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What is a virtual interview?

Updated: Jul 14, 2020

Due to current events like the corona virus pandemic and the sudden need to bring many positions online, virtual interviews have also become a necessity when traditional interviews cannot take place face-to-face. Therefore many companies have begun using digital technology early in the talent engagement process to replace the face-to-face interviews. Video conferencing software, such as Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts, has helped recruiters reach a more diverse, global group of candidates, and offers a cost – effective way to screen prospective hires.


According to research by Handshake, 89% of the employers are conducting their job interviews online. Virtual interviews allows the recruiters to save time, effort, and hire better talent at the click of a button and equip the candidates to find the best matched opportunity.



What is a virtual interview?



A virtual interview, or a video interview, is a job interview that leverages video technology to allow the discussion to take place remotely. Rather than meeting face-to-face, the hiring manager and candidate will connect with each other online using video software.

Tips to ace a virtual interview:


1. Test your technology:


Technical skills are considered one of the top competencies employers look in for new hires, and hiring managers are able to gauge your abilities easily during a virtual interview. An oversight many candidates make is waiting a few minutes before the interview to test their equipment and attempt to learn the platform. They encounter with technical issues in the process and jeopardize their first meeting and impression due to being late to the interview. The minute you agree to a virtual interview, test your technology to ensure you’re setup for success. Check your internet connectivity, and confirm your camera and microphone are working before hand. Technical savvy is one of the top 10 traits employers are looking for, and by fumbling around with your audio or lightning during the call, you give the hiring manager a reason to question whether you’re the right candidate for the job.


2. Set the scene and minimize distractions:


While testing your technology, determine where to take the interview. Find a room with optimal lighting, preferably near a window, or a blank wall to graduate you are the focal point of the conversation. Wherever you are seated make sure the surroundings are neat and clean. The messier the background the harder it is to convince a hiring manager of how detail- oriented and organized you are as an employee. Once settled, eliminate all the distractions. Turn off the TV, silence your cell phone, and close any nearby windows to muffle neighborhood traffic and avoid physical disruptions as much as possible. Notify others nearby that you are conducting a job interview and ask for privacy. Write out your questions, have a pen and a paper nearby to take notes. Have a copy of your resume on your desk.



3. Sit down prepared:


Just because you are on a computer that doesn