8 Quick Tips to Ace Your Next Virtual Interview and Land the Job
One of the most nerve-wracking experiences a professional can go through is a job interview.
First impressions, hitting the right notes, and being confident enough to land the job are just some of the points you worry about. But, when the world evolved due to COVID, physical interviews became obsolete for many companies.
Employers turned to the digital realm and used video calls to hold job interviews. And with many companies remaining remote, either temporarily or permanently, interviews like this are still common.
Some may think that a virtual job interview creates a more comfortable environment for the applicant since they are probably in a familiar space and don’t need to worry about traveling to an unfamiliar office. However, you may still feel the butterflies in your tummy even with the space provided by a virtual interview.
To break the tension and to help you ace your next virtual interview, here are essential but straight-to-the-point tips on how to land that job!
Test your technology
You must have reliable tools to use during the interview. For example, you must test your built-in computer camera and microphone days before the interview. But you should also check if they are working correctly minutes before you jump in the call. It will save you from potential last-minute technical errors that could hinder you from attending the interview.
You also need to ensure a dependable internet connection to last the entire conversation. Sometimes, a virtual interview via Zoom or Google Hangouts takes much of your data connection. To be on the safe side, pause any downloads in the background or any other apps.
Whether it is a virtual or a physical interview, the one trick that you should never forget is to be on time, and testing your technology can be key to making sure you remain punctual. Punctuality says a lot about a candidate and could be the winning element for you to land the job.
Find the perfect spot
Before turning on your camera, be sure to find the perfect spot where the background is clean and straightforward. There is no need for an entire production team to spruce up your interview background. The simpler, the better.
Making sure the light is brightening, rather than shadowing, your face is also important. Face toward a window, or put a lamp in front of you to help with this.
This will help your potential employer focus more on you and your conversation rather than your background.
Do your research beforehand
You need to be prepared before you face the interviewer. First, arm yourself with information about the company and the position you are applying for.
Knowing something about your potential employer gives you an overview of what to expect during the interview. Aside from that, you should also prepare a simple cheat sheet of your answers to possible questions related to the job opening.
Again, you must know you are ready, whatever the questions may be. This preparation can really help calm your nerves.
Dress for success
Even if it’s a virtual setup, you still have to dress appropriately and look professional. A virtual interview is an occasion to clean up and doll up for success.
Remember, you have to make a great impression. And with only the four corners of your computer screen to carry your whole demeanor, you have to be able to dazzle the interviewer with your competent look.
It’s a smart idea to also wear professional-looking pants, and even shoes, even if they aren’t captured in the camera. This will help you feel good and confident about yourself, and you never know if you might need to stand up during the interview for any reason.
Mind your body language
The absence of a physical presence and interaction during a virtual interview could be limiting. Nonetheless, you have to be mindful of your facial expressions and small hand gestures.
For instance, a technical error in a setting such as a virtual job interview is sometimes inevitable. Now, even with a delayed transmission on your part, you still have to look poised and professional through the glitch.
You don’t have to move around to prove a point constantly. Sometimes, a simple wave or eye contact is enough to win over the interviewer.
Stay true to yourself
It may sound cheesy, but simply being yourself is what most great employers want. They appreciate when they get the impression that you’re not putting up a front to grab their attention.
Let your skills, experience, and capacity to help the company grow be the primary driver to blow them away.
Don’t over-promise and put any extra fluff to your resume. It might cause problems when you’re hired, and you can’t deliver as expected. Instead, be your true self and be confident with what you can bring to the table — nothing less, nothing more.
It’s essential to build a rapport with your interviewer even before you begin the interview. Small talk can be a great way to break the ice.
Just a simple “how are you doing?” or “hope you’re all okay wherever you are” indicates that you are ready and interested in the company and its people. You can also touch on a couple of neutral topics that may be of the same interest to the interviewer.
But don’t go overboard. Play it by ear whether the interviewer is up for some small talk. Either way, your enthusiasm and body language will speak for themselves.
Send a follow-up email
Plan a follow-up email once the interview is over — ideally within the first 24 hours. You want to make sure that they still have a fresh memory of what you said during the interview and how it made them feel.
If you wait too long to send that message, they might not have a clear picture of what transpired during the interview. But then, if you send it too early, the employer might see you as an overzealous and impatient candidate. Consider sending it later that evening or early the next morning to remind the interviewer about your call and restate why you’re interested in the role and a couple of the qualifications that you discussed.
Raymond Chiu is the Director of Operations for Maid Sailors Commercial Cleaning Service New York, a top-rated office cleaning service provider. Matched with affordable prices, Maid Sailors can address even the toughest cleaning needs and can turn any workplace into a healthy, safe, and employee-friendly environment.