The ongoing pandemic has made virtual interviews more commonly used by many companies. Due to the lockdown restrictions that have called for remote working, employers are shifting towards virtual interviews to hire interns and employees.
As the impact of the Coronavirus on work will continue for an unknown amount of time, it is safe to assume that virtual interviews will replace in person ones to a great extent.
In this article, we have compiled some tips on how to ace virtual interviews in order to place into your dream internship.
Test the Technology Beforehand:
Since the virtual interview takes place via the internet, you will be using software such as Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet. It is important to ensure your internet is fast and you have the required software installed beforehand. Test your webcam, headphones, and other technical specifications to avoid any last-minute problems. Also, make sure you log in to the meeting at least 10-15 minutes before it is scheduled to start to take care of technical difficulties and to show the recruiter that you are prompt.
If possible, utilize a laptop or desktop over a cell phone for joining the interview. A computer is more stable than a mobile phone and will allow you to more easily access features such as a resume or code editor (for a coding interview).
Another aspect of preparing for the interview involves organizing all relevant documents beforehand. This may include files such as a resume, cover letter, or course certification and it is important that these are readily available for your reference or for request of your interviewer. This will save you the hassle of finding the documents during the interview. Also, be familiar with the technology that allows you to share your screen with the interviewer to showcase any work. Early preparation will ensure that your interview goes smoothly.
Find A Comfortable Spot:
Find a comfortable and well lit place to take your interview. It is better to have a plain wall as a backdrop to keep things simple and formal. Since your surroundings play an important role in affecting your focus level, ensure that the area nearby is clutter-free and organized, aside from the occasional plant or non-distracting background objects.
Disable The Distractions:
After deciding your interview spot, make sure that you minimize the distractions around you. Inform others that you will not be available during that time. Turn off your phone and television and ask those you are living with to cooperate. If you are anticipating a long interview, keep a glass of water nearby.
The distractions listed do not give a good impression to a recruiter and can lower your focus level, so make sure all of these are dealt with beforehand.
Keep Notes Handy:
A common mistake many applicants make in their virtual interview is taking advantage of the freedom it offers. It is not recommended to search for answers on a different tab during the interview. Avoid taking help from friends or family members behind the camera as it may look bad to a recruiter. As an alternative, you can jot down some key points on a notepad and keep it close to you for reference.
Virtual interviews allow us to take an interview from the comfort of our home, but that does not mean you should be wearing pajamas for it! Dressing appropriately plays a crucial role in making the right impression on employers. Choose something comfortable yet formal such as a blazer, button-up shirt, or a plain blouse and avoid wearing bold patterns or bright colors. Pay attention to your hair as well and ensure that it is tied up or put in another proper form.A good outfit can instantly make you more confident and authoritative, so dress well for the part.
Another thing to keep in mind is your posture. Imagine yourself to be in a face-to-face interview and keep your back and neck straight. Body language can play a crucial role during an interview, and good body language radiates confidence.
Do Your Research and Prepare In Advance:
Many of the questions that employers ask during virtual interviews are the same as those asked during in-person interviews. While it is difficult to predict these types of questions, you can prepare well for some commonly asked ones, such as:
"Why do you want to work with us?"
"Why do you think you are suitable for this role?"
"What are your strengths/weaknesses?"
"What can you bring to our company that stands out?"
“Why would you be a good fit into our company culture?”
These fulfill the behavioral/personal part of the interview. Apart from this, many roles will involve technically based questions that are based on the role that you are applying for. A lot of the time, you can prepare for these types of questions. These questions range from roleplay type of questions (asking you about certain scenarios) to questions that test your problem solving abilities. Make sure you do research or reach out to your recruiter to see what type of questions you will be dealing with during your interview so that you can adequately prepare for it.
Most employers ask whether you have any questions for them towards the end of an interview. It is helpful to prepare a few descriptive questions beforehand that aligns with the position you are applying for. Use this opportunity to leave a better impression and show your seriousness towards the role.
Though it is optional, a nice follow-up message is considered good practice. You can email your interviewers within 24 hours of your interview, thanking them for their time and discussing any other points that relate to your interview. Remember to keep your email short and simple.
With the shift in workplace culture amid the pandemic, virtual interviews are going to continue in the long run. Employers are increasingly using them to narrow down the applicant list. Hence, it becomes important to know how to master virtual interviews. The ultimate key lies in early preparation, which can help in setting you apart from others.