- Test Your Technology
If it’s Microsoft Excel, database software, or Outlook, technical knowledge and fluency is a top competency for most employers. If they want to test your competency, they will likely do a virtual interview. Test your computer audio and video before the call. Pitt Business offers Interviewstream, a software that allows you to practice virtual interviews with your phone or laptop. You can use Interviewstream to practice your responses while also making sure you have no muffled audio, echoes, or grainy images. In addition, it is wise to practice in the same space you will conduct your virtual interview to ensure you have a stable internet connection. Nothing is worse than a frozen screen or a dropped call.
Don’t give the hiring manager a reason to question if you’re tech-savvy!
- Update Your Username
Much like a professional email, your Skype username is like your first impression. Don’t let your contact information allow an employer to question your maturity or professionalism. If your username is an inside joke with middle school friends from 2009, it is time to update it.
Keep it simple. A combination of first, middle, and last name will work just fine. Try not to add additional letters, numbers, or symbols. This can get confusing or easily mistyped during communication.
- Dress the Part
This is one of the quickest ways to judge professionalism.
Pull out your best business attire, and dress as though you are doing an interview on-site. This means head-to-toe. Not professional top and pajama bottoms.. Wear neutral colors, and avoid any flashy patterns or bulky accessories. You should be the focus of the interview, not your attire.
- Watch the Backdrop
Take down your movie posters, tapestry, or photo collages. Find a blank wall and an empty space. This not only displays a business-like atmosphere but also shows your organization and attention to detail. In addition, check the lighting. You do not want to look washed out or too dark. The key is to keep the light in front of you.
- Eliminate Distractions
You don’t want to be the person whose roommate walks in during an interview. Tell your housemates when you will be in an interview and make sure they give you space and quiet. Turn off the TV, silence computer notifications and your cell phone. The more you eliminate potential distractions, the more fluid your interview will be.
- Body Language
In-person, you would greet the employer with a smile and a handshake. However, this does not translate to video. Body language during a virtual interview conveys enthusiasm and confidence. Sit up straight, smile, and maintain eye contact. This may be difficult, but you want to make sure you are looking at the camera itself, not the employer.
- Research and Prepare Common Interview Questions
Many people stress over the unknown of an interview. There are basic questions that candidates will almost certainly be asked. Common questions can include “Tell me about yourself,” “Why do you want to work for us?,” What are your strengths and weaknesses?”. Read the job description and indicate the transferrable skills. Write them down. Research possible interview questions based on those skills.
Look at your list of possible questions. Determine the situation you would like to discuss and write out the key points. Afterward, schedule a mock interview or practice with someone. You can schedule a mock interview with Pitt Business Career Development by clicking here. Practice makes perfect, folks!
- Don’t Forget to Follow Up
Treat the virtual interview as you would an on-site interview and properly follow up. Within 24 hours of the interview, send an email to your interviewer(s), thanking them for taking the time to speak with you. If there’s a question you wish you had answered differently or a point you wanted to elaborate on, here’s your chance. Just keep the email short and concise. Get yourself a stack of thank you cards and some stamps and send a card in the mail.
Mastering the virtual interview takes practice and preparation. Once you ace the interview, you are one step closer to joining the team in person.