How to Prepare For a Virtual Job Interview

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virtual interview tips

How to Prepare For a Virtual Job Interview

Do you have an upcoming interview? If you do, it’s likely to be a virtual job interview. While the questions may be the same as in-person interviews, the preparation is very different. To help you out we’ve outlined exactly what you need to do in order to be fully prepared for your next virtual interview.

Practice Makes Perfect

After you’ve read this entire article and fully prepared yourself for your upcoming video virtual job interview, grab a friend or relative who doesn’t live with you and set up a mock video interview. Another option is to work with one of our coaches on your mock interviews.

Research common interview questions and questions that are specific for your field and role  and provide those questions to your mock interviewer. Develop a few special narratives to describe a win or two you’ve had and a time you’ve faced a challenge and prevailed so you can share these during the interview.

 Tip: Don’t be robotic. Try to be engaging and display empathy. This is especially important during Zoom interviews where you will want to show a bit more energy than you might normally. Do your research (See tip No 4) and try to ask your own questions. Demonstrate to your interviewer that you’ll be an asset to the team. Ask questions about management style or anything else you think will generate positive conversation. Emphasize your willingness, even desire, to learn new things and take on new challenges. Bring your character to the interview.

Test Your Tech

In advance of your virtual job interview, test out the tech you’ll be using during your interview:

  • A fast, reliable, internet connection (Test your internet speed using a site like Speedtest)
  • Headphones in good working condition
  • Video conferencing installed (Check with your interviewer to ensure you have the right tool)
  • Camera working

virtual interview attireDress To Impress

While pajamas might be the current fashion trend, they do not belong in a virtual job interview setting. This is important for a couple of reasons:

Reason #1: You want to come off as a professional. If you do get the job, you’ll likely be attending many virtual meetings with colleagues, leadership, and even clients/customers. How you show up for your meeting indicates how you will show up for virtual meetings as an employee.

Reason #2: Studies have shown that dressing up makes people feel and seem more powerful and impacts their thinking and speech.

Tip:  If you need to conserve funds, you can rent or borrow appropriate

outfits, if you’re not a fashionista!

Do Your Research

Research the person interviewing you, the company, and the role you are interviewing you for. You’ll want to be ready to answer any common interview questions without needing to use the internet.

We also advise our clients to prepare themselves for dealing with potentially illegal interview questions. Being asked these types of questions during an interview can easily throw off even the most seasoned professionals. Being prepared will help you handle these questions with ease.

Tip: Most companies provide a wealth of information online, which is available to the public. Take it a step further look at the field as a whole. But an underappreciated source is the annual report and prospectus of any major corporation also available to the public.

Reduce Distractions

Don’t set up at a coffee shop for your virtual job interview. You’ll want to choose a quiet place.

Not only do you want to wear professional attire, be sure your surroundings look professional as well. No clutter, well lit, camera positioned correctly. Don’t let the interviewer be distracted by what you’re wearing or your surroundings. The background is distraction-free, clean, and in a functional space in your home or wherever you’re taking the interview from.

Tip: This is another situation where you create your environment. If you’re not happy with your own space, find another, even if it costs you some, depending on the type of interview. Remember, silence your phone, and turn off all notifications on your laptop (or wherever you are taking the interview from.)

Body Language Matter (A Lot )

Your body language and the body language of the interviewer are important.

  • Don’t interrupt and watch for cues.
  • Be sure to look into the webcam.
  • Avoid fidgeting or moving around too much.
  • Don’t be afraid to subtly copy their level of energy or the volume and tone of their voice.

Tip: Practice the above tips in front of a mirror. You can also do some research on positive body language. Pay particular attention to displaying a confident and calm demeanor. This is something that can be learned and practiced.

Be Authentic & Engaging

It’s okay to be yourself! Otherwise, you may appear to lack confidence. At the same time, maintain a professional image. Smile, make appropriate eye contact and try to connect on a personal level. Having done your homework will pay dividends here.

Tip: Take notes during your virtual job interview. It will show you are engaged and can come in handy for future questions or follow-up.  Never read from notes. It never hurts to appear prepared. Above all don’t forget to listen and pay attention to the body language of the interviewer.

Follow Up After the Virtual Job Interview

Immediately after your interview(s), reach out to the interviewer by email to show how much you want the role and thank them for their time. Use the notes you took during your interview to show you were paying attention and care about what the interviewer had to say.

Tip: Whatever you do, keep it brief and professional.

Interviews, whether in-person or virtual, can be overwhelmingly stressful and sometimes scary. Being prepared will help ease your virtual job interview anxiety so you can focus on showcasing why you’re the perfect person for the job. Whatever you do, don’t let the fear of rejection hold you back. And, remember, practice makes perfect.

If you want discuss virtual job interview preparation further,  our award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer complimentary 25-minute phone sessions.