While virtual meetings have become commonplace in our current world, virtual interviews are far from it. For months companies were in a state of uncertainty where they were unsure if they could even keep on their existing staff, let alone hire more. Now that the world is beginning to open back up, however, companies have started to look outward into the pool of potential talent available and have started hiring for both new and existing positions.
Just like virtual meetings, online interviews have been around for years, but the majority of people have not needed to attend one and may be unsure of what to do during it. In an effort to help you nail the interview and get the job, here are a few tips on how to prepare for a virtual interview.
Make sure you look professional
This may sound obvious because of course, you should be looking your best for a potential employer. However, it can be easy to let this slip since you know you’ll be in the comfort of your own home for the duration of the interview. Regardless of where you are though, you should always make sure you are presentable and show that you care what they think of your appearance.
In order to look your best, aside from smart clothes, try to find a spot in your house that has good lighting to prevent shadows from obstructing your face and undermining your hard work in looking good. Natural light is the best option if possible, but if you are unable to position yourself near a window, have poor lighting, or even if it is dark outside, try to get hold of a lamp you can place behind your camera to help light you up.
Another thing to watch out for while in a virtual meeting is any distraction from your home coming in and interrupting. While children and pets are adorable when you want to show them off in a video call to your parents, they are less so when you are trying to explain points in your resume. Virtual backgrounds are a great tool that can help to hide distractions from behind you whether these be children, pets, or even if you simply want to hide a messy room that you did not have time to clean. Our favorite service to use is Hello Backgrounds and you can find more information on Hello Backgrounds professional Zoom background here. While these backgrounds will be a huge help to maintaining a professional appearance, it is important to remember that they do not prevent sound so it is still a good idea to keep your children out of the room and to ask anyone you live with to keep noise to a minimum for the duration of the interview.
Be aware of your body language
Body language is one of the most important aspects of a first impression and an interview in general and unfortunately is almost impossible to convey on a video call. Instead of the usual handshakes and good posture that have been ingrained in us for years, now you will have to show your attentiveness in other ways. The most effective way to show that you are paying attention is to maintain eye contact throughout the meeting. By eye contact we mean you should be looking directly into your camera as much as possible. With your interviewer’s video on your screen you may be tempted to look at them instead, and while this is sometimes necessary, looking at your screen rather than your camera will show as your eyes will be facing downwards at all times. Looking directly into your camera whenever possible will help to show your interviewer that you are paying attention and actively invested in what they are saying.
Test your setup well in advance
Last but certainly not least, it is essential that you test your entire setup well in advance. Jumping into a call when you have not tested could result in technical issues and will not only be embarrassing but will also seem unprofessional and could make the interviewer think you do not care about the interview, starting things off on a negative note.
To prevent any issues, be sure to test your camera, microphone, and internet connection thoroughly well before your interview is due to start. You can test all of these on your own, but we also recommend that you jump in a test call with a friend just to make sure everything is working properly in a live environment. We also recommend that instead of using your computer’s built-in microphone, you use an external microphone and a pair of headphones. Anything as simple as a pair of phone headphones will work, the external microphone will prevent noise from the fan being picked up, and the headphones will stop any echoes from being fed back into the call for your interviewer to hear.