Virtual interviews are common nowadays, and they require much of the same prep work as an in-person interview. There are also elements that are wholly unique to virtual interviews, and it is just as essential to get these right. Getting everything set up for a virtual interview can often feel daunting, as it is vital for the tech to be working properly and everything set up correctly.
It may help to do a practice interview with a trusted loved one so that you can identify any issues with your equipment or internet speed before the big interview. This can also be a great chance to see how the lighting is in your chosen interview room and whether you need to make adjustments to the background or use a filter.
You should always join a remote interview promptly, ideally two to five minutes before it starts. Logging in as early as 15 minutes before should not be necessary, but you should read through the instructions provided thoroughly to ensure you know exactly when to arrive.
Dress The Part
While it may be tempting to leave your pyjama bottoms or sweat pants on and keep the top half professional, this can be a risky option. You may need to stand at some part of the interview, revealing your casual clothes to the interviewer, who may not be overly impressed. Dressing fully in professional clothes can also put you in the right mindset to sell yourself and your skills to your interviewer.
Keep Your Background Professional
The best option for your background is neutral. This could be an empty wall or one with some non-offensive artwork adorning it. Finding the right backdrop for your interview can often be tricky, which is why you might need to use a filter. Most video conferencing platforms offer a range of filter backgrounds that help blur out anything in the background you wouldn’t want the interviewer to catch sight of. Using a neutral filter, such as a simple fade-out or blur, is best.
Check The Lighting Beforehand
Lighting can have a huge impact on how you come across in your interview. It can also cause significant glare that could impede you or your interviewer. It is best to test out the lighting you’ll use well in advance and consider keeping any blinds or curtains in the interview room closed or partially shut to prevent the weather from having an impact.
Brush Up On Your Virtual Meeting Etiquette
If you’re not overly experienced in virtual meeting etiquette, it is a good idea to review the basics to ensure you don’t make any accidental faux pas. At this point, most people are pretty well versed in the usual virtual meeting etiquette, but it doesn’t hurt to be extra prepared. Anchor AI is an expert in all things virtual meeting, making them ideal guides to help you understand your meeting etiquette.
Keep A Notebook Handy
Having something to note down important information can be invaluable. It is also best to let your interviewer know if you’re writing something down, as it may not always be apparent from the video. This will help account for any pauses that may occur as a result. You could also include some critical skills and talking points in your notebook, but you should avoid relying on this too heavily, as it may end up sounding stilted or scripted.
Test Your Technology And Internet Speed
Making sure all your equipment works is crucial – the last thing you want during your interview is for the internet to go down or your equipment to malfunction. Test the conferencing platform, your webcam and microphone thoroughly before the interview. Also, do an upload speed test of your internet to ensure it can handle the video call.
Of course, sometimes things might still go wrong despite our best efforts. If this happens to you, it is vital to remain calm. Speak professionally to the camera until you can ascertain whether the issue is on your end or theirs, and shoot off a quick email explaining the problem. You could also sign off from the interview and attempt to reconnect.
Make Eye Contact Through The Camera
One key mistake that many virtual interviewees make is to look directly at the video rather than at the camera. Looking at your camera can give the appearance of making direct eye contact, which is critical for any job interview. You may need to practice getting into the habit, or you could put a post-it note on your webcam to remind you to keep your eyes in the right place.
With any interview, it is crucial to ask questions, and virtual interviews are no different. It is a good idea to make a few notes for questions throughout the interview and come up with some before the interview takes place. Ask questions that show that you’ve engaged with the business and understand its values, practices, and goals.
As an experienced business and finance writer I understand the corporate landscape and the driving forces behind it. Over the years I’ve shared my insight and knowledge with key industry publications and dedicated my time to showing how business leaders can make their organisations more effective.