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Virtual Interview Tips and Tricks

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

During this time of social distancing, virtual interviews are becoming the preferred method of interviewing for both employers and job seekers. A convenient way to interview with hiring managers from anywhere in the country, without the need to travel, virtual interviews save time, money and provide a more personal interview experience when an in-person interview is not an option.

Navigating how to successfully interview with a prospective employer using a virtual platform may be a challenge for some job seekers.  With that in mind, we’ve compiled a few tips and tricks to help your virtual interview run as smoothly as possible. Follow these guidelines below, and your virtual interview will be a success!

Before the interview:

  • 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.

  • Remember to turn your phone's ringer off.

  • Close any unnecessary web browser tabs and applications so that you are not distracted.

  • Find a quiet, private, well-lit place, free from possible interruptions.

  • 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.

During the interview:

  • Ensure that the camera is at roughly the same level as your face.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Overcoming challenges that arise when interviewing:

  • 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.

  • Remember the viral video of “BBC Dad”?  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.

In addition, watch Orion Recruiter and Training Program Manager Mike Wood offer some practical virtual interview tips in the video below:

View a comprehensive list of virtual interview resources here, and download a PDF of our virtual interview tips to have on hand when navigating your own virtual interview.

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