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How To Prepare For A Virtual Interview

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How to Prepare for a Virtual Interview

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.

What To Expect From A Virtual Interview

Right off the bat, virtual interviews feature most ingredients and elements of contemporary in-person interviews. You will be competing against other potential candidates for the same position and youll be interviewed by a regular interviewing panel.

The only difference between in-person and virtual comes in the formalities and modus operandi. Unlike in the former, virtual interviews dont extend you the luxury of shaking hands or even being shown where to sit in the conference room. All you simply need to do is to click on a virtual conferencing link, drop into a video call, and youll find the interviewers waiting on the other end.

Lean On Body Language

It can be difficult to gauge whether youre getting your point across in a virtual meeting. One way to add emphasis or otherwise convey your message is to leverage your body language. Facial expressions can be used to show youre intently listening or talking with excitement. If you use your hands a lot when you speak in-person, dont retract yourself in the virtual environment. It can help give interviewers a clue as to your personality and character.

The other side of this consideration is to keep an eye on any bad body language. Never, ever slouch when youre on a virtual interview, for example. If youre surprised or puzzled by a question, try not to let that show through.

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S To Prepare For A Virtual Interview


Yesterday, I was excited to hear that one of my clients landed an interview at a company shes had her eye on for a couple of years. She was thrilled, but anxious. Shes excellent in person. Id known her for a while before she became a client, and when we first met for coffee before the pandemic, I was struck by how charismatic and poised she seemed. But sometimes, she finds that the artificial nature of screen-mediated communication hinders her ability to connect and she fumbles.

Our conversation got me thinking: how do you nail a virtual interview?

Even before Covid-19 related lockdowns sent many of us out of the office for remote work, virtual interviews were on the rise. By April 2020, 86% of interviews were being conducted virtually. While offices are slowly beginning to reopen, 74% of hiring managers found that video interviews have made their jobs easier. This fact would indicate that the era of the online interview will not come to an end when we say goodbye to Covid-19.

A lot has changed about interviewing now that were more likely to be doing it in front of our laptop screen. A lot also hasnt changed. Here is some advice for interviewing virtually, as well as some interview recommendations that apply whether youre in person, or not. These steps will ensure that you nail your virtual interview.

1. Make sure that you and your space look professional

Have Some Questions Prepared For During And After The Interview

Get Hired! 5 Ways To Successfully Prepare For A Virtual Interview

As important as it is to prepare your answers, its also crucial that you prepare some questions. Questions are a great time to prove your interest and insight. Do thorough research on the company prior to your virtual interview and come up with a few questions about the company, the role and the team you might be working in.

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Take The Video Call Where Your Wifi Is Strongest

As we mention in our home office setup guide, some houses will experience stronger WiFi in some rooms than in others.

If youre aware of how WiFi is stronger in the TV room than in the living room, choose the TV room for the interview and start your virtual interview setup there.

The reason for really being picky about WiFi is that video takes a lot of bandwidth and if your internet is a dab less than stellar, your interview may have lag or a delay, or you may even appear blurry.

If Your Headphones Are Wireless Make Sure Theyre Charged

Make sure your headphones get charged the day before or the morning before the video call.

No one wants headphones that go dead during the middle of a virtual interview!

One hack that I do for myself is whenever Im not charging my iPhone, I charge my AirPods case. When I feel like the AirPods case must be done, I plug my iPhone back in, and its a charging cycle like this.

I now have a pair of the Bowers & Wilkins PX5 On-Ear Noise-Cancelling Wireless Headphones and I must say, Im pretty pleased! On-ear headphones are new for me, so I use my AirPods as a first choice, and these for when Im in the mood .

Helpful Tip

In addition to charging headphones, make sure your laptop is charged, if youve brought it into another room and away from your charger. Or, bring your charger with you and stay plugged in during the interview, which is the optimal route.

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Use Some Hand Gestures

Often when in an online interview, only the top half of your torso can be seen so we have limited ability to use our body language. Try to use hand gestures to bring your speech to life without covering your face or mouth when speaking.

Try not to lean on your hands when not speaking, but sit up straight and place your hands in a comfortable position.

