Life during a global pandemic has brought with it a variety of adjustments, which require creativity and flexibility...and job seeking is no exception. Virtual interviews are more common than ever before, and that change is likely to outlast the effects of COVID as virtual interviews save employers money on travel accommodations and meals; they are easier to schedule and coordinate with larger groups/panels, and they often widen geographic searches and save time overall!
So how do you put your best foot forward in a virtual interview?
Our Tip: Treat and prepare for a virtual interview like you would an in-person interview!
1. "Arrive" Early
Just like an in-person interview, employers expect you to arrive on time. Do what you need to beforehand to allow yourself to log in 5-10 minutes early. You don't want to keep folks waiting even in a virtual setting.
2. Test Your Tech
There are a variety of platforms that employers use for team-based virtual communication. Make sure to give yourself enough time to test your connection, audio and video to avoid unnecessary delays! It is likely that the position will require use of this platform. So practice beforehand if you have a hard time with new technology. Also, make sure you have proper lighting and a background that is clean and free of distractions...including excessive noise and interruptions from family and pets.
3. Use Non-Verbals
A lot of communication takes place non-verbally, including body language, facial expressions and eye contact. Set up your camera so that interviewers can see you clearly. Maintain open and confident posture as you would in person. It can be hard to remember to look into the camera instead of at the folks on your screen. Be sure to make "eye contact" by looking into the camera while answering questions.
4. Dress for Success
Just because you are not in the office, doesn't mean you get a pass on interview attire. Employers expect you to dress the part even if you interview at home. We recommend wearing your full outfit (including pants) to get in a professional mindset.
Prepare the same way as you would for in-person interviews, Practice your answers to common questions, research the employer and prepare your own questions. This is still an interview after all.
A Good Rule of Thumb: Anything that you would do in an in-person interview should be done in a virtual interview, including greetings, sending Thank You notes, follow up, etc. This is your time to shine! Don't let your location change that!
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