As the world adjusts to a new normal with COVID-19, you might encounter a virtual interview—rather than an in-person interview—in your job search.
The interview process can be intimidating as is, and the thought of a virtual interview might make you even more nervous. You might find yourself wondering if you can make a meaningful impression on your interviewer from behind a computer screen.
But don’t panic. A virtual interview is different from an in-person interview in some key ways, but many of the same interview tips we give students and graduates still hold true. Here are five tips to keep in mind as you prepare for a virtual interview.
Look the part
First impressions are vital. Even in a virtual interview, it’s important that you are dressed professionally and appropriately for the position for which you’re interviewing. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 55 percent of first impressions are made by what we see. Even if it’s only from your waist up, be sure to dress professionally. Not only will it help you make a good impression, but you’ll likely feel more confident, too. You also want to make sure your background is neat, quiet and free of distraction. Your space reflects you, and employers will definitely notice.
Test your technology
There’s nothing worse than a bad connection when you’re trying to meet someone for the first time. To avoid any technology issues, test everything beforehand. Run an internet speed test, and test your microphone and camera. Do a test three days before your interview and the morning of to make sure everything is in order. If you know your connection can be a bit choppy, consider making arrangements to do the interview from a friend’s house or moving to another quiet, public place that may have better WiFi—and don’t forget to do your tests from that location, as well.
Familiarize yourself with the company
Whether your interview is in person or virtual, preparation is key. It’s important to do background research on the company you’re hoping to join. Knowing a little about the company will show your passion—not to mention help you know if it’s the right fit for you. If you have the name of your interviewer, it’s also a great idea to do some background research on them to see if you have any common interests. Both of these tips will help you build rapport with your interviewer, despite the screen and distance between you.
Prepare questions and take notes
Again, just like in an in-person interview, every interview is a two-way street. Asking your own questions is a great way to impress your interviewer. This shows enthusiasm and passion about both the company and the position. Be sure to take notes throughout the interview, too. This will keep you focused on the task, show your interest and help you keep track of answers and information your interviewer has given you. Notes can be a great jumping off point for you when you follow up (another “do” for the process).
Do a mock interview
At Remington College, we’re proud to offer career services for our students. Schedule a mock interview with our career services department before approaching your real interview to get some great tips and work out some of your nerves. While you’re at your mock interview, we can also critique your resume and share other dos and don’ts for the job search process.1
1 Employment not guaranteed for students or graduates.