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Virtual Interviews: Essential Tips and Tricks for Jobseekers

Virtual Interviews: Essential Tips and Tricks for Jobseekers  

Video interviews have become commonplace in this era of remote work and virtual communication. If you’ve recently received an email inviting you to a virtual interview for your dream job, the anxiety of navigating the process may be overwhelming. However, by learning effective strategies for approaching these interviews, you can increase your chances of receiving the job offer. In this article, we discuss detailed tips that can help you excel in virtual interviews and make a lasting impression on prospective employers.

7 Powerful Virtual Interview Hacks That Works 

Here are some virtual interview tips to help you land your next virtual job:

1. Familiarize yourself with the interview platform.

Platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Skype are top choices for virtual meetings. Take the time to explore and understand the features and functionalities of the specific platform you’ll be using. First, ensure that you have the necessary software or app installed on your device. Once the platform is installed, it takes some time to navigate through its interface.

Familiarize yourself with the various buttons, icons, and menus. Locate essential features such as mute/unmute, start/stop video, screen sharing, and chat functions. Keep files such as portfolio samples in your desktop or home folder to make it easier to share on your screen later.

Some platforms also offer a live transcription or live captioning option, wherein the platform AI captures the words spoken in the meeting and shows the words on the screen as a subtitle.

Consider exploring additional features that might be useful during the interview process. For example, some platforms offer virtual backgrounds that allow you to hide your actual surroundings and present a professional backdrop. If you would like to use such features during your interview, learn how to use them beforehand, but don’t forget about the other simple settings. Test the camera and audio settings to check that they’re working perfectly.

2. Prepare your virtual interview space.

When preparing for virtual interviews, it’s important to create a professional environment that reflects your seriousness and dedication. Here’s what you can do to prove this:

Choose a clean and clutter-free area. 

Ensure to clear out everything that may seem distracting.

Ensure proper lighting. 

Position yourself facing a natural light source, such as a window, or use artificial lighting to illuminate your face evenly. Avoid having bright lights behind you, as this can create a silhouette effect and make it harder for the interviewer to see you.

Select a neutral and non-distracting background. 

A plain wall or a neatly arranged bookshelf can work well. Avoid backgrounds that may draw attention away from you or appear unprofessional. Virtual backgrounds can be an option but choose them wisely, opting for subtle and appropriate designs.

Minimize noise and disruptions. 

Inform family members or roommates in advance about the interview and ask them to keep their noise to a minimum. If necessary, close windows to reduce outside noise, and turn off any devices that may cause interruptions.

Dress professionally. 

Even though it’s an online interview, consider appearing tidy. Starting with your hair, try to keep things professional.

Test your camera position. 

Adjust the camera angle to ensure it frames your face properly. Also, consider positioning the camera at eye level or slightly above to avoid an unflattering or awkward perspective.

3. Practice your answers.

If you want to feel more confident and articulate during your interview, consider practicing your answers. This is especially useful when it’s your first or you haven’t done so many interviews in the past.

Research common interview questions. 

While you can’t exactly know what the interviewer may ask, you can boost your confidence level by researching common questions related to the job position and industry. Look for questions that often come up in interviews, such as questions about your strengths, weaknesses, experiences, and your interest in the company. Prepare answers for these questions based on your skills, experiences, and achievements.

Structure your responses. 

Follow a structure that starts with providing a concise and clear introduction to your relevant experience or qualifications. Then, delve into specific examples or anecdotes to support your points. Finally, conclude your response by summarizing the key takeaways or lessons learned from the experience.

Practice with a mock interview. 

Enlist the help of a friend, family member, or mentor to conduct a mock interview. Ask them to act as the interviewer and provide feedback on your responses. Use video conferencing software to simulate a virtual interview environment, allowing you to practice adjusting to the virtual setting.

Focus on storytelling and examples. 

When answering questions, try to incorporate specific examples from your previous job or educational experience. This helps to make your responses more engaging and memorable. You may use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to provide a context for the interviewer.

Practice articulating your answers concisely. 

