5 Tips to Turn a Virtual Interview Into a Job Offer
As recently as two years ago, who could have ever dreamed today’s job-seeking and work environment landscapes would be so different? Yet, here we are. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 86% of recruiters have switched to remote interviews in order to fill positions. Interestingly enough, while the initial shift to remote interviews and work-at-home environments was accompanied by a few glitches, overall, the massive transition was generally successful. So much so, that many employers who assumed these changes were temporary, have now decided remote interviewing and work-from-home positions actually work exceptionally well for both themselves and their staff.
They’re Ready — Are You?
While recruiters have long since fine-tuned the process of interviewing candidates from remote locations, that doesn’t necessarily hold true for job candidates. Many workers hunkered down during the pandemic, holding on to their job, even if it was less than ideal. This means they’ve never gone through a virtual interview. For those who’ve been working comfortably at home, while your current boss may think the slightly disheveled appearance of your home office is perfectly fine, it might raise an eyebrow or two when interviewing with recruiters.
Note The Competition
With the job market picking up, many employees are now feeling more comfortable about looking for a better position. That’s great news for everyone, but it also increases the amount of competition a job-seeker will face with every open position. If you’re one of those who’ve never gone through a remote interview, it’s really important for you to take some time to develop a thoughtful strategy. One that will make your online presence and your home space into a winning combination, that fully supports your job-seeking efforts.
As part of your winning strategy, consider how the following tips will help you feel more prepared for what is now the ubiquitous virtual interview. By employing these helpful tips, you’ll be much better prepared to nail your interview and move on to the next rung of your career ladder.
Tip 1 — Inspect More Than Your Appearance
More than likely, for your last interview you simply made sure you were dressed appropriately, and paid some extra attention to your personal grooming. A couple more key actions such as remembering to bring a copy of your resume, and turning off your phone before walking into the interview, and you were good to go.
All the above actions are only marginally different for virtual interviews. However, consider what the interviewer will see behind and around you when you’re ready to interview. Take a good look at your proposed interview space at home and consider these key points:
- Is your home office space clean and organized?
- Have you removed the funky artwork behind your desk?
- Is your office space well-lit?
- Could you score extra interview points with a well-placed alumni mug or corporate pen?
As always, it’s still important to carefully select your attire. Cater to the industry in which you want to work by reviewing staff profiles on the company’s website and/or some of their LinkedIn profiles to see how others dress within the company. Don’t forget, in certain industries adding your own personal stamp to your attire (and perhaps even your office space) is somewhat expected. Doing so with innovative flare, can help you stand out from the crowd.
Tip 2 — Know Their Tech and Yours
Nothing will kill a job interview faster than technical glitches. You need to be completely comfortable with all the software and gadgetry associated with virtual interviewing, so both you and the interviewer can focus on the actual interview. To make the technical aspects of the interview run seamlessly in the background, review the following:
- Find out in advance what platform you’ll be using during the interview (e.g, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, etc.) and practice using it beforehand.
- Check your WiFi connection and speed (3 Mbps minimum for video calls) in advance, by using a site like Speedtest.
- Test your camera, microphone, headphones, etc.
- Fully charge equipment (if applicable).
- Mute your phone.
- Prepare your laptop by closing non-essential programs, turning off notifications, etc.
Tip 3 — Remain Focused
Especially for the inexperienced, looking at a webcam instead of a person’s face, isn’t necessarily intuitive. This is why it’s so important to go through a few dry runs of the entire virtual interview experience with a friend or old co-worker. Make sure you remove all distractions from the area where you will be interviewing and practice, practice, practice making good eye contact with the interviewer (by way of your webcam) during the entire virtual experience.
Tip 4 — Find Your Virtual Voice, Tone, and Expressions
We’ll say it again, especially for the inexperienced, the virtual interview process in which communication mainly takes place through a webcam, can initially be tricky. When going through practice interviews, consider how well you perform in the following areas:
- Voice – volume and pitch.
- Tone – watch those “ums”.
- Facial expression – it should be relaxed and comfortable, not tense or distracted.
- Hand motion – stay natural, don’t go into excess.
Tip 5 — Be Yourself!
In general, most people actually do feel most like themselves when they’re at home, so take advantage of your familiar space. Your domain is a place where you can feel calm, collected, and confident in your abilities. One of the main keys to successfully interviewing from home is the more you practice virtual interviewing, the more comfortable you’ll feel during the process.
Eventually, even the most diehard webcam newbie will be able to relax and be themselves, even while “on camera”. Believe in yourself, and believe in the unique talents and skills you have to offer a new employer. In a traditional interview setting, you already know how to ask great questions, how to be personable, and how to successfully market your background. All these aspects of a successful job interview still hold true in a virtual setting.
You’ve already cleared one major hurdle by receiving an invitation to interview from your next(?) employer. They’re obviously interested in the skills, talents, and experience you’re able to bring to the position. You’re already familiar with many aspects of interviewing including being prepared, dressing appropriately, smiling and making eye contact, and projecting confidence.
The nuances exclusive to virtual interviewing include prepping your space, removing non-traditional distractions, and reviewing technology and your virtual presence, and these are all fairly easily accomplished through practice and a bit of forethought. And, you already know how to be yourself!
We wish you great success in your job hunting endeavors. If you’d like to partner with us in your job search, be sure to check out some of our epic career opportunities.
We look forward to hearing from you!