Are you prepared for your next interview? How about a virtual interview using online platforms such as Zoom or Skype? There are a lot of similarities between in-person and virtual interviews, but there are also some key differences that you’ll want to keep in mind while you are preparing.
Download the necessary technology beforehand and test it out. Try it out with a family member, a friend, or the SPC Career Services team. Yes, we help with mock interviews!
Anticipate that your technology may not work. Let’s face it, there are times when technology just doesn’t want to work, and it usually seems to happen when we need it the most. You can prepare for this by supplying the interviewer with your phone number and making sure you write the interviewer’s/company’s phone number down on a piece of paper so it is easily accessible if your internet is down.
Doing this will not only help you combat your anxiousness if a technology meltdown happens but more importantly, it shows the interviewer you are prepared for the unexpected.
At an in-person interview, you are typically in a conference room or office space. Variables such as lighting, background noise, or loud employees are out of your control. With a virtual interview you can control your setting, so use it to your benefit.
Try to avoid, as much as possible, loud areas such as coffee shops or shared spaces. Too much noise is distracting. You want to be sure the interviewer can hear everything you have to say.
Put the focus on you, not your things. Find a clutter-free space to sit in front of. Busy backgrounds or messy spaces can be a distraction to the interviewer.
Appearance and Body Language
Take advantage of good lighting! Do not sit with a window behind you, as this can cause shadows and turn you into an unrecognizable silhouette. Sitting opposite a window will allow for good natural lighting.
- Dress professionally. Wear exactly what you would wear if you were meeting the employer in-person.
- Focus your eyes on the camera, not the screen. This may not feel natural, so practice beforehand.
- Sit up straight and remember to smile!
- Be early, but not too early. Logging in two to three minutes before the interview is scheduled to begin is perfect.
- Similar to an in-person interview, research the company beforehand. Having notes handy is ok, however, you do not want to rely on them.
- Don’t forget to follow up. Thank you notes are an essential piece to any interview whether it is in-person or virtual.