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Preparing for a Virtual Interview

Written by: Lexus (she/her)

2 min read | Published: October 5, 2023

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Have you noticed when you apply for a job, employers are frequently asking for a virtual interview? These types of interviews are becoming more and more prevalent, with many companies no longer offering traditional in-person formats. Although there’s the convenience of being able to speak to a potential employer from the comfort and familiarity of your own home, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Expect the Unexpected

It’s the day of your interview and you feel like you have everything prepared. Suddenly, you can’t log into your video conferencing app to speak with a potential employer. According to a recent study, seven out of 10 people who miss a virtual interview say it’s due to a technical error that happened prior to their interviewing session. To avoid this, test your tech ahead of time. Doing so within the hour before your interview will make for a smooth transition and set you up to be on time.

Dress to Impress

Bear in mind that the way you present yourself is still just as important as if you were going to an in-person interview. While you’re going through the process of speaking with the potential employer, you don’t want to risk them seeing the pajama pants you might still have on from rolling out of bed 30 minutes ago. Always dress to impress from top to bottom no matter what. The saying “dress for the job you want” has proven to be quite effective for those being offered their dream careers.

Find a Distraction-Free Zone

Your interview has begun and you’re in the middle of discussing your past experiences. The next thing you know, your dog starts barking because the mail carrier rang your doorbell. Now, things do happen, but creating a quiet, distraction-free environment will make it easy for you to focus on what’s important. Find a room with a door, give your dog their favorite chew toy, and let those around you know you need dedicated time without any interruptions.

This also means making sure your background is not too visually busy. A plain backdrop keeps the employer’s focus on you and only you, allowing you to make an impression and not your clutter. If your room is the only space you have available, be sure to make sure it’s clear of any visual mess. If needed, try using the background blurring functions that most video conferencing software offer.

Tips to Shine

  • Verify your Wi-Fi signal is strong ahead of time.
  • Make sure you have effective and appropriate lighting.
  • Have a headset nearby in case it’s needed to improve your audio quality.
  • Due to the potential of a call interrupting your interview and limiting screensharing possibilities, DO NOT use your phone for video streaming unless you absolutely must.
  • Keep direct eye contact and position your camera so it appears you are looking at your interviewer.

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