6 Tips to ace your next virtual interview

Virtual job interview tips


As most people remain indoor in the wake of the Corona Pandemic, workplace day to day communication has moved from in-person to virtual. Key workplace Functions such as recruitment have moved online with recruiters using video conferencing software such as Zoom, Skype, Google hangout, Lifesize, and others to conduct the interviews. A Virtual interview is similar to face-to-face interviews but in most cases requires special considerations and adjustments due to the limited ability to read body language. So, how do you prepare for your next video interview?

  1. Do a dry run

This is practice testing the interview and the technology before the actual interview. In most cases, the interviewer communicates the platform to be used in advance. During the testing period, see to it that the audio, visual, lighting, and internet connection is functioning well to avoid technical glitches during the actual interview. It is important to conduct the test the same spot where you will conduct the interview to avoid last-minute changes which might affect the whole setup or cause delays.

2. Prepare in advance

A virtual interview is as serious and an in-person interview. Take time to adequately prepare for the best results. Carefully review your goals and qualification in relation to the job description to see why you are a good fit for the role.

Cheatsheet can come in handy during a virtual interview. You can have questions that you want to ask the interviewer ready on a different tab, or a reminder of Keypoint you don’t want to forget. Remember not to rely on cheatsheet to answer interview questions word by word. They should only act as a subtle reminder.

3. Be Professional

Your virtual identity should be as professional as your in-person identity. Starting with the platform login details, the username should be your professional names. One should also dress professionally for the interview. Consider a scenario where halfway during the interview, the computer battery starts to run low and you have to go fetch the charger, and you are dressed professionally on top and pajama bottoms. To avoid such embarrassing unforeseen scenarios, dress the part as it will also make you feel more confident.

4. Mind the Background

Beware of what is in the background that is visible to the interviewer. A clean and neat background shows you are an organized and detail-oriented person. Always create a set before the interview that is not too busy so as not to take all the attention from you during the interview process. Remember,  your background selection is a representation of who you are.

Distractions such as noise should also be handled. Notify others in the house about the interview hours, the room you will be having the interview, and respectfully request for privacy and quietness during that period.

5. Create Virtual Rapport

Seek to foster a connection between yourself and the interviewer. One way this can be achieved is by making eye contact. It is always a tall order in virtual communication as most people do not know where to focus on. Always focus on the webcam to give the making eye contact appearance. In most cases, great eye contact shows that you are confident and trustworthy.

Engaging the interviewer where appropriate in a way that the conversation is not one way builds that rapport that makes the interview interesting. At the beginning of the interview, you can engage in small talk like asking how the interviewer is fairing during this self-isolation period. Simply look for a connection point that will leave a lasting impression.

6. Mind your body Language

Given that in a virtual interview only the top part of your body is visible, make room for gestures to help strengthen the connection. With good positioning of the camera, you can use body language to complement verbal communication. Hand gestures can be used to show excitement, interest, or even engaged with what the interviewer is saying. Head nodding for affirmation, Jotting down some notes, or any other form of being actively engaged shows the interviewer you are just not frozen on the screen.

As you prepare for the virtual interview, be yourself and let your true personality shine, show the interviewer why you are the best fit for the company, and use the above tips or others to reduce the effects brought about by distance.