Virtual or “remote” interviews remove travel costs to and from interviews for both our candidate and our clients. This method of interviewing allows our top Electrical and Mechanical clients to interview our Five-Star candidates without having to invest a great deal of time and money. Potential employers can vet candidates, get a feel for technical skills, review the position, ask and answer any questions, and overall expedite the recruitment process, all from a computer screen.
Even though you may be asked to participate in a remote interview that doesn’t mean preparation should slip. It’s important to be just as prepared for a video conference as an in-person interview. Check out our 9 tips for a virtual interview below for advice on your remote interview!
9 Tips for a Virtual Interview:
1. Test Your Technology
Be sure the program being used for the virtual interview is installed, and working before your scheduled meeting. Be sure to set-up your log-in for the program being used for your virtual interview. Test the Internet connection, as well as the microphone and camera to ensure you’ll be able to proceed without any technical issues.
On the day of, test your equipment and internet connection again, just to be safe. Being technically savvy is one of the top 10 traits employers are looking for, and if you’re fumbling around with your audio or camera during the call, you may give the hiring manager a reason to question whether you’re the right candidate for the job.
2. Set The Scene And Minimize Distractions
(Recommended to do at the same time as tip #1)
When interviewing remotely its important to determine where to take the interview: find a room with optimal lighting and a blank wall to guarantee you’re the focal point of the conversation. After you have chosen where you will sit, tidy up your surroundings. It’s hard to convince employers you’re detail-oriented and organized when there’s laundry visibly piling up in the corner.
The day of your interview, turn off the television, radio, or other noise before beginning. Also, make sure pets and children are situated so they don’t make unannounced guest appearances.
3. Dress To Impress
Put on the same clothes you’d wear if you were going to interview in-person. If the company is more business professional, wear a jacket and tie for men or a pantsuit for women. If it’s more business casual, wear a button-down shirt and tie for men, wear a dress or nice blouse for women.
Don’t give in to the temptation to dress up only above the waist because you are remotely interviewing. Wearing the complete ensemble will help you stay in the interviewing mood. Also, being in your interview attire will allow you to not ruin the impression you’ve made if you have to stand up for some reason.
4. Find Your Voice
Be aware of how you sound in your virtual interview. What you have to say may be impressive, but if your delivery is off, it won’t matter. By delivery, I mean your tone, pitch, inflection, etc. The fastest way to lose someone’s interest is with a monotone voice. Your voice and how you use it will allow you to communicate confidence, be seen as self-assured and inspire confidence in others.
5. Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Body Language
You have to pay close attention to body language during a virtual interview. The interviewer can see you, but it’s more difficult to pick up on visual cues when you’re trying to keep your attention focused on the camera. Sit up straight, maintain the illusion of eye contact by looking at the webcam and not at the image on your computer screen, and don’t slouch, yawn, or fidget. If you need to look down to look straight into the camera, consider placing a book or two under your computer to raise it higher.
6. Do Your Interview Homework
Just because you’ll be on a computer for your interview doesn’t mean you can search the internet for answers mid-interview. You want to be focused and ready to answer any questions without the help of the internet. Be sure to research the company you’re interviewing with ahead of time and take notes for reference. Be sure to print out a copy of your resume, so that you don’t forget key talking points.
7. Practice Make Perfect
You don’t want to sound robotic throughout your virtual interview—whether asking or answering questions, or just having small talk with your potential new employer. It’s easy to tell if you aren’t being genuine, so it’s a good idea to run through a few practice rounds with a friend or family member. Be sure to use your virtual interview technology when practicing. In addition to testing the technology, your “interviewer” can tell you whether you are adequately seen and heard, how the lightning is, how you appear on camera, and how you come off (professional, prepared, enthusiastic, and interested). Doing the practice interview may be awkward, but you’ll have a safe atmosphere to make mistakes and learn from them, so you’re better prepared for the real thing.
8. Be Yourself
A key task for a recruiter is determining whether you would be a good fit for the company’s culture. This can be challenging during a virtual interview because there is a physical disconnect. Being true to yourself is the best way to highlight what you can offer, and will make it easier for the organization to determine if you’re a good fit.
9. Follow-Up With Your Potential Employer Immediately
Within 24 hours of the interview, send a thank you email to everyone you met, CC’ing your recruiter. Not only will it show you value their time, but it provides you the opportunity to resell yourself and express the unique strengths you bring to the role, or share any talking points you forgot to address.
If there was something specific you bonded over, mention that in the email so you stay top of mind. Or if an interviewer brought up a particular business challenge, use the follow-up as a way to propose potential solutions.