Virtual Job Interviews: 7 Tips
Companies that are hiring for Virtual Assistants are more likely to interview virtually.
Virtual Job Interviews More Common Than Ever
Organizations interested in reaching a diverse applicant pool of virtual assistants are finding it easier than ever to search well beyond their backyards for ideal employees. Thanks to technology, a growing number of companies are using virtual interview software and applications to screen the field of contenders without spending loads of time and money on travel. A virtual interview allows employers an enhanced arena to “meet” and interact using video, instant messaging programs, and web-conferencing services. Some of the more advanced applications including real time testing.
Whether you’re participating in an in-person or virtual interview your goal is the same — to make a lasting impression that earns you that second interview. While efficient, virtual interviews present unique challenges, including use of technology, management the setting, and the ability to effectively show enthusiasm and interest, sell your qualifications, and send the right “vibe” in the absence of in-person interaction.
This article shares seven tips that will help you navigate the virtual interview, putting you in the best light instead of making you look like a virtual interview bungler.
7. Get Your Technology up to Speed
Ensure the technology being discussed or actually being used for the virtual interview is installed and working before your meeting. Test your Internet connection, as well as the microphone and camera to ensure there are no unforeseen hitches. Technology hiccups on the day of the interview send the wrong impression, casting doubts on your interest in the job, your technological savvy, and your ability to work remotely.
Also, try to avoid jokes about the online part of your job interview. Remember, companies that are hiring remote workers are used to dealing with people comfortable with collaborative platforms. Don’t mention how weird it is to interview with someone virtually, because it makes you look inexperienced. Always act like you’ve been there before.
7. Prepare Your Environment
If possible, position your computer and webcam so there’s a blank wall in back of you. If that’s not possible, manipulate the background so it appears you are in a professional setting. Think bookshelves in the background, rather than your unmade bed or vintage Cheryl Tiegs poster.
Turn off the television, radio, or other noise before beginning, and make sure pets and children are situated so they don’t make unannounced — and unappreciated — guest appearances.
6. Dress for Success
Dress for a virtual interview the same way you would for an in-person interview. If you’re unsure what attire the situation calls for, ask the human resources professional what is appropriate. Avoid wearing bright or distracting colors, or jewelry that is remarkable.
You want the interviewer to focus on you, not on your outfit.
4. Go for a Practice Run
Enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member — someone who will be honest with you — and ask them to run through a mock interview with you using the virtual interview technology. In addition to testing the technology, your trusted advisor can tell you whether you are adequately seen and heard, how the lighting is, how you appear on the camera, and whether you come off as professional, prepared, enthusiastic, and interested.
At the very least this should ease your mind about how you look and sound, giving you the freedom to focus on the things that really matter.
3. Show AND Tell
During in-person meetings, an interviewer may get a sense of how a person will fit into an organization based simply on their presence and the “vibe” they throw off. Not so in virtual interviews.
It’s extra important to do some research on both the company and the job, and tell the interviewer in detail why your qualifications, experience, and skill set makes you deserving of a second interview. Because the miles between you won’t allow the interviewer to “feel” your enthusiasm, make sure you convey interest using voice intonation and facial expression.
2. Take Your Time, Get It Right
Practice managing your responses to potential questions so they are clear, succinct, and highlight excellent verbal communication skills.
Eliminate “um” and “uh” from your sentences, and pay strict attention to grammar. If you are sharing a screen and/or asked to type during your virtual interview, make sure you type carefully and read your answers before hitting send. No grammatical errors or typos!
1. Be Yourself
Think of virtual interviews as the “speed dating” of the work world.
Organizations want to get a quick sense of who you are, so they can determine if they will advance you to the next round. Instead of trying to be the person you think the interviewer is looking for, be yourself. Being true to yourself is the best way to highlight what you can offer, and will make it easier for the organization to determine if you’re a good fit.