Prep For Optimal Eye Contact

How to prepare for your virtual interview at PwC

Have you ever had a conversation with someone where they seemed to be looking over your shoulder or away from you entirely? Did you feel like you connected with that person? Probably not. So while actual eye contact isnt possible in a video interview, youll want to get as close as possible. Looking at someones face is usually enough to show that youre listening and engaged with what theyre saying.

To that end, make sure youve found a comfortable distance that allows you to look straight ahead rather than down at the camera. And place the window where your interviewer will appear on the same monitor as your camera and move it as close to the camera as possiblecentered is best. That way, when you look at them, as you naturally will during your conversation, youre also looking at the camera.

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Put Your Best Foot Forward

Virtual interviews might seem like foreign territory at first, but you can overcome that anxiety by studying these tips and practicing them at your next interview.

And remember, the most important thing you can do is come prepared and be yourself, so you can find the job thats right for you.

Do you have any tips for virtual interviews? Share them in the comments below!

Follow Up With A Video Message

Its best practice to follow up after every interview. One way to differentiate yourself as a job seeker is to record a quick video message thanking the interviewers for the time and reiterating your personal value proposition and interest in the position. If you use this tactic, make sure to follow all the steps to ensure youre recording a high-quality video that will deliver the impact you desire.

These strategies and tips can help you nail your next virtual job interview. And if youre looking for a video conferencing tool to help power your job search effort, consider using Cisco Webex.

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Use Your Face To Show Youre Engaged

Nonverbal communication is important in any conversation. But when it comes to a video interview, a lot of the avenues through which we usually give nonverbal cueseye contact, body language, and small murmurs of agreementare cut off. So we have to lean more heavily on what we have left, namely facial expressions.

If youre in the room with someone, you can usually tell if theyre listening to you intently even if their face is not moving much . But everybody can look like a statue over video interview, Turner says. You shouldnt be so static that your interviewer has to wonder if youre still connected.

Short vocalizations arent the way to solve this problem here since on many common video interview platforms, only one mic can be used at once, Eonnet says. So while two people can speak simultaneously in the same room or over the phone, on a video call, your yes, definitely! can mute the other persons microphone momentarily, breaking up the flow of conversation and possibly causing you to miss key information.

Instead of saying mm-hm or yeah, nod or smile when youd usually speak. That way your interviewer still gets the feedback they need without your mic accidentally overriding theirs.

Whats Your Experience Working With Teams Across Different Time Zones

How To Prepare For A Virtual interview

If your company is international, they will want to see that you are flexible to attend meetings outside of your traditional working hours on occasion. Its fine to set boundaries here if you have them, like childcare for example, but dont be too strict.

  • I have had the privilege of working with diverse teams across a number of time zones in my previous role. In this role, we were all afforded semi-flexi hours to accommodate for childcare and time zones. We all had to be available between 11 am and 4pm every day for client meetings and team collaboration, but outside of those hours, we could work asynchronously. I have two young children so having the flexibility to work around meal times and school drop-offs was great! Being an early riser I took advantage of the flexi hour system to get in a couple of hours of work before they woke up.

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Pay Attention To How You Sound Too

People are usually concerned with how they look in a video interview and often forget to think about how they sound, Turner says. During your practice, take note of how fast you speak, how you pause, and the tone and pitch of your voiceand ask the person youre practicing with if any of these things makes it harder to hear or understand you.

For the sake of any interviewer with a bad connection, be sure to speak clearly and at a reasonable pace, but keep it natural. Just because your interview is being conducted over a computer doesnt mean you can sound like one! Since theres less body languagebased communication in a video interview, you also want the way you speak to help get across how you feel about what youre saying. Make sure you sound excited when discussing the things youre passionate about, for example.

The 7 Best Ways To Prepare For A Virtual Interview

Senior Civil Engineer | Engineer at Civil Engineering Discoveries

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.

How to prepare for a virtual interview: URL

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How Do You Stay Productive And Organised While Working Remotely

A factor like time management is very important in some companies, especially in those where time is money. Most companies have their own systems around how they manage their teams, and so they want to establish whether your systems are compatible, how flexible you are and whether you demonstrate autonomy.

  • Give specific examples of how you stay productive and organised and mention different methods that you use. You want to appear responsible yet flexible.
  • When working from home my roommates and I each have our own private working spaces so as to not distract each other. I also find I am most productive in the mornings, so I like to get up early and get a head start on the day with the most important tasks. In the afternoons I tend to spend on administrative tasks as I am less creative then. This also gives me an opportunity to organise my tasks for the following day. Most days I also do 30 minutes of yoga after lunch to keep my brain active.

