A job interview is a daunting enough task, but it doubles in complications as it goes virtual. It’s a challenge to effectively communicate everything you need to with possible distractions, background noise, and, on top of that; stressing over your tech and internet not giving out on you.

We consulted the experts for some great tips to help you prepare for a virtual interview.

  1. Make Sure You Have A Quiet Space To Talk With Minimal Distractions.

“Close windows and turn off the TV so that there’s no noise coming in from outside or other people talking near your computer.” (Ella Hao)

  1. Prepare for Time-Zone Differences

“If you’re interviewing for a seasonal job, make sure to look up the company’s hours so that their time zone matches yours. If the hours’ conflict, you’ll want to ensure you accommodate the interviewer’s time.” (Ella Hao)

  1. Well-Lit Room

“If you’re taking a video interview, ensure the room you’re in is well lit. Avoid sitting in front of a window.” (Ella Hao)

  1. Get Dressed

“Get dressed and ready before the phone call starts so that there’s no distraction. This way, when the interview begins, all you need to do will be answering the questions! If a company offers a video interview instead of an audio one, then make sure you dress up as if it were in person. It can feel more intimidating to do your best while wearing PJs and slippers, so get ready for the interview beforehand!” (Ella Hao)

  1. Prepare A List Of Questions To Ask Them Too

“This way, you can make sure that all of your concerns are answered and feel more confident when it’s completed. Also, take notes during the interview, so you don’t forget important information.”

Ella Hao, Head of Digital Marketing at WellPCB

  1. Focus On Body Language And Make Sure You’re Presenting Well On Video

“For interviews, I feel that first impressions are vital. You won’t be able to flaunt your confident in-person stride, and the days of the firm, professional handshake are on hold for the time being. Your body language is something you can manage. When it comes to making a good first impression, body language is key. Before you press the camera ‘ON’ button, double-check that your body language is on point.”

Lee Grant, CEO at Wrangu

  1. Make Sure Your Technology Is Ready And Tested

“When it comes to preparing for a face-to-face job interview, all you have to do is prepare yourself. Researching the organization, reviewing the job description, making the best possible preparations for the interview, and so on. When it comes to virtual meetings, however, there’s a little more to consider. The last thing you want is for your internet to go down in the middle of a movie. Or to realize half an hour before the meeting that you don’t have the necessary technologies to participate. 

“Don’t forget to double-check that you have a stable internet connection and that your camera and microphone are both operational. Prepare for your interview by familiarizing yourself with the technologies that your interviewer will be utilizing. Find out ahead of time so you know exactly how to use it when the time comes for the interview.”

Amber Morland, CEO & Founder of WinCope

  1. Create a Set

“The color of your virtual interview backdrop can also influence what you wear. Sit in front of a blank background if at all feasible so that you remain the focal point. Set up in your home office or living room, whichever space looks the most businesslike if your house is devoid of vacant walls. 

“Before beginning a video chat, make sure the area is clean; the messier the background, the more difficult it is to persuade a hiring manager of how detail-oriented and organized you are as an employee. Finally, double-check your lighting. It’s preferable to sit near a window since the best method to avoid looking washed out is to keep the light in front of you.”

Dusan Stanar, Founder & CEO of VSS Monitoring

  1. Set The Mood

“When preparing for a virtual interview, you want to ensure that you are in the right environment.  It needs to be quiet, have good lighting and your background needs to be clean and simple.  The goal is for the interviewer to focus on you and not your background!” (Jodi Brandstetter)

  1. Smile and Show Your Personality

“It can be hard to feel someone’s vibe via a video conference.  But you gotta make sure that you show your personality throughout the interview.  Smile and do you!” (Jodi Brandstetter)

  1. Silence is Ok

“There are some questions that are meant to make you think.  So when this happens, pause and take your time to come up with your answer.  Silence is ok during an interview.” (Jodi Brandstetter)

  1. Resume in Hand

“Keep a copy of your resume next to you or on a different screen.  Reference it when you need to during the interview.” (Jodi Brandstetter)

  1. Eye Contact

“Maintaining eye contact during a virtual or in person interview is crucial.  Make sure your camera is at eye level and that you are looking directly at it while speaking.”

Jodi Brandstetter, CEO & Chief Talent Strategist Lean Effective Talent Strategies

  1. Record Yourself to Practice

“An excellent tip to prepare for a virtual interview is to record yourself answering a variety of imaginary questions. Virtual interviews may cause some people to feel nervous since they are always seeing themselves. For this reason, recording yourself and watching the recordings several times to analyze your gestures and movements is an excellent technique. As a result, you will be much calmer when the interview comes.”

David Adler, Founder & CEO of The Travel Secret

  1. Prepare to be on Camera

“Look your best and dress for success for your interview as it may require you to be on video. You want to be sure you are well manicured and wearing appropriate attire.” (Jennifer Hartman)

  1. Know Your Qualification And Resume Details

“Put your best foot forward by having a clear understanding of the details of your past positions and the qualifications you bring to the position. This will help you answer questions while keeping eye contact, instead of looking at your notes during the interview.” (Jennifer Hartman)

  1. Research The Company In Advance 

“Knowing the company and position in advance of your interview will help you give smart, well-thought-out answers to questions.” (Jennifer Hartman)

  1. Clear Clutter And Noise

“Be sure the background in your video does not show clutter or inappropriate items during your interview. A blank wall or area with minimal items is best for online interviews. Also be sure to notify anyone in your household that you are interviewing and be sure that there is no background noise (talking, TV, dogs barking). It is not advised to take a video interview call in a public space.” (Jennifer Hartman)

  1. Be Sure Your Computer And Internet Are In Working Order

“In order to be on video for a virtual job interview, you must make sure you have a working computer with a camera. Additionally, be sure your internet connection will support a video call.”

Jennifer Hartman, HR Staff Writer, former HR Manager for a technology consulting company; Fit Small Business

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