Congratulations, you have secured a job interview! The caveat – its a virtual interview.
Virtual interviews are becoming more common and chances are, you’ve never had one so you will naturally feel some uncertainty and nervousness about this. Here are some tips to reduce the stress about this change in format that will help you get the job!
Test your technology
Once you have agreed to a virtual interview you need to check your internet connection and confirm that your camera and microphone are working. Make sure you have installed the software required for the interview such as: Skype, Zoom, GoToMeeting, etc. On the day of your interview you will want to check all of this again and log in early. This will show that you are tech savvy and punctual. Both are traits that employers’ value.
Select a good interview space and minimize distractions
It’s important to be the focal point of the interview and be able to concentrate. For these reasons, you will want to find an interview space that has good lighting, is tidy, and one that has a reduced risk of your pets, children, or TV becoming a distraction.
This is important for both in-person and virtual interviews. A pet peeve of employers is interviewing someone who clearly has not prepared, this makes an employer feel that you are not genuinely interested in the job or their company. It also makes them feel that you do not respect their time. If you want the job – PREPARE. Research the company ahead of time and jot down notes for easy reference. Print out a copy of your resume, so that you do not forget key talking points. It is good to have answers prepared for common interview questions such as:
- Why are you interested in this role?
- What do you know about our company?
- What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?
- Tell me about a challenge at work and how you dealt with it.
You should also be prepared to answer, “Do you have any questions for me?”. Here are some good questions to ask the interviewer:
- What does a typical day in the life of this role look like?
- How would you describe the work environment and/or current team?
- Why do you like working at XYZ company?
- What are the next steps in this hiring process/when can I expect to hear back from you?
It is important to keep things simple, so preparing clear and concise answers is one of the most important things in a job interview. You will come across as more authentic if you run through your answers ahead of time so that you can answer them easily in an interview but not sound like a robot. You want to clearly illustrate why it will benefit the employer to hire you, not bore them.
Dress the part and watch your body language
You need to dress in professional attire for a virtual interview. Hoodies or tracksuits are NOT appropriate. Take the same care in your appearance as you would for an in-person interview. Pay attention to your body language and eye contact. Are you slumping or looking like you are zoning out? If so, immediately correct to an active listening posture. Remember – you do not get a second chance to make a good first impression.
Make a connection and follow up!
It is human nature to remember the people that we connect with. You want to stand out from the other people they interview and be someone the employer remembers for a GOOD reason. For example, if you discover during your research that your interviewer has a common interest to you such as soccer, you can mention this as a short aside.
And remember, a smile goes a long way. Make sure that you thank the person for the interview and reiterate your interest in the job. It is very important to also be sure to send a follow-up thank-you email within 24 hours of your interview. If you’ve had more than one interviewer, be sure to thank each one individually in separate emails. Having good manners demonstrates that you value their time and allows you to briefly re-sell yourself.
If you would like more information to help you prepare for an interview, check out our Online Resource Centre or reach out to one of our locations to speak with an Employment Coach who can further assist you in your job search. We are here to help!