What Are Virtual Interviews

How to prepare for a Virtual Interview

Virtual interviews are screenings that happen via video conferencing software such as Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting, and Google Meet. Sometimes, these interviews involve supplementary tasks such as practice assignments, online assessments, and virtual shadowing. Typically, all rounds of the virtual interview happen online, though occasionally candidates will have to travel for an in-person interview in the final rounds.

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Let The Other Person Finish Speaking

This is good life advice in general, but over video chat, jumping in with your response too soon can mute the other persons mic and cut them off entirelymaking you seem rude even if you didnt intend to be. Plus with internet lag, its not always immediately apparent whether someone is done speaking or just pausing. So once you think your interviewer is done, take a beat before you answer. If you have trouble with this, get in the habit of muting yourself while the other person is speakingthat way the action of turning the mic back on forces you to give them a little extra time to keep talking.

What To Do After A Remote Interview

The best thing to do after an interview â a remote interview included â is sending your interviewer a thank-you note for their time and help. You can send a thank you via email and should hit send within 24 hours of the interview.

In addition to saying thank you to the interviewer, take the opportunity to reiterate why you would be perfect for the role, focusing on what you can do for them and the company, and telling them again how excited you are for the potential opportunity to join their team.

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Stay Focused And Visibly Engaged

One way to show your interviewer that youre motivated and engaged is by practicing active listening. Consider nodding your head to give affirmations of understanding while they talk, and asking clarifying questions when necessary. Also, take hand-written notes! Keep a notebook nearby so that you can jot down questions or key takeaways from the interview without having to disrupt the flow of the conversation with loud typing.

Show Up A Few Minutes Early

10 Tips to Prepare for a Virtual Interview ⢠Ontario Society of ...

You wouldnt walk into the building where a 3 PM interview was being held at exactly 3 PM or even at 2:59 PM, so you shouldnt cut it so close for a video interview either. Prepare your computer by closing all extra windows and tabs. And if you have a portfolio or anything similar youd like to be able to show via screen share during your interview, make sure that its ready in an easy-to-access, but minimized, window.

Open up the program where your video interview will take place a few minutes early. Before you fully enter the meeting, a lot of the common video interview software will give you a chance to check your shot. Then, relax, says Turner. Be completely in place a few minutes early and do a few breathing exercises. That way, when you click to join the call and the interview starts, youre already ready to go.

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Rid Yourself Of Distractions

Virtual interviews come with a slew of distractions you wouldnt normally have to deal with when you travel into an employers office. Be sure to do what you can to eliminate these potential interruptions on your end prior to beginning the video call.

Turn off the TV, silence your cell phone, and close the window to muffle any honking horns or blaring sirens. While you cant plan for every distractionparticularly if you have childrenthe more prepared you can be, the better.

Pay Attention To Your Body Language

How you present yourself on camera during your video interview will automatically convey a lot about you to your interviewer. To present yourself as attentive and professional, maintain good posture by placing both of your feet on the ground and sitting up straight. Try to avoid slouching or gesticulating too much while you speak, big movements can be distracting during video interviews.

Additionally, remember that if you are looking at your interviewers face on your computer monitor then to them it will appear as though you are looking down. Instead, be sure to look into your webcam as often as possibleespecially when you are speakingto look directly at your interviewer.

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Write Out A Few Notesbut Refer To Them As Little As Possible

Because your interviewer wont be able to see everything you have on your desk , it might be tempting to have a lot of information in front of you for a video interview. But be careful. Turner recommends having only a few quick notes in front of you and glancing at them sparingly. Write down key figures and other small snippets, not whole answers. You dont want to sound like youre just reading, she says.

Meanwhile, Eonnet discourages keeping any notes in front of you at all. The best interviews are conversations and notes can become a crutch, Eonnet says. A huge reason someone decides to hire you is because they feel like you made a connection during the interview, which can be hard to do if youre distracted.

If youd like to have a few sparse notes for your interview, make sure you also have them out during your practice. Not only will this show you whether you can use them without it disrupting the flow of the conversation, the more you read them over, the less youll end up having to refer to them.

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