As we enter the fall season, it’s looking like these uncertain times amidst Covid are lasting through the foreseeable future. Job searching may seem daunting given the situation we are in. On top of that, a majority of interviews are now held over phone calls and video. It may seem harder to stand out over video and phone, but we have a few tips on acing virtual interviews. By adjusting accordingly for virtual interviews, you’ll be able to focus on the interview itself regardless of how it’s being conducted.
1. Prepare ahead of time.
Just because you don’t have to leave your house to interview doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared. In addition to company research and all the normal preparation you would do, you also have to make sure all things tech-related are ready! If it’s a video interview, make sure to test audio and video on your computer and whatever application (like Zoom) you are using. Make sure you have strong Wi-Fi, and you are in a quiet space in your house (for both video and phone interviews!) Show up early on video so you can join on time, or if it’s a phone interview, have your phone ready and pick your designated spot quite a few minutes before the interview actually starts.
2.Take advantage of being in your home environment.
Not going to an office to interview can have its perks! Write up a one-sheet with all relevant info you may need during an interview. You should write down the certain skills or experience you want to touch on, parts of the job description you want to relate your experience to, questions you want to ask the interviewer, etc. If you are on video, you can keep this sheet out of site but keep it close to reference it during the interview. This will make being put on the spot so much easier!
3. Show engagement throughout the interview.
If you are on a video interview, it can be a bit tough to respond in real time to every single thing the interviewer says due to a lag with the video connection. To combat this, be sure you are visually nodding and smiling to show you are listening. If you can interject, try and do so sparingly to avoid any awkward overlap between you and the interviewer. If you are interviewing over the phone, be an active listener. Verbally acknowledge what they are saying with a “yeah” or even “mhmm.” While this may feel odd, it’ll show the interviewer you are listening to what they are saying since they can’t see you. Be ready to actively interject or respond to what they are saying as well.
4. Silence phone and computer notifications.
The last thing you want is your emails or texts pinging and interrupting the interview. It’ll distract both you and the interviewer, and can throw off the conversation. Simply silencing your phone and computer notifications will avoid all of this and make it much easier to focus!
5. Ask about next steps.
This one seems like common sense when you have an in-person interview, but it’s crucial you ask this question as well when the interview is virtual. When it comes to phone interviews, a lot of times it’s just the first round and they will be moving to either a video or in-person interview for the second round. In video interviews, it’s easy to forget this question when you’re focused on ending the interview, but you should be treating the video interview just like an in-person one. You will be able to get a good gauge of how the interview went based on the interviewer’s answer. In addition, you can have a clear timeline of the process and when you need to be following up with this potential employer.
While virtual interviews are certainly different, they don’t need to be difficult. As we rely more and more on technology during 2020 to get through this pandemic, it’s important to hone in on your virtual skills as they will go past just the interview process. With these tips, you’ll be able ace your interviews and continue to succeed in your career path!
Community Engagement Coordinator
Meghan is the Community Engagement Coordinator here at Success Lab HQ. She focuses on marketing and social media, office management, and connecting with our community. She enjoys reading, hiking, music, and any outdoor activities in her downtime!