Virtual Interview Tips
We’ve all heard countless pieces of advice on how to make a good impression during a job interview. It is certainly important to show up on time, freshly groomed, appropriately dressed, and ready to impress. Equally important is smiling, not interrupting, providing thoughtful answers, and maintaining good eye contact. In addition, we must not forget critical elements for success like researching the company, giving a firm handshake, keeping mobile devices stored away and of course, following up with a time-honored staple, the thank you note.
But you aren’t driving to your potential new employer and going in for a traditional interview. You’ve applied for a virtual position and thus will be participating in a virtual interview. Well, this presents an entirely different scenario now, doesn’t it? How do you make a great impression virtually? Follow these tips to ace your virtual interview.
Show up on time – this is the highlight of your day. You will most likely have a scheduled interview time. Be sure you are clear on whether you will be making the phone call yourself, or if the interviewer will be calling you. Then, be on time. Either place the call at the appropriate time, or be waiting (in a quiet, distraction-free location) for the interviewer to dial you. Make sure you have set aside enough time for the call, an hour would probably suffice.
Undivided attention – much appreciated. You’d be surprised, but recruiters have recounted that they have conducted interviewers with job seekers that have been driving, and even asking the interviewer to wait while they placed an order at a drive thru restaurant. This is not the best way to express your interest in a position! Also, you wouldn’t bring a friend or a child to a traditional job interview with you, so don’t have them present during your virtual interview. Set yourself up for success by being fully engaged for the duration of the interview.
Smile – yes, it shines through during your conversation. If you happen to be utilizing a webcam for your interview, then naturally you’d think to smile. However, many virtual interviews take place simply over a telephone. Believe it or not, the person on the other end of the phone will be able to “hear” the smile in your voice. It is also helpful to stand up while you speak, as you will come across sounding more confident.
Be prepared – Have your resume in front of you. This tip was relayed directly from a recruiter. You need to be prepared to answer questions pertaining to your work history, job movement, and reasons you left previous employers. It’s probably been some time since you sat down and worked up your resume, so having it in front of you will refresh your memory. You want to ensure what you are saying matches what the interviewer is seeing.
Follow up – equally important. Just as you would with a traditional interview, please follow up with your interviewer. This can be accomplished with a simple email. And on the topic of email, your interviewer will very likely use this as a tool to correspond with you. So, keep an eye out for follow up emails! Oftentimes potential employers will be forwarding assessments, requests for additional information, etc. to you. You’d be surprised how often important emails are filtered by your computer’s virus protection program and sent to spam or junk folders. Please be vigilant and check your email, as well as your voice mail, several times per day. Timely communication is key, please stay alert.
Job seeking and interviewing can be very stressful. You’ve taken the time to find a virtual position that you are interested in, have applied, and landed an interview. Give your virtual interview the same importance as you would a traditional interview. Do your homework, be prepared, review these tips and blow them away! And don’t forget to smile.