Have you ever asked yourself: How to prepare yourself effectively for a perfect virtual interview?
Interviewing and recruiting have always been a personal experience both for the company and for the prospect. Unless the candidate is internationally stationed or located in a far-fetched city, rarely ever are interviews preferred virtually. Of course, this excludes the exploratory telephone call that companies sometimes have with a candidate before inviting him/her for a detailed in-person interview.
With #WFH (work from home) becoming the ‘new normal’, companies are also adapting themselves to this modern style of interviewing candidates and following the do’s and don’ts in order to gain a seamless – fruitful experience. But what are the key points that the candidate should make note of before and while having this form of interview?
intap has gathered some pointers to help you confidently master virtual interview.
1. Test technology & network connection to ensure everything works smoothly
Test properly your technology set-up and make sure that you have uninterrupted internet connection and a charged laptop. If possible, test the conference tool or the software the company will use to ensure it works smoothly on your device (hint: the device should not be a cell phone).
2. Conduct a trial run with your friends or family
It is usually hard to maintain an eye-contact while doing video conferencing and this becomes even more challenging when there are more than two people on the other side of the screen. Hence, it is always a good idea to do a trial run with your friends or family and ask them their feedback on how good your eye contact was when you were talking to them.
Trust us, doing a few mock trials can make you feel prepared, confident and comfortable during the time of interview.
3. Dress professionally
Although the interviewers can´t see your full body, you should dress like you would for an in-person-interview. Appropriate attire will end up leaving a good impression on your future employer.
A great advantage of not wearing lounge wear under the table is that it will also set you in the right mental state – ready to perform.
4. Prepare a decent background to give you a professional appearance
Your background should either be empty like a plain wall or have something which goes with the theme, for instance a bookshelf. A wallpaper of an athlete or a movie star in your background will not likely to give you a professional appearance.
Also ensure that the room is clean, tidy and bright enough for you to be clearly seen by the interviewer.
5. Be careful with the hand gesture
Have you realised how your hands begin to move around you when you start to explain something?
This is a common way of expressing and communicating effectively. However, during virtual interviews too much of hand gesture might obstruct your screen presence and make your interviewer lose interest in you. This is also something your friends could give you feedback on during the mock trial.
6. Use a headphone to avoid the unnecessary distraction
No matter how clear and powerful your audio system is, never take a chance of taking an interview without using them. The unnecessary distraction of the interviewers’ voice echoing or your words reaching the interviewer incomprehensibly are unnecessary distractions that you would want to avoid.
If you have a USB microphone, don‘t hesitate to use it. The resultant/output from the usage of external microphones are often way better than built in microphones.
A good audio is more important than a good video. The interviewer will enjoy your audio quality and it‘s easier for him to follow you. That‘s just one way more to outstand your competitors.
7. Take frequent pauses and ask the interviewers if they could follow you
You might have noticed that sometimes your voice over a video-call echoes or reaches your receiver late. This happens because the internet connection is not all the time seamless and breaks for fraction of seconds and comes back before you even realise it. But this eventually leads to your voice either breaking or taking more time than expected to travel.
Hence, take enough pauses and consider asking the interviewer, from time to time, if they could follow you.
8. Keep your mobile phone on your side
What would happen if your internet suddenly gets disconnected and you find yourself unable to connect back? How do you think you would communicate immediately?
Having your mobile phone on your side can allow you to either write an instant email to your interviewer explaining the situation and requesting another date to finish it or you could even make a quick call to your contact person and do the aforementioned.
Needless to say, the mobile phone should be in silent and non-vibrant mode but adequately charged.
9. Select an undisturbed location
Select a quiet place before you begin to give your virtual interview. Unnecessary background noise and people appearing in the background may not leave a good impression on the interviewer and can be a real distraction.
10. Stay on the same page
If your profession or the interviewers require you to make a presentation during the interview, make sure that you have shared with them your presentation well in advance.
Alternatively, you should ask them about their software details so that when you make the presentation, all the cool animations and fonts look the same and you are not left surprised. Another alternative would be sharing your screen – in that case, have the presentation already opened in the background.
Preparation is the key
While you may require these pointers to master your virtual interview, it goes without saying that you need to be thoroughly prepared of the content on which you are being interviewed. Also, do not forget to negotiate on your salary – topic which we will cover in our next section.