Virtual Interview Tips Image

Virtual Interview Tips

  • Published 01 May 2020
  • By Claire

With virtual interviews becoming more and more common now due to COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to know the do’s and don’ts of these meetings. With companies becoming increasingly comfortable with this new way of working, there’s a chance they will become more popular, even when the current situation blows over.

Our expert recruiters and interviewers have put this blog together to map out what you should and shouldn’t be doing when invited to interview virtually.

1. Establish a personable rapport with the interviewer

Whilst it may be harder to make a connection with someone via a video call, it’s important to attempt to engage in polite but casual conversation to get to break the ice and get to know the interviewer. It’s also a good way for the company to gauge your cultural suitability for the business. Lucky for us, COVID-19 has become a great ice breaker, so ask the interviewer how they might be dealing with the situation and the baggage which has come as a result of it.

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2. Do a test call prior to the interview

It is possible that some technical difficulties may occur within your interview. If this is the case, make sure you remain professional at all times. Some of these issues can be prevented if you familiarise yourself with the program being used. This is a perfect excuse to give a friend or relative a call, to make sure your connection is strong and your audio and webcam work effectively.

3. Don’t be late

When attending a face to face interview, we always suggest arriving 5-10 minutes before your arranged time. Being on time is just as important when attending a virtual interview. Be prepared to dial in from 5 minutes before and be sure to enter the call on time, you don’t want to keep the interviewer/s waiting.

4. Prepare, Prepare & Rehearse

Just like any other interview, it’s essential that you prepare yourself for the meeting. Do your research on the business prior to the meeting, ensure you have a solid understanding of the role and prepare competency based interview questions relative to the role. It’s crucial that you are familiar with everything on your resume, as many interview questions will be derived from the information you share.

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5. Don’t be afraid to ask your questions

An interview should always be just as beneficial for you as a candidate, as it is for the interviewer representing the business. The initial interview is your opportunity to get a feel for the business. Make sure you write down some questions which you’d like to ask before the interview so that you don’t forget them in the heat of the moment.

Some good questions for this time might be, “how has the business structure changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?”, and “has the business or industry been impacted by the current situation?” This will not only show that you care, but also gives you some insight into what the business has become and how it may have changed, as these factors may affect you as a potential employee.

6. The setting matters

It’s important to ensure that you’re taking the call from a professional space. We suggest using a computer or laptop, rather than a phone, as it can be placed down and there is minimal movement. Make sure that your backdrop is not distracting, is tidy and professional. You want the spotlight to remain on you the whole time, not your fancy bed sheets or messy office space.

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7. Stay focussed

Taking part in virtual interviews, from home, can often lead to many distractions, which aren’t ideal to be confronted with when in an interview. Ensure that your mobile is on ‘do not disturb’ so you’re not being distracted by phone calls, emails or text messages whilst in the meeting. Where possible, try to keep young children and pets in another room, and shut the door, to avoid unsolicited or surprise visitors.

8. What should you wear for a virtual interview?

Just because this is a virtual meeting it’s not an opportunity to dress it down in your favourite sweatshirt! Ensure that you’re professionally presented (at least from your head to hips). First impressions and overall presentation is still important even though you’re not sitting in the same room.

9. Non-verbal ques

Whilst it’s always important to be mindful of what you say in an interview, it’s also possible to speak without words. Make sure that in a virtual interview, you maintain eye contact with the interviewer throughout the meeting, rather than looking at yourself. It’s also crucial that your body language suggests that you’re engaged in the meeting occurring. Non-verbal cues such as nodding and smiling shows the interviewer that you’re interested in what they’re saying.

10. Show your appreciation

It’s a nice idea to follow up with a thank you email to the interviewer/s to express your appreciation for their time. In the current climate, making any effort to connect shows effort and could leave them with a positive lasting impression.

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