With Covid-19 the virtual interview has become the norm for most employers. Interviewing virtually is so different than the regular onsite interview. With virtual interviews you now must contend with the technology factor and your interview space.
Make sure your home technology is up-to-the-task. Can your computer handle Zoom, WebEx, etc.? For safety sake, plug your computer in so you don’t lose connection due to a loss in power.
Space - select your interview space carefully. Use a room with good natural light if possible. Make sure your lighting is behind your CPU so your face is well illuminated. You don’t want shadows on your face and want your interviewers to see you clearly. They are looking to see your facial expressions and see how well you engage in this medium. Also make sure your CPU is elevated so it’s at eye level. Looking down doesn’t come across well to the interviewer. Close windows you may have open to minimize unexpected street noise.
Get some sleep the night before so you come across with good energy when answering questions. You don’t want to put your interviewer to sleep.
Use a virtual background or be sure to tidy up your interview space.
Use headphones to reduce background noise. Get a babysitter and put the dog out. We don’t want to hear screaming children. It is distracting to both you and the interviewer. It may also be unnerving to you.
Put your cell phone on mute/vibrate and ringer off on home phones. Don’t let telemarketers or wrong numbers interrupt your interview.
Have your resume, the job description and questions out and ready to use.
Clarify what to do at the beginning of the interview, if you have connectivity issues. Who will you let know there’s an issue?
If you have a pet or child that may come into the room, let the interviewer know in advance so we’re not surprised if this happens. That being said, it’s still best to get them squared away before the interview starts.
Dress – business casual or business dress is important. Most people are working from home so business casual is ok. Just make sure you’re neat, clean, etc. If you’re unsure, it never hurts to dress up. Remember, you’re the one looking for a job. The interviewer already has one.
Look into the screen when answering questions or asking them. It’s harder to engage candidates through a CPU, give us good face time. Be energetic; personable; and let your personality shine thru.
Sit up straight and engage your interviewer.
Know there is a second or two time delay with internet interviews. It may throw you off a bit when listening to answers or asking questions. Wait a second before your response to make sure the interviewer has finished their question.
Prepare as you would for any other interview. See Onsite Interviews.