Technology has reinvented the way companies interview. It is estimated that more than one billion people connect to the Internet via their mobile device. With easy access to video conferencing apps, an interview can take place just about anywhere nowadays!
As a job seeker in today’s high-tech marketplace, it’s not uncommon for an employer to ask you to participate in a virtual interview. When they do, here are eight tips that will help you make a great virtual impression:
1. Get comfortable with the video conferencing technology. Don’t wait until your interview to test out the video conferencing software. Familiarize yourself with the basics of how it works ahead of time so that on the day of your interview, you are at ease.
2. Treat it with the same professionalism you would an in-person interview. You may be sitting in your living room, but it is still considered a formal interview. Make sure your appearance, environment and responses speak of your professionalism.
3. Anticipate delays – Video technology is not without flaws. Sometimes, there is a delay in the transmission. To accommodate, pause before speaking and allow ample time for your interviewer to finish their question before you respond.
4. Make eye contact with the camera. This is a big one. While it’s more natural to stare at the person on the video screen, keep your eyes focused on the camera. Good eye contact displays interest and confidence, even if it’s only an illusion produced by technology.
5. Watch your facial expressions. Unlike in-person interviews, virtual interviews are visually confined to your facial area. That means, every expression you make is being closely watched, so keep it in check.
6. Be thoughtful of your surroundings. Unless you are required to be at a specific place for the virtual interview, choose a location that has a professional, uncluttered setting with minimal noise or potential for interruption. If you are at home with a child or pet, don’t just hope they won’t do the unthinkable—plan ahead! Also, be aware that small noises (tapping on a pen, moving papers, etc.) are picked up loudly on a microphone and can be very distracting.
7. Rehearse your responses in advance. Your communication skills will be scrutinized even closer in a virtual interview since you don’t have all of the other elements of an in-person interview. Work through common questions in advance so you can communicate your thoughts clearly and concisely.
8. Don’t forget to disconnect when it ends – Nothing will be more embarrassing (or detrimental) than thinking you hung up and verbally expressing your opinion of the interview, only to discover the interviewer is still listening. Make sure you disconnect promptly when the interview is over!
Virtual interviews may have different dynamics than in-person interviews, but their purpose remains the same. With these points in mind, you’ll be equipped to make the best virtual impression!