How to Prepare for a Virtual Interview...
The evolution of technology and has allowed employers to implement cost saving measures to recruit new talent. Virtual interviews are one of tools that employers use to facilitate this effort. Popular video conferencing software, such as, Google Meet and Zoom are used to allow recruiters to reach a diverse group of people as more positions become available remotely since the development of the global corona virus pandemic.
What is a virtual interview??
A virtual interview is an alternate method of screening candidates for a position that takes place remotely instead of in person. Some of the physical tools that are required for this kind of interview are a computer with a camera, an internet connection, and a microphone. Having the proper tools necessary is only part of the virtual interview preparation. Just as preparation is necessary for an in-person interview so the same consideration must be applied to a virtual one.
· Make sure to test your equipment prior to the interview
To avoid an embarrassing glitches or hiccups during your interview test your equipment, i.e.- computer, internet connection, webcam/microphone, software stability. Computer glitches can make you look unprepared and unprofessional especially if they can be avoided.
· Remain Professional
Many potential job applicants will often neglect establishing a professional virtual identity. A virtual identity would include having an email address that is professional in nature without using any whimsical names. Some of the unprofessional names that I have seen during the hiring process are Hotmama69 and Coolbreeze92. These usernames are acceptable when interacting with friends or recreational chat groups but have no place in a professional setting.
Email usernames should be less ostentatious and avoid the use of symbols or characters which could be confusing to those who need to understand them. A combination of your first, middle or last name should be used when creating a professional email account to develop a positive, lasting impression.
· Dress to Impress
Remaining professional should be a consistent theme throughout creating a virtual image. Dressing appropriately, despite the venue of the interview, highlights your ability to present an image that would best represent the company, if hired. As you would not wear jeans and a tee shirt to an in-person interview nor should wear these items to a virtual one.
· Setting the Stage
Physical interviews usually take place in an office or conference room free from distractions and interruptions. Create an environment without those daily distractions which might go unnoticed in your normal routine, such as, televisions, radios and most importantly cell phones. All these items should be silenced during the interview.
Ensure that the background in which your interview will take place is clean and free from clutter. Any background distractions can reduce the focus from you making it increasingly difficult to convince the interviewer that you are the right person for the job. Also avoid using virtual backgrounds that some video conferencing software may offer. They can cause malfunctions with the video feed and which can also be a distraction during the interview process.
· Body Posture
Since the recruitment process has become a virtual affair during this pandemic, the customary greeting of a handshake is not an option. Your enthusiasm for the job must be conveyed through your body language which should be display in your posture. Sitting upright and maintaining eye contact with the camera and not on the image on the screen will offer a sense interest as you create a dialog with the recruiter.
· Important- Follow Up!!
Just as you would follow up with an email after a physical interview the same must be done after a virtual one, usually within 24 hours. The follow up contact after an interview denotes a continued interest in the position and allows for any additional information to be conveyed that was missed during the interview.
Virtual interviews have become a popular method of screening potential applicants and has become a vital part of the human resources tool kit to meet the needs of their employees. As no guarantee will get you hired for the job you want, proper preparation will place you in a better position to make a lasting, positive impression.