Virtual Interviews: How to prep and ace them

virtual interviews

Virtual Interviews: How to prep and ace them

475 321 Brenda Akinyi

Virtual hiring is set to be a new wave for most organizations in the coming times. With companies working to develop and implement strategies that allow for remote hiring, interviewing and onboarding, as a professional on the other side of the spectrum, are you prepared to ace virtual interviews?

Despite the physical absence keep in mind that with the right tools, recruiters are able to evaluate you just as well as they would during an in-person interview. It’s therefore important to prepare just as much for virtual interviews while being aware of the different challenges and opportunities they present. While you may already be familiar with the common tips on interview preparation and showing up on the d-day, in this blog we share some pro tips to help you shine in your virtual interviews.

#1. Set up your space

If you can, ensure you have a blank background to avoid distracting your interviewers. It might be helpful to move around things in your room to create a more professional environment. Minimize the clutter around you as it can be distracting both to you and those conducting the interview. Be mindful of the lighting in the room. Make sure it shows up well on video.

Just like you would go for an in-person interview, ensure you have a print out of your CV beforehand. You don’t want to be clicking through different tabs on your screen during your interview. Ensure that you are also well prepared, practice your responses to common interview questions without necessarily memorizing them to help you sound more authentic.

#2. Check your virtual interview technology

Whether or not you are familiar with the app in use(e.g. Zoom, Google Hangouts, Webex, etc.), you should need prep your technology set up so you can ensure you don’t have any mishaps on the d-day. Have a mock interview with another person to test out the sound and video and fix any glitches. Mock interviews will also help you know whether your space is right for the interview.

Practice your responses during the mock interview to get an idea of what you sound like. Your tone of voice says a lot; You want to stay calm and collected throughout. This will help you identify where you might need to make adjustments. Be sure to also mute out any desktop notifications on your computer and on your phone to avoid unnecessary interruptions during the interview.

#3. While you dress to impress…be careful not to distract

When it comes to color, it’s easy to get away with brighter tones and hues while having in-person interviews. However, it’s a tricky balance with virtual interviews as certain colors or patterns show up differently on video. When choosing what to wear, keep in mind that solid colors like grey, black, and navy blue colors show up well while whites, reds, pinks, purples and complicated patterns may appear too bright and be distracting to your interviewer.

Do consider the type of jewelry you choose to wear as well. If you must have jewelry keep it subtle as bright pieces can reflect on camera. For the ladies, pay attention to your make up as well. Much as it will not show on video as much as it would in person, you want to keep it neutral.

#4. Non-verbal cues matter during virtual interviews too

When you sit down for your interview, ensure that your head, neck, and shoulders are visible. Mind your posture, as a slouchy position may imply a lack of interest or that you are a timid person. Fidgeting too much can also reflect poorly on your confidence so be sure to keep this in check. Another thing to pay close attention to is gesturing. While sometimes gesturing can help you emphasize a point, too much of it tends to be distracting.

Remember to mirror your audience as this helps you build rapport by making them feel that there is something they like about you. This can include anything from their posture, gestures, sitting position, tone of voice and talking pace. One thing to note though, avoid mirroring any negative body language as this will just give off negative vibes.

After your interview, don’t forget to seal the deal. You should be as courteous after the interview as you were during the recruitment process. This may help you stay top of mind and give you an opportunity to clarify anything you might have missed out on.

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