12 tips for a successful virtual job interview in the new normal

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12 tips for a successful virtual job interview in the new normal

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“An important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” – Arthur Ashe

Covid 19 has changed the way organizations work around the world. With the work-from-home culture, virtual interviews have become a reality.

The virtual interview is conducted remotely using technology. The interview is conducted over the phone or via video conferencing platforms. Virtual interviews are intimidating as you have to deal with technical issues and background noise.

Here are 12 tips for a successful virtual job interview in the new normal. Look!

1. Test the technology beforehand

You can’t be careless during a virtual interview. Before the virtual interview begins, make sure your technology is set up properly and working smoothly. Download video conferencing software to your system – (Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams or Google Meet). Check your camera and make sure your laptop’s microphone is on and working properly. Also check that you have uninterrupted internet connection and power. Learn the basics – especially how to mute and unmute your microphone. An important tip for a virtual interview is to test the technology to make sure you are ready to handle the interview.

2. Determine the ideal interview location

Choose a secluded, private place in your house where there are minimal distractions and optimal lighting, preferably near a window. Do not sit facing a window as this will cause an echo. Also, avoid rooms with a lot of glass. Frame your head and shoulders in the shot against a neutral background so the interviewer focuses on you and not your surroundings. A blank wall or room without many distractions or decorations as a background will ensure that you are the focal point of the conversation.

Place your laptop at a distance on a table, not on your lap. Turn off your phone, pause notifications on your computer, and silence any other electronic device that might make noise. Also, inform your family about the interview in advance to avoid anxiety during the interview.

3. Join the scheduled meetings early

One tip for a virtual interview is to join the meeting ahead of time and check that the technology is working smoothly. Familiarize yourself with the software you’ll be using. You don’t know how to use technology effectively in the virtual interview process can undermine even the most qualified candidate.

4. Preparation is key

From making sure your technology is running smoothly to researching the company, preparation is the key to success. Prepare for the interview in advance so that you can confidently answer all the questions. Prepare the same way you would for an in-person interview. Research the company and the role and write down relevant reference points. Keep a copy of your resume to make sure you don’t miss any key points. But look sparingly at the notes, as you don’t want to give the impression that you’re reading. The more prepared you are, the more fluent your conversation will be during the interview.

5. Wear formal attire

Dress the same as you would for a face-to-face interview to look professional. This will help you look confident and prepared. It will also show your respect for the company, the occasion and the interviewer. Dressing professionally will also show that you are serious about the position. Wear business casual clothes. Both men and women are advised to wear a button down shirt and blazer.

According to research – people feel “most authoritative, trustworthy and competent when wearing formal business attire”. Also, don’t wear flashy accessories, as this will distract the hiring manager from your experience. You should be the focus of the interview, not your wardrobe.

6. Use headphones

Latencies and outages in the Internet connection can create echoes or other types of audio disturbances that can ruin a video interview. Use headphones to reduce echoes and sounds. If the person on the other end can’t hear you clearly, it won’t make a great first impression.

7. Make a good impression with your appearance

Dress casually in business attire to look sophisticated and professional. Pay attention to your appearance as you would in a face-to-face interview. Keep your hair neatly styled. Women should keep their hair tied back, wear minimal makeup and avoid wearing flashy jewelry. Keep your nails clean and trimmed. Grooming is one of the main virtual interview tips to make you stand out.

8. Use professional body language

Since this is not an in-person interview, using proper body language is important to create a positive first impression. For example, if you are asked an unexpected question, stay calm and take time to gather your thoughts before answering the question. Exude confidence by sitting up straight, smiling and holding the camera at eye level.

Research shows that employers are more likely to remember what you said if you maintain eye contact. Also, eye contact helps foster a sense of genuine connection and attention.

9. Look straight up into the camera

Look straight up into the camera while communicating, not at the hiring manager. Don’t sit too close or too far from your system. Your lens on your device should be exactly at your eye level (not above or below).

10. Pay attention to how you sound

Speak clearly and at a reasonable pace, but be natural. Talk into the camera. Show your enthusiasm while discussing the things that excite you. Try to keep your answers simple, short and to the point. Avoid monologues. Listen and respond actively to create an indelible first impression, this is one of the main virtual interview tips to follow.

11. Be authentic

Be authentic and calm. Also, be expressive while answering questions. Use proper body language and facial expressions to impress the interviewer. Show them why they should choose you over other candidates and how you are the perfect fit for your organization.

12. Tracking

After the interview is over, send a follow-up email at an appropriate time. It is good practice to send an email within 24 hours of the interview. Thank the interviewer in your email and let them know you are available if they have any questions. This is also an opportunity for you to ask any additional questions you may have and share other relevant information.

Follow these virtual interview tips to ace your next interview!

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