How To Prepare For Virtual Interviews
Best practices for virtual interviews include the same methods of preparation as any form of interview.
You should conduct thorough research on the hiring organization be sure you understand its industry, and are aware of its objectives, culture and values.
You should also be familiar with the specifics of the post for which you are applying and prepare for any role-related questions you think you may be asked, as well as rehearsing answers for general competency-based questions.
For a virtual interview, its important to plan your time accordingly and be ready and waiting to join the call.
If the hiring panel has set up the interview, there will likely be a virtual waiting room for you to join before the interview.
You need to log in a few minutes in advance and wait for the meeting host to let you in.
Try to join a few minutes early to ensure you are on time for your interview.
It is the video interview equivalent of being punctual.
It can be tempting to leave it until the last minute since theres no travel involved but, ideally, you should clear your schedule at least an hour beforehand to focus your mind on the task at hand.
Use the time to go over your research notes, reread the job description and remind yourself of your initial application. This should get you fully focused and interview-ready.
An underrated advantage of video interviews over face-to-face interviews is that you can have your pre-interview preparation notes to hand.
Zoom Interviews Top 10 Tips
The Two Types Of Video Interviews
Also known as one-way or on-demand interviews
Unlike live video interviews, pre-recorded interviews are new to some job applicants. During these online interviews, you can expect to read interview questions and record your answers to the questions. One or more people from the hiring team will review your responses at a later time.
Dont worry: after reading or watching each interview question, youll have a few seconds to think. Only then will a recording begin so you can respond.
What Is Your Dream Job
This question trips a lot of people up because usually your dream job isnt exactly the job youre interviewing for .
So are you supposed to say that this job is your dream job? No! you dont have to lie.
Heres what to do: Instead of saying a job title in your answer, just DESCRIBE what your dream job looks like.
Talk about what qualities would make a job exciting to you. And make sure youre tailoring your answer to what this company offers! Again, you dont have to lie just think about making sure your answer isnt opposite to what this job involves.
So heres the process in bullet points:
- Never use a specific job title. Use words that describe what your dream job would look like.
- Choose at least two phrases or words, and pick things related to the job youre interviewing for.
- Finish by showing the interviewer that you did some research about them, and explain why youre interested in their job.
Example: My dream job would be a combination of creating products that are making a difference in the world and getting a chance to share them with as many people as possible. I was excited about this position because I read that millions of people use your companys products each day and it seems like the work youre doing is having a big impact worldwide.
You May Like: Best System Design Interview Prep
How Should You Dress For A Video Interview
Conduct a video interview with the same level of professionalism and importance as you would a face-to-face interview. Its important you look your best by being appropriately dressed and groomed. Avoid large plaids, stripes and busy prints, which may be overemphasized on the screen. The interviewer will be looking for things like the neatness of your clothing and how you carry yourself during the video conference call.
Thinking You Can Googleyour Way To Success
For a videointerview, youll use a computer, tablet, or smartphone to connect. This meansa powerful hunk of technology is within grabbing distance. If you get stumpedby a question, you might be tempted to hop online and look for an answer.
Similarly,you might think you can get a leg up by writing out answers to various regularor behavioralinterview questions. Then, you can just read them off when one comesup.
Sure, this might seem like a guaranteed path toward success, but it isnt. In most cases, youll get caught.
Because the hiring manager can see you and will probably notice when your attention keeps flickering around the screen, or your hands are suddenly clicking on keys.
Even if you try to be stealthy and mute your mic or fake a video feed issue to get that extra moment, thatll come across as suspicious, including if you only do it once. Hiring managers are no dummies. Theyve seen these tricks before.
Resisttemptation and dont try to use a computer or another device for an advantage.If you prepare properly for your interview, youll be fine. Resorting tosubterfuge just isnt necessary, and it could actually cause you to lose out ona job if you get caught.
Recommended Reading: Interview Attire Women
Choosing A Webcam Placing And Lighting
There are two main things to consider here: what webcam you use and how you use it.
These are both important because they will determine how youll be able to present yourself. A clear, sharp, well-positioned image will make you look professional and presentable.
The webcam you use will largely be determined by your budget and preference. If possible, an external webcam thats a price-point above the cheapest would be good. If you have a very up-to-date laptop, the inbuilt webcam will probably suffice too.
If youre looking to buy an external webcam, then youll get great value out of the Logitech C900 series , but there are plenty of other brands such as Creative. Do some googling, read some reviews and figure out which you might like best.
Do not use a tablet or phone camera if you can avoid it.
When deciding where to place your camera, bear in mind that the webcam should be looking slightly down towards you. A low placement looking upwards is never flattering. Try and make sure the camera is positioned a little above your eye level.
