lot to get to this point. You have the skills, now let the interviewers get to know you. Youve got this.
While you may not be as familiar with virtual interviews as you are with in person interviews, they dont have to be scary. Following these virtual interview tips can help you relax, be clear about your skills and land your dream job at Capital One. Good luck and happy interviewing!
You Might Find It Helpful To Cover Up Yourself In The Zoom Window Or Put A Sticker Next To Your Camera
If seeing your face in its own little window is too distracting, do what I do: cover yourself up with a post-it note or use another open window to hide your video. This keeps me from getting too fixated on how I’m doing in terms of my face seeming normal and helps me focus on the conversation. I also know other folks who like to put a sticker next to their laptop camera to remind them to look into it to give their conversation partner the illusion of eye contact.
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Tip : Do Your Homework
Prepare for the job interview exactly as you would when meeting the hiring manager in person.
It might be tempting to search the web for answers mid-interview. But if youre seen to be clicking around, it might give the impression that youre not focused on the interviewer.
Be ready to answer any common interview questions without needing to use the internet.
Use The Computer For Reference
During the interview, you may want to refer to something that’s included in your CV or portfolio. However, it’s important to avoid clicking through your computer and searching through files while on the call instead, print them out to use them for reference. And if you need to take notes, opt to jot them down by hand instead of typing them up, as this will look more professional.
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Tip : Keep Your Answers Simple
As with any interview, try to keep your answers simple and to the point. When youre on a video call, pauses in conversation can feel awkward and unnatural, so it can be tempting to fill the silence with chatter.
However, its likely that your interviewer will simply be processing your answer during the natural lapses. If the question doesnt warrant it, dont feel like you need to give a long, drawn-out explanation. Being able to respond in a clear, concise manner is an important skill and will stand you in good stead during the interview.
Plan Your Interview Attire
Your interview attire should be what you would otherwise wear to a face-to-face interview. Some candidates think that just because theyre at home means they can stay casually dressed. That will not bode well with the recruiter or hiring manager. At the same time, only dressing your top half should be done with caution people have been known to stand up or grab a glass of water, only to reveal they are not appropriately dressed for their bottom half.
Test Your Technology Then Test It Again
Your time is valuable. Your candidates time is valuable. You need to use your time as efficiently as possible. Wasting 10 minutes figuring out how to log on or get the video or audio signal to work is not the way you want to begin an interview.
So test all of this ahead of time and make sure everything works on your end. You should also have a sense of the technical issues your candidate might face and have solutions to offer them if they do. All of this will help keep you on schedule and avoid starting the discussion on an annoying note.
Remember To Stay Responsive After You Wave Goodbye
After you end your call, be sure not to ghost your interviewer. Download the Handshake app to ensure that you respond to recruiter messages promptly, and check your email at least twice per day to stay abreast of any outreach or next steps that might land in your inbox!
With these tips in your back pocket, youll have all the keys to succeed in your video interview. Now all you have to do is find the right opportunity! Check out this helpful advice for finding a job or internship online, and discover ways to make the most of a remote internship once youve got an offer.
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Wait For Your Turn To Speak
Have you ever noticed the slight lag on video calls? Thats usually caused by low signal strength on either end, and can lead to awkward moments as each person tries to speak over the other. To help the conversation flow smoothly, wait a beat longer than you usually would before you speak otherwise your interviewer might not have finished their sentence.Show youre engaged and try to make a connection
Natural physical cues are diminished due to screens. Show engagement by nodding your head or responding every few minutes. You will otherwise appear bored or not focusing on the discussion. Also find a way to establish rapport so that the video interview is not so clinical.
Script The Most Essential Questions
You should draft, refine and write down the most essential questions for each interview. Script out questions that will drive insight on the applicant and assess their ability to perform the role in question.
If after conducting your research into prospective employees, youre left with points that need further clarification,, make a plan as to how youll phrase those inquiries.. In addition, verify the legality of your questions ahead of the meeting.
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Monitor Your Body Language
Unfortunately, that firm handshake and enthusiasm you typically greet employers with during an in-person interview wont translate via video. Instead, convey confidence through your body language. Sit up straight, smile, and keep the camera at eye level to avoid looking up or down. Research shows that employers are more likely to remember what you said if you maintain eye contact, so be sure to keep your eyes focused on the cameranot the screen image of the hiring manageras you converse.
Pro Tip: Write your talking points on Post-it notes. You can then place those notes on your computer screen to avoid shuffling papers or clicking around during the call.
Signal When Your Answers Are Complete
In the same vein, its helpful for the other person if you signal the end of your answer, especially if its a long one. You can do this through a visual cue like nodding or you can make sure you conclude your answer strongly or ask the interviewer a question. A long silence while your interviewer guesses whether or not youre done can be awkward over video, Eonnet says, whereas in person, its usually clearer that the other person is finished speaking.
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The Dos And Donts Of Virtual Interviews
Career and Lifestyle Writer
Virtual interviews have become increasingly popular over the years. With hiring managers and recruiters using video to conduct their interviews, it’s only a matter of time before you get asked to attend one yourself.
To help you impress recruiters and land the job, we’ve created a list of dos and don’ts for mastering the virtual interview.
Watch the most essential tips here:
Position Yourself In A Well
It’s essential to choose a quiet, well-lit, neutral, and clean space to conduct your interview, especially if you’re taking the virtual interview from home to limit distractions. Unlike interviewing in the office or a public space, virtual interviews provide an intimate glimpse into your personal life. Be sure to give a great first impression by keeping your area clean and limit any interruptions from family members, pets, partners, and roommates.
Dont plan to have your remote interview just anywhere. Its important to choose a location that is free of distractions and noises when participating in a video interview, as these interruptions can leave an interviewer with a negative impression of you. Take stock of your space and choose a location that is far from potential noises and distractions, such as a ringing doorbell, a childs room, or near a TV that could be turned on. And if you can select a room with a door, make a sign to hang on the door that asks not to be disturbed.
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How To Prepare For Virtual Video Interviews
Theres something about remote interviews that can make the interview process more daunting. For some, its the risk of technical difficulties. For others, its the inability to read full body language.
However, virtual interviews can actually be better than face-to-face meetings. For one, you dont have to travel, giving you more time to prepare and get yourself ready. Secondly, you can have some notes on your screen to help you hit some key points during your conversations.
Just like a traditional interview, a video interview is your moment to sell yourself to the interviewer and put a personality behind your amazing resume.
In fact, its what Shavon Bell, former executive recruiter at HubSpot, looks for when speaking with candidates.
I recognize it can be challenging for a senior leader to fit all of their experience into a two-page document, so don’t leave anything to be assumed during exploratory conversations or an interview, tell your story the way you want it to be told transparency is key,” she says.
Telling your story is what will set you apart from others but that’s not all. It’s also important to know the story behind the company you’re interviewing with.
For Kate Kearns, one of HubSpot’s campus recruiters,showing that you’ve done your research on the company will make you stand out.
“Take some time to make sure you are prepared to answer questions testing your knowledge of the company and role,” she says.
Dress For Success Even Remotely
Make sure that you look polished and professional at least up top. Consider a button-up shirt or blouse, and be sure to groom just as thoughtfully as you would for an in-person meeting. Not only will this help you make a great impression with your interviewer, but wearing clothes that make you feel confident will also help you get your head in the game!
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