COVID-19 has changed the way we conduct most business, including job interviews. While some companies still conduct in-person interviews, many are opting for virtual interviews. If you’re not familiar with this style of interview, the major difference is it’s done over a video conferencing tool like Zoom, Google Meet, Slack, or Microsoft Teams. Even when COVID is gone, expect these types of interviews to continue as employers continue to tap into the global workforce, rather than focus only on local candidates.
Whether you’re about to go on your first virtual interview or if your virtual interviews haven’t produced the desired results, these tips will help you.
Prepare like you would for an in-person interview.
Whether it’s in person, over the phone, or over video, you must prepare for your interview. Read the job description, research the company, and re-read your resume. Make sure you have a skill or qualification that matches each item on the job description. Visit the company’s website and read about products & services, core values, and key employees.
Be sure to read any recent press releases while you’re there. Learn about the market and industry. Make sure you know who the key players are in the industry: suppliers, customers, and competitors. Don’t forget to ensure that you’ve researched yourself. Make sure you can speak to everything on your resume. You’d be surprised how many times an item from four jobs ago sparks a conversation during an interview.
Dress for Success.
Dress how you would if you were going on an in-person interview. Dress all the way. Before you assume the interviewer won’t see down below your waist, remember that all it takes is a bump of the camera or for you to have a reason to stand up for the interviewer to see your lack of pants.
Find a place in your home that is tidy and free from distractions. If you have pets, put them in another room or get a play yard for them. If you have children, ensure that you have someone to watch them. In the event that you are a single parent and cannot find someone to watch your little ones, let the interviewers know ahead of time. While it’s illegal to not hire someone because they have a family, potential employers may wonder how you’ll be able to work when you’re unable to interview in peace.
Show up early
If the interview is 10 AM, then 10 AM is a terrible time to start booting up your laptop. Give yourself at least an hour to ensure that your operating system is not going to install an update requiring a reboot and that your equipment works properly. Test the microphone, camera, and speakers on your device by recording a short video and watching it. Technology issues happen, so don’t let them stress you out. If things become a real issue, you can ask for a reschedule.
Take Notes and Follow up
It should go without saying that you should take notes during your interview. It not only helps you remember things, but it shows the interviewer you take things seriously. Be sure to use your notes to follow up afterward the interview. When you send a thank you email, mention items discussed during your interview. If you connected well with one or more of your interviewers, strengthen that connection. If you’re both fans of a book or podcast, mention it in your follow up. Ask the person a question related to the common interest to help minimize the chance of getting ghosted.
A good follow up won’t save you from a poor interview, but it could give you an advantage if you’re in close running with another candidate.
Wrapping it up.
Virtual interviews are only slightly different from traditional in-person interviews. Just apply the above tips next time you’re across the screen from an interviewer and your results will improve.