Practice delivering your answers within a reasonable time frame, typically 1-2 minutes per response. However, be mindful of rambling or going off on tangents.

4. Research the company.

By thoroughly researching the company, you’ll be able to demonstrate your knowledge, enthusiasm, and alignment with their values during the interview. This preparation also allows you to engage in meaningful conversations and stand out as a well-informed candidate.

Explore the company’s website. 

Take the time to explore different sections, such as the About Us page, mission statement, and values. Pay attention to their products or services, target market, and any recent news or press releases. Familiarize yourself with the company’s history, achievements, and future goals.

Research recent news and industry trends. 

Stay updated on recent news and developments related to the company and the industry it operates. Look for any press releases, announcements, or articles that highlight the company’s accomplishments, challenges, or plans.

Check the company’s social media presence. 

Visit the company’s social media profiles, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Pay attention to their posts, articles, and engagement with their audience. This can provide additional insights into the company’s culture, recent projects, and community involvement.

Research about the interviewer. 

If you have information about the interviewer, take some time to research their background and professional experience. It may also work in your favor to know beforehand if there will be more than one interviewer. Look for their LinkedIn profiles or any published articles or interviews they may have done. This knowledge can help you establish a connection or find common ground during the interview.

5. Prepare to ask questions.

Based on your research about the company and job requirements, prepare thoughtful and specific questions to ask the interviewer. This shows you’ve done your homework and demonstrates your genuine interest in the company and the vacant role.

Ask about recent projects, company culture, growth opportunities, or any initiatives you came across during your research. If not available on their pages, you can also ask about the company’s policies and assistive technology and structures in the office to assist people with disabilities. However, avoid putting questions about salary and benefits on the frontline. Some companies often do not advertise the salary on job post for various reasons.

While it’s important to understand the compensation package and benefits, it’s generally recommended to avoid asking about these during the initial interview. Save these questions for later stages of the hiring process, such as during salary negotiations or when an offer is extended.

You can further inquire about the timeline for the recruitment process and what the next steps would be after the interview to demonstrate your eagerness to move forward.

6. Use non-verbal cues to show your interest.

During a virtual interview, body language plays a significant role in how you come across the interviewer. To practice and enhance your non-verbal communication skills:

Even when you’re being interviewed from a screen, a nervous posture can still be perceived. Maintain an open and upright posture throughout the interview.

Make eye contact. 

Look directly into the camera to create the illusion of eye contact with the interviewer. They may also catch it if you are reading from a phone screen or paper. This can make or break their impression of your attentiveness and interest in the conversation.

Show enthusiasm. 

Be mindful of your expressions, as they can influence how you come across to the interviewer. Remember to express your emotions genuinely and express enthusiasm during the interview. A warm and positive facial expression helps establish a connection with the interviewer and conveys your interest in the role.

Pay attention to your voice. 

The tone of voice is an important aspect of non-verbal communication. Aside from your visuals on screen, your voice and volume will have a strong impact on your interview. Enunciate your words and vary your tone to avoid sounding monotonous. Use appropriate volume for your mic and pace to ensure your thoughts are easily understood.

Demonstrate active listening. 

Non-verbal cues such as nodding your head and maintaining an engaged facial expression can indicate active listening. Show that you are attentively listening to the interviewer’s questions and comments at all times.

7. Be punctual and ensure connectivity.

Treat virtual interviews with the same level of professionalism as in-person interviews. Aim to be punctual and log in to the interview platform at least five minutes early before the scheduled time. This demonstrates respect for the interviewer’s time and shows your reliability.

A slow or unreliable internet connection can disrupt the flow of the interview and hinder effective communication. Before the interview, test your internet connection to ensure it is stable and reliable. You can run a speed test or try video calling a friend to confirm that your connection is strong and can support a smooth video call. It might also be helpful to close unnecessary applications or browser tabs on your computer to optimize performance.

Read more: Preparing for your interview at Peak Performers

FIND YOUR NEXT IDEAL CAREER ONLINE WITH PEAK PERFORMERS

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We’re committed to helping professionals with disabilities find employment in equal-opportunity work environments. Contact us today to find a job you’ll love.

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