The pandemic affected many things we took for granted. With the lockdown in place since spring, people are adapting to the “new normal”. Many of us are working from our homes or looking for remote positions. It includes virtual job interviews that are done online via apps.
Businesses all over the world are hiring people this way, so if you are looking for new employment, now is the right time to master the basics. In essence, virtual interviews are not so different from face-to-face interviews. But there are some things you didn’t have to worry about before, such as technology and internet connection. Here are some tips that will prepare you for your next interview.
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Test everything in Advance
Your virtual interview requires a couple of hardware and software tools. You will need a camera, a microphone, an app like Zoom or perhaps Google Hangouts, and a reliable internet connection. Test out the hardware at least five days before the interview. It will give you enough time to fix any problems you might have with your microphone or camera.
Then install the app you will be using. Your potential employer will tell you in advance which one to download. Test your internet connection thirty minutes before the interview. Log in to the app and turn on the sound and the video. You don’t need an active call since many apps allow you to test the quality of your connection before the interview starts.
Cybersecurity should also be one of your concerns. Tools like VPN can make a video call more secure. Apps might display your IP address, but a VPN will hide it, adding an extra layer of safety. Not to forget that VPN’s end-to-end encryption can protect the communication between you and your interviewer.
Pick the right place
Bad lighting and messy backgrounds are not recommended for a virtual interview. So find a place in your home that has plenty of natural light. A blank wall is perfect for interviews because it allows you to be the center of attention. Once you select the right spot, clean up your surroundings.
Make sure you turn off your TV or music speakers before the interview. Closing all the windows is another great idea, especially if you live in a busy neighborhood. There shouldn’t be any background noise that might distract you or the interviewer.
Do your homework
Even though you probably feel more relaxed in your home, this doesn’t mean you don’t have to prepare yourself in advance. Some employers might give you a list of questions, so that is a great starting point. However, this is not always the case. It is best to search for the standard interview questions and think about your answers.
You should also learn as much as you can about the company and the position you are applying for. Additionally, have links to your online portfolio ready to send. Don’t write down the things you plan on saying and then read them to your potential employer. The interview needs to flow naturally, and they will notice if you have your answers scripted.
You should approach the virtual job interview professionally. Even though your pajamas and sweatpants are super comfy, say goodbye to them until the interview is over. Wear clothes you would put on for a typical job interview. It will tell your potential employer that you are serious and excited about the interview. Clothes can also boost your confidence, which is always a plus.
Even though you are doing a virtual job interview, body language is still super important. Your camera should be straight, so don’t point it up to the ceiling. Make sure you are in a comfortable chair that allows you to sit without slouching. Remember to smile and keep eye contact with the person interviewing you.
Finally, just be yourself. Don’t memorize your potential answers to the interview questions because this could make you sound unnatural. If you are still nervous about it, ask a friend of a family member to practice with you. It is an excellent way to eliminate any mistakes, and you will sound more relaxed in the real interview.
Ultimately, companies are looking for someone that will fit right in. So don’t be afraid to show your enthusiasm. It could seem impossible to do over a camera but try to connect with your interviewer. Perhaps you will discover that you have the same interest, and that will sometimes be enough to stand out from the crowd.