How to Prepare for a Virtual Job Interview

How to Prepare for a Virtual Job Interview

Virtual job interviews have become the way to go since the pandemic; they are becoming more popular than traditional job interviews. According to Forbes, from a recent interview conducted by Indeed, 82% of employers surveyed use virtual interviews, and 93% of employers plan to continue using them.

This means that virtual interviews are going to become an indispensable part of your career journey, so we have to give it our best shot. In virtual interviews, the first impression seems to matter more than in traditional interviews. This could be because there are about a zillion other people waiting to take your place once a mistake is made. Another could be the fact that virtual interviews in the first place save time and resources thereby increasing the chances of being eliminated once it seems that you are not the best choice for resource management.

The strange thing however is that it also seems that people take virtual job interviews more casually than they take traditional job interviews. Now think about it, the tools you use for a job interview are probably used for other activities; like seeing movies, surfing social media, playing games and doing so many other informal and casual activities.Because these are the things you do with your laptop on a regular day It makes sense then that our minds do not see any other thing done with these same tools as more than casual thus we are generally much more relaxed, adding to the fact that we may be sitting for this virtual job interview in our kitchen!

Nevertheless, below are some tips to help you ace your virtual job interviews;

1. Research:

This probably comes naturally to you already. You must learn about the company you are intending to work with. Research the company’s values, goals, and even its competition. Never assume that you know enough to get by thinking that after all, it’s just a virtual interview; that is the very pit not to fall into. Most times you would be asked questions regarding the company, be sure that you can answer those.

Usually, when we have a genuine interest in working for a company, we would be motivated to research the company because we are excited. However, if you find that you are not interested or motivated to know much about the company, the best advice is to let that company go. Your lack of drive will not help your job interview much.

2. Technical Setup:

Never decide to log in a minute to your interview time. Never do that. I am speaking from personal experience here. Every time I have decided to log in at just the time the event or interview is scheduled to begin, something always hinders me. I always end up at least 5 minutes late, (talk about bad first impressions). I don’t know why this keeps on happening to me, but that has been my experience and I hope that you learn from it.

Ensure that everything that you need for the interview is ready; microphone, camera, internet connection, laptop battery etc.

Let me give you a tip here; if you are used to procrastinating in real-time activities and meetings, you are very likely to be late for your virtual job interview, so guard against it and be in a few minutes before the job interview begins.

3. Environment:

While most people would only advise you to choose a quiet, well-lit space with a neutral background, I would say, add a formal and official tone to this environment, even if it is inside your kitchen.

This is for your sake and not for the interviewer’s sake. Have you noticed that you always respond to your environment subconsciously? When you enter a very quiet place, naturally even if you are a noise maker, you adapt. When you come into an expensively furnished space, you also adapt, by acting in a way that befits your environment.

When you make the environment for your virtual job interview formal or official, whatever that means to you, you are more likely to act the part.

If your definition of formal is a bookcase in your kitchen space for your job interview, bring it in. If it means the very quiet study of your girlfriend, go there. How seriously you take the interview or how much effort you put in will be passed across to the interviewer, which will then be translated as how seriously you take the company and thus will take your job in the future; since the first impression is even more important here, do your best.

4. Dress Professionally:

You see, after this virtual job interview, after you get the job, you may never physically appear at your workplace. Your employer may have no physical space for the job, it may be entirely online, however, don’t let this deceive you into being sloppy with your dressing, thinking that it does not matter. In this new age of virtual job interviews, the way you dress for the occasion is becoming a symbol and a pointer to something else that is not the way you dress for work.

Now, your dressing symbolizes how much you respect the time and presence of the interviewer. It gives clues to what your personality is like, it tells a lot about your self-esteem. If your hair is out of place when you are attending a virtual job interview from an environment that is under your control, the interviewer will think “How organized will she be with our tasks if she can’t get her hair done in her own home?”

Know that the excuses that your employer would have made for your errors in a traditional job interview have become greatly minimized by the fact that you are in control of your environment in a virtual job interview. It seems that they don’t think you have a right to be nervous at all, after all, you are seated in your sitting room or kitchen (who knows!).

5. Video Virtual Interviews:

How do you feel sitting behind that black hole of a camera? That is another issue that people do not talk about much but which is of great concern. It is not easy to sit behind a camera and speak to it since you cannot see the person or persons on the other end, especially when you have something on the line, like a prospective job!

Some tips for that black hole are here;

  • First, your body language must be more restrained since the camera can magnify things. Move your hands minimally, not as much as you would in real-time to be on the safe side.
  • Secondly, the camera must be roughly at eye level, if it’s too high you run the risk of looking too small and if it’s too low, people would have to look up to your nose and now you look proud, you don’t want that.
  • Thirdly, because we are all going digital, the advice about maintaining eye contact does not carry as much weight here. People are already used to not making eye contact on camera, however, if you have an important message to deliver, it’s worth looking directly at the camera and imagining the people behind it. But if you can pull it off, look into your camera all the way. If you are not used to this, remember to practise, practise and practise.
  • Finally, in virtual job interviews, it is also a good idea that you switch yourself off the camera so that you can pay attention to the people at the other end of the camera.

6. Practice:

Have a faux interview with your beautiful self over the mirror or with a girlfriend or even your spouse. Apart from the fact that it would make you feel more comfortable and relaxed, it will also reveal to you the gaps in your knowledge about the company and the interview. You will suddenly discover information that you should have but don’t. You will also discover questions to ask your interviewer; as you know, you should prepare a list of questions for them, you ask questions about things you value and deem important.

Just the same way that teaching someone something new that you have learnt makes you see what you still don’t know about the subject, having a faux interview makes you see what you do not know but should.

7. Finally, do not forget to follow up with a thank-you email after the interview.

Here, you will express your interest in the job again and send your appreciation for the time of the interviewer. Remember that it is called a first impression because you only have one chance to make it.

Remember also that you will only get to the point of an interview if you have done a good job with your resume. Go along now and ace all your virtual job interviews, looking for more tips on interviews and resumes? head over here.

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