An internship that doesn't require you to move from the comfort of your own desk and, yet, provides you with a world of opportunities! Yes, you heard that right. A virtual internship is an internship with no office, no dress code, and no travel time - because it’s 100% virtual.
The onset of COVID-19 and the resultant pandemic-induced lockdown has transformed how organizations and institutions function across the world. With the normalization of work/study-from-home, virtual interactions have become a necessity. Besides being a safe process, virtual interviews save time for the involved parties.
As and after these guidelines ease, many companies will likely continue to rely on virtual interviews (if not virtual employment) in the near future too.
So, in this article, we review the best ways to ace your next virtual internship interview.
Comprehensively test the interaction platform before the interview. Even if not specified, be prepared for a video interview. Ensure that the video camera and microphone are working properly and that there is an uninterrupted internet connection and power supply.
Get ready early for the interview, just as you would for an on-site interview.
It can be very easy to get the time or date of the interview wrong if you aren’t paying attention and the last thing you want to do is miss the whole interview entirely. If there is any confusion, confirm the time with whoever you’re interviewing with to make sure you’ve got it right.
Just because you’re on a computer doesn’t mean you can sit unprepared. Research the company ahead of time and jot down notes for easy reference. Also print out a copy of your resume, so that you don’t forget key talking points.
It’s also best to come prepared with answers to common interview questions. However, avoid memorizing each response, so you don’t sound overly rehearsed. Instead, write some high-level thoughts down on Post-it Notes that you can stick to your computer.
In a virtual interview, you should dress the same as you would in a face-to-face interview. Doing so not only makes you appear professional and excited about the opportunity, but it will also make you feel more prepared and confident. When an interview takes place from a remote location like your home, you should expect it to be just as formal as one that takes place in an office—if you are unsure, business casual is a good standard to follow.
There can be a lot of pressure to make a great first impression, especially if this is your first internship. But do not worry, it is important to be relaxed and calm. When interviewing virtually, you have the rare opportunity to speak in a relaxing, familiar environment and show the interviewer who you are and why you are the best person for the job. Use tools like your body language, facial expressions and interview preparations to convey your confidence and personality as it relates to the position. Remember to sip up straight and ensure your camera is placed so your face is in the middle of your screen (not too much blank space above or below your head).
Establishing rapport is important in any business relationship because it allows you to separate yourself from other candidates by building a personal connection with the interviewer. When communicating virtually, it's still necessary to find ways to establish rapport. You can do this by being prepared to talk about a common interest, asking how your interviewer’s experience has been with virtual interviews, or by finding some other neutral topic with which to learn more about your interviewer.
Give the interviewer 100% of your attention. To limit distractions, choose a quiet location for the interview and turn off your other technological devices such as checking email, phone, etc to avoid multitasking.
After your interview, plan to send a well-timed follow-up. It's good practice to send a follow-up email within 24 hours of an interview, thanking the interviewer for their time and letting them know you are available if they have any additional questions. Reach out to the HR representative or hiring manager you have been speaking with to get a list of your interviewers’ emails.
With the advancement of video conferencing technology, the opportunity to connect with anyone, anywhere, at any time has become a reality. More and more companies are incorporating virtual meetings into their day-to-day functioning and it’s becoming commonplace in the interview process. In this Internet era, being a compelling communicator – including online – is a critical skill to help advance your career. Follow the tips mentioned above to stand out on the screen. It will help you ace your internship interview as well as future interviews.
Ultimately, the key to acing a virtual interview is proper preparation. From ensuring your technology is working to researching the company before the meeting, sitting down at your computer poised and ready for any and all questions will help set you apart from other applicants.