Virtual interviews are an increasingly popular part of the recruiting process. Even if you happen to be applying for a position that reports face-to-face, it’s not uncommon for a hiring manager to request a virtual meeting before your official interview. It can be challenging to let your personality shine through when you’re meeting via Zoom or Teams, but there are a few essential tips you can utilize to edge ahead of other candidates. Check out these simple interview hacks that will help you nail your next virtual interview and land an offer for the job of your dreams.
Preparing for a Virtual Interview
When you’re getting ready for a virtual interview, you should not hold yourself to a lower standard than you would if it were an in-person interview. This means that you must invest in your presentation, prepare answers to potential questions, and ensure that you are maintaining a sense of professionalism. To achieve this, you should dress as if you were meeting your interviewer in the office — a button-up top with a blazer and some well-fitted slacks would be appropriate. You may wonder whether slacks are necessary when you’re logging onto an online meeting, but indeed, they can give you a sense of confidence that carries through to the interview.
To prepare for the questions you may be asked, conduct a thorough review of the company’s website and read the job posting once again. Keep your eye out for key phrases that may indicate the employer’s principal values and what they’re looking for in a candidate. This will help you respond well to each interviewer’s inquiries and demonstrate that you’ve done your research. This also conveys a sense of investment in the opportunity to reinforce your professionalism and impress your interviewer.
What to Expect
If you’ve never done a virtual interview before and are unsure what to expect, don’t worry. It’s exactly like an in-person interview, but it can take place from the comfort of your own home. Generally, you should expect the same standard structure as any other interview. You will introduce yourself, tell the interviewer about your goals and qualifications, and answer their questions. You will probably have the opportunity to ask your questions, too, which is another excellent opportunity to show off all your research.
Given the unique circumstances of a virtual interview, you should also be prepared for the unexpected and have a plan in place for any technical difficulties that may arise. For example, what will you do if you suddenly lose your WiFi connection? What happens if your interviewer cannot hear you through your earphones’ microphone? It’s essential to have a backup plan for potential problems like these to ensure that your interview goes off without a hitch. Even if a minor issue emerges, it can cause you to get flustered if you’re caught off guard — and that’s never a good look for an interview.
How to Stand Out
You’ve done your research. You’ve gotten dressed up. You’re ready for whatever questions your interviewer may ask. Still, if you want to go above and beyond, you might want to do more. How can you truly impress your interviewer and ensure that you stand out from the other job applicants being interviewed? When it comes to standing out, the effort is the name of the game. Interviewers want to see that you’re willing to invest in the company and commit to the position.
One of the best ways to show this level of effort is to upload a virtual background before your interview. Suppose you’re interviewing on a platform such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet. In that case, it’s easy to set a custom background, and this detail can signal to your interviewer that you’re a genuine professional. Choose a background that features a scenic site, a city skyline, a tidy desk, or an uncluttered office. These are just a few examples of the many options you can find. Remember, too, that you can customize the image to feature any logo or text you want to have featured behind you on your next call.
Finally, you can stand out by simply being yourself. Be sure to answer every question sincerely, and don’t try to alter your disposition to fit the interviewer’s expectations. Missteps like this can land you in a job that you’re not suited to. Instead, you should present yourself as you usually would and approach the interview with a sense of confidence. With your professionalism, preparation, and personality, you’re sure to make a great impression in any virtual interview. If you’re the right candidate for the job, it will be evident to your interviewer, and they won’t hesitate to extend an offer.