Its also important to practice talking into the camera instead of looking directly at the on-screen image of the interviewer. Virtual eye contact is a difficult skill to master, but if you can achieve it, youll make a much better impression.
Top 10 Software For Video Interviews
To make a complicated situation easier on your team, weve identified ten of the best software for video interviews. Weve also included software ratings from reliable sources, such as the world’s largest B2B marketplace, G2 and software comparison site, Capterra. Note: All reviews are on a scale of five.
Also Check: System Design Interview Prep
Why Are Video Interviewsused
There are plenty of situations where video interviews are helpful. For example, companies can use them to interview candidates who live in other parts of the state, country, or planet. It can also allow hiring managers who travel for their work to meet with candidates regardless of where they end up.
Today, videointerviews are standing in for in-person meetings more often. Concerns aboutthe coronavirus and some mandatory shelter-in-place orders mean people arentgetting together like they once did. With a video interview, a hiring managercan screen candidates even during these uncertain times.
Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years
There is no perfect answer to this question because responses will vary depending on the industry and the individual. A recruiter or hiring manager simply wants to find out how well you plan ahead and if your goals match those of the company. Its important, though, to avoid saying anything that makes you seem abrasive, short-term minded, or lacking in goals.
Also Check: Questions To Ask A Cfo
Tell Me About Yourself
Dont answer this question by rambling on about your hobbies and your pets. Use this as another opportunity to direct the recruiter or hiring managers attention to your skills and accomplishment to really impress them. Talk about what interests you about the industry and what you hope to bring to their organization.
Highlight Your Company Culture
Candidates cant experience your company culture firsthand during a video interview, so make it a point to highlight your culture throughout the conversation. Emphasize your core values and company mission, share stories about team outings, and talk about how your office is structured and the intention behind it.
Paint a clear picture of what its like to work at your company. Above all, infuse your culture into the interview by embodying your core values and treating the candidate as you would a colleague.
Also Check: Interview Questions To Ask A Cfo
Eliminate All Technical Hitches
Sorry, I just cant get the webcam working! the words an interviewer least wants to hear. Test your equipment in advance to avoid the kind of embarrassment that could throw you off balance. If possible, do a trial run with the exact application youll use in the interview if its a Skype interview, set up a Skype call with a friend. This is less easy to do if the call comes via the companys web conferencing software youll just have to make sure your camera and mic work in other applications and keep your fingers crossed.
A decent internet connection is also vital. Organise a backup location at a friends place in case your broadband has a bad day.
Want a practice run? Take Bright Network’s free video interview practice assessment.
What Are Your Greatest Strengths
This is your chance to brag about yourself, but you need to do it the right way if you want your answer to impress the hiring manager. And dont worry if you HATE bragging about yourself, Ill walk you through it
Heres what to do:
First, know what youre going to say ahead of time.
Do NOT just go in and wing it. Even preparing a half-decent answer will be better than making it up on the spot. This is one of those typical interview questions that you need to prepare for ahead of time.
And keep your answer to one or two strengths. Itll make the next steps easier and reduce the chance of you making a mistake.
Always tailor your answer for the job.
Make sure you choose strengths that fit with what youll be doing in this job.
If the job involves working with customers and cooperating with a large team, why are they going to hire you if you say your greatest strength is working alone?
So look at the job description and take five minutes to figure out what the company needs before deciding which strengths youll share.
Then give PROOF:
Most job seekers dont know this: giving a detailed example with stats and facts is 10-20 times more powerful than just saying you have experience with something.
So for your strengths, be sure to mention some facts and examples to back up your claim. Include specific numbers if you can.
Recommended Reading: Questions To Ask Cfo In Interview
During The Video Interview
Make sure the table and your surroundings are clean and neat. You don’t want to distract the interviewer. If you’re interviewing in your home, make sure that you are in a quiet space with no barking dogs, children, music, or other sounds.
As well, turn off your phone and any alerts on your computer to avoid getting thrown off by emails or instant messages during the interview. The microphone will pick up any noise in the room, so don’t tap your pen or shuffle papers.
Make eye contact, and remember, that means looking at the camera .
Use the same good posture you would use during an in-person interview. Avoid making a lot of hand gestureseven with a great Internet connection, there can be lag time, and hand gestures can stutter on the screen.
Make A Great First Impression
One of the best video interview tips we can give you is to have smart answers at the ready. Its time to focus on what youre going to say to win over a potential employer. Need some help preparing smart answers? Join Monster for free today. As a member, youll get interview insights, career advice, and job search tips sent directly to your inbox. Youll learn how to answer questionseverything from why you want the job to what your weaknesses arein such a way that your skills and value shine through, even if youre a hundred miles away.
