Interview tips for a Successful Virtual Interview
As more companies move over to more digital technologies, how can you best prepare your self for a digital interview?
Companies are using technology as part of the interview process from applicant tracking software to automating parts of the hiring process. A shift to a virtual interview is a natural stepping stone for companies, especially as people have been working from home. Virtual interviews are more common than ever and makes seeing candidates easier. If it’s your first time having a virtual interview there can be a lot to think about. Here are some top tips to prepare you before your interview.
1. Prepare your tech
Making sure that you have the right software installed and it’s working correctly. This will make sure that you are not in a rush or panic before your interview. Making sure your computer, internet connection, camera and microphone are all working properly and that you can be heard and seen clearly. The best way to test things out is to ask a friend to help and use it together, to make sure your set up is working from both ends. On the day, test everything again in plenty of time before the interview to double check everything is still working fine. Be at your computer in plenty of time before the interview starts so you can answer the invitation quickly.
2. Prepare your windows
It’s a good idea to close any windows you’re not using in case it effects the call and if you have any notifications running – turning them off so they don’t pop up or distract you during the interview. You can leave open your CV, the job description and the company’s website so you can use them as reference points for questions or if you forget what to say. Preparing a document with questions or key points to talk about is a good idea too. But you don’t want to sound like you are reading off a script. If you’re sharing your screen, ensure that there is nothing personal or compromising on display and have an employer friendly desktop background.
3. Get rid of distractions
Eliminating distractions from your workspace will help avoid disruptions and will help you to stay focused on your interview. Find a space in your house where it is quiet, comfortable and you wouldn’t get disturbed. Try to keep background noise to a minimum and let anyone you share your living space know that you have an interview, so they can keep their noise down. Close any windows and doors to minimise outside noise. Making sure the space behind you is not distracting and employer friendly too. You want the focus to be on you not what you have on your selves.
4. Do your research
Even with Google at your fingertips, it’s still best to do your research beforehand and be prepared for them to ask you about what you know about the company. If you are on a video call, your interviewer will know if you start trying to look up things. Instead, research beforehand and pick out key points you can talk about which fits in with why you want to work for them. Get to grips with their background, culture and goals. That way you get to know the company better and see if you fit in with their culture. Career pages are good places to start and if they have a blog, press releases, appearances or leadership pages.
5. Prepare your answers
You don’t want to have your answers rehearsed; but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan ahead and prepare for their questions. Having a document of bullets points or sentences you can use to prompt yourself will help you to say the right things at the right time. There are still going to be questions that you won’t expect but it’s always worth planning your answers to a few of the popular ones. Prepare examples you can give to show real world experiences. Be ready to talk about your motivations, why your applying and how you will be able to bring your knowledge to the job role. You can also prepare your questions to ask the company too, so you can find out more about them. It shows that you have applied your research and are interested in what they are doing.
6. Difficult questions
You should never be put off by difficult questions, they can be a great way to show your problem solving, personal and other wider skills employers are looking for. It’s important to craft an effective answer to your response. They aren’t asking you the question to remind you of a stressful situation or so you can complain about your old job. The employer is asking you this for a few reasons. Firstly, to find out what you think is a ‘difficult’ situation and how that fits with what they are looking for. Secondly, they can make a good judgement about how you will perform within their workplace by the way you approach difficulties. Four good things to think about are; 1. What was the situation? 2. How did you overcome it? 3. The outcome 4. What you learnt from it. Try not to make it sound negative and put a positive light on it, showing you learn and grow from the experience.
7. Dress for success
You may be at home for your interview but you still have to look the part. Make sure you wear something that you would wear in a face-to-face interview. Keep it smart and professional. Making an effort with your outfit can help you get into the mindset of the interview. Which is very useful if you’re at home. As a general rule, keeping your outfit fairly neutral will ensure that they are listening to what you say and not distracted by what you’re wearing.
8. Body Language
Having a video call can make it challenging to make a personal connection but there is still a lot you can do to show your personality. Using your body language to should your confidence, friendliness and positivity will get you building a rapport with your interviewer. Keeping eye contact and maintaining good posture will show that you are engaged and active in the interview. A good tip is to look at the camera rather that at the screen, sit up straight and try not to fidget as this could be a distraction or that you seem nervous.
At Free2learn, we think it’s important that people learn not just skills for their next job but employability skills that make them standout. We have a dedicated team that helps all our learners with interviews skills, cv writing and building your confidence, to take the step into the work place. Go to: https://free2learn.org.uk/courses/ to see which course will inspire you.