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How to Prepare for a Virtual Interview

Virtual interviews are a convenient way to interview with hiring managers from anywhere in the country, without the need to travel. Use this as a guideline to help you prepare for a virtual interview.

For a PDF version of this, please download here.

TECHNOLOGY

  • Ensure your internet connection is stable.
  • Load any software necessary at least 24 hours before your interview.
  • Test your computer's webcam, audio, and microphone at least 24 hours before your interview.
  • Ideally use headphones or earbuds with a built-in microphone.
  • Ideally utilize a computer or tablet. If you must use a phone, make sure it is in a holder / stable so that your image is not moving around
  • Remember to turn your phone's ringer off
  • Close any unnecessary web browser tabs and applications so that you are not distracted.

Location

  • Find a quiet, private, well-lit place, free from possible interruptions. Avoid coffee shops and communal spaces.
  • Ideally, the lighting should be behind the webcam, so that it shines on your face.
  • Avoid lighting behind you as it can create a glare for the interviewer.
  • Position your webcam so that you have a neutral background that is free from distraction.
  • Let your family or co-workers know that you are interviewing, and ensure pets are taken care of so that there are not any embarrassing interruptions.
  • Have a pen, notepad, and a copy of your resume on your desk.

INTERACTION

  • Ensure that the camera is at roughly the same level as your face.
  • Position the interviewer's window near the camera.
  • You want to look into the camera when you speak, not at the interviewer, since they will see you looking at them on their end. You do not want it to look like you are looking away, up, or down.
  • When listening, nod and smile to show you are engaged. Remember, you need to take this opportunity to connect with the interview, even though you are not meeting face-to-face.
  • Use hand gestures when appropriate. Remember that they could be off the screen, so work within the screen's space.

ATTIRE

  • Dress the same way that you would if you were meeting the interviewer face-to-face. The default attire should be suit and tie, unless the recruiting team tells you otherwise.
  • Do not cut corners; wear shoes, your belt, just like meeting face-to-face.
  • Avoid bright colors or patterns, as they can wash out via video.
  • If you wear glasses, think about the glare. If there is too much, they will not be able to see your eyes and will have less of a connection.

OVERCOMING POTENTIAL CHALLENGES DURING YOUR VIRTUAL INTERVIEW

  • Before the interview, ask the interviewer for a phone number where you can reach them if you experience technical difficulties. If the video cuts out, call them at that number. Ask if you can continue the interview by phone or if you can reschedule.
  • If noises (sirens, construction, etc.) interrupt your video interview, apologize for the interruption and ask for a few moments until the noise has subsided. You may want to mute the microphone if the noise is severe.
  • If family members, housemates, or pets enter the room while you're interviewing, apologize to the interviewer, ask for a few moments, mute your microphone and turn off your camera, and then step away to deal with the interruption. Make sure the room is secure before beginning the interview again.
  • As with any job interview, you should conclude by thanking the interviewer for their time. Send a follow-up thank you email later that day (or next day if your interview was in the evening). This message may help build a stronger connection with your potential employer and help you progress to the next step.

Podcast: Keys to Acing Your Virtual Interview

For even more tips, listen to our From the Battlefield to the Boardroom® Podcast on Keys to Acing Your Virtual Interview


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