If you’re looking for work while social distancing measures are is in effect, it’s likely that your job interview will take place over the phone, video call or both. This can be stressful for a job seeker who has never had a virtual interview, but it could ease your mind to know that many of the best practices you’re familiar with for in-person interviews are applicable.
Here are 5 quick tips to help you prepare for a virtual interview:
1. Get tech ready
Once you receive the interview details, take a practice run using the video tool. Make sure you have the app or software installed and an account created if applicable. Test your audio and video with someone else and learn the key features such as muting and unmuting. Even if you’re familiar with the platform, I would still recommend to walk through the steps so you don’t have any last-minute surprises like forgetting your login credentials.
2. Prepare your interview setting
Determine where you’ll be taking your interview and get set up well in advance. Choose a space where you won’t have any disruptions. Consider the background and test it out with the video tool to see what will be captured on screen. Keep in mind the time of day of the interview and make sure to adjust the lighting accordingly. For example, sitting with the camera facing a window is not a good idea as it will be difficult to see you.
3. Dress for success
Even if it might feel a little strange to get dressed up for an interview at home, your efforts will help make a positive impression and will demonstrate your professionalism. Dressing as you would for an in-person interview is a good rule-of-thumb.
4. “Arrive early”
Plan to be online ahead of the scheduled time in case there are any unexpected delays. If you can, give yourself some extra time to transition from what you were previously doing. With in-person interviews, you get the travel time to help with that transition. With a virtual interview, you will have to set that time aside to get mentally prepared.
5. Practice good posture and “eye contact”on camera
Doing a virtual mock-interview with someone you know is important. It might not feel comfortable at first to answer questions while looking into the camera lens or to see yourself on camera while you’re talking or even sitting upright while you’re at home, so take the time to practice and get comfortable.
Have a digital copy of the resume you applied handy in case it’s requested. Make sure you have the right version clearly labeled so you can find it easily if asked.