Tips for Virtual Interviews
Scheduling: Make sure you have at least 30 minutes before the interview starts to get everything situated and go over your notes. Some interviewers call five minutes early, so be prepared.
Attire: Dress the same as if you were interviewing in person (See below).
Cut out distractions:
- Choose a location that is private and quiet. Sit at a clean desk or kitchen table. Keep pets in another room to prevent unwanted noises and distractions.
- You may want to turn off or hide the image box of your own video feed. Watching yourself on screen will be distracting.
Have on-hand for reference but out of view of the camera
- Job description
- Application documents (resume, cover letter, etc.)
- Relevant, brief notes on company
- Prepared questions for the interviewer
- Paper and pen for writing notes and questions
Eye contact: Look directly at the camera when speaking so it feels like you’re making eye contact with the viewer. Also, move the interview video window to the top of your screen near your camera so you’re more likely to engage in strong eye contact.
Greeting and speaking
- When answering the call, introduce yourself (“Hello, this is [your name].”)
- After the interviewer introduces themselves, express your interest and gratitude (Hi, [interviewer’s name]. It’s nice to meet you. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today.”)
- Pause for a couple seconds before answering a question (this prevents accidentally cutting off the interviewer) and always speak slowly and enunciate clearly. Be patient if there’s a communication lag.
When experiencing a bad connection
- Let the interviewers know that you are having technical issues or that bad weather in your area may affect the connection. That way if your connection is lost, they were forewarned ahead of time.
- Offer to call back to see if that can establish a better connection. It can be better to try this and possibly have a clearer conversation than to let a poor connection make the interview more difficult.
- Have back-up plans, such as moving the interview to a mobile phone, landline or other spaces with better internet connection
Preparing your responses: A virtual interview is not the time to google information about the company or the job role. Prepare in advance as you normally would with the addition of practicing online using the platform you will be using for your interview. This includes:
- Researching the position you are applying for and the company you are applying to.
- Identifying your accomplishments, impact, skill sets and similar/related experiences to highlight how you fit the role and the company.