Recommended Reading: Preparing For System Design Interview
Forget About Your Hair
Its easy to forget about your hair when theres so much focus on your outfit. However, its essential to make sure that your hair is well-groomed. You can style it in any way that is comfortable for you, as long as its kept out of your face.
Without the stress of locating and getting to your interview destination, you have more time to focus on your interview outfit and on-camera presentation. By following these tips, youll be ready to impress the hiring manager and shine in your next Skype interview.
Do you have any other questions about your interview outfit? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Be Considerate And Compassionate
Give your candidate the respect they deserve by minimizing background noises and distractions. However, life happens especially at home and there may be interruptions. Before diving in, take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate the candidates flexibility in moving the interview to a video conference and ask them for their patience if things pop up. Additionally, dont fault candidates if the same happens from their end.
Recommended Reading: Questions To Ask A Cfo In An Interview
Understanding The Types Of Video Interviews
Even though video interviews are generally the same, there are some differences.
Typically, video interviews will either be live communication with a recruiter or a set of pre-recorded questions to answer.
- Live Video Interviews
Live video interviews are typical interview sessions done between you and a recruiter in real-time, just like a regular interview.
What makes these interviews unique is the video technology used in each session. In most cases, we are talking about communication software such as Skype, Google, Hangout, Zoom, Blue Jeans, etc and video hardware, including a camera and microphone.
When it comes to the above-mentioned software, things are pretty straightforward since, in most cases, the interviewer will either send you a link or call your user-id / screen name.
PRO TIP: Be careful to clean up your Skype account and privacy settings if youre going to use it with potential employers .
If you have never used any of this software before, the first thing you should do is ask the recruiter which one will be used in order to prepare properly.
Once you have that information, visit the official tool website and follow their installation instructions to ensure you have everything ready.
One of the most popular video interview software is Skype. You can
Alternatively, the company could use a system that does live interviews but also acts as an internal candidate tracking/screening tool .
We will cover cameras and microphones in detail later on.
Benefits Of Video Interviews For Candidates
- If done well, a video interview allows candidates to defend their resume and go into more detail.
- Candidates who may not have a strong resume are able to showcase their skills and make a case for why they are the right person fro the job.
- Candidates dont have to travel until they are certain they are one of the final candidates.
- Candidates are able to interview outside of normal work hours to not jeopardize their current position.
- They can interview from their home, from vacation or wherever they are located!
- The video interviewing tool gives the candidate a chance to meet a handful of people at one time and get a better idea of the team personality.
Recommended Reading: What Should Females Wear To A Job Interview
Project A Confident Tone And Body Language
You never really know how you come across on-screen until you record yourself talking and watch the results. Yes, it can be painful. But it gives you a chance to practise and reveals any unfortunate habits.
If there are questions you know to expect, practise them specifically. Deliver your answer directly to the camera, watch the result, and adjust as necessary for next time.
Expand Your Talent Pool
Having a growing talent pool is an essential resource for recruiters and staffing professionals. Building and tending to an internal database of candidates ensures quality talent is readily available when its time to fill a new position. With video interviews, if a candidate doesnt work out for one client, youll still have their video interview on file for a future job order.
Read Also: Prepare For System Design Interview
What Is A Pre
Unlike a live video interview, a pre-recorded video interview does not require interviewer and interviewee to meet at a pre-determined time. Instead, the interviewer sends a unique link to candidates inviting them to complete their virtual interview whenever works best . During the pre-recorded video interview, job applicants are asked a series of interview questions . They follow simple instructions to record their responses to the questions. Recruiters and hiring professionals can then watch, score and compare the recorded video interviews whenever theyd like. The video responses can be easily shared with other decision makers involved in the hiring process, who can also review them when time allows. No wonder they are so popular!
Video Interview Guide: Tips For A Successful Interview
When interviewing virtually, find a quiet space with little distractions. Notify any people in your home when and where youll be interviewing so they know not to bother you.
Make sure your light source comes from behind your computer and your background is not distracting.
Log in 15-20 minutes before your interview to ensure your audio and video are functioning properly.
Be confident, smile, make eye contact and actively listen to your interviewer throughout.
Video job interviews are an increasingly common part of the hiring process. These interviews can take several forms. If you have one coming up, its a good idea to familiarize yourself with all the variables so you can be prepared. In this guide, well walk you through the types of video interviews, what you should wear, and helpful tips on body language and eye contact.
Before we get into the specifics, take note that the content of a video job interview can be similar to in-person or phone interviews. As a result, the following will also be useful to you as you prepare:
Recommended Reading: What To Wear For An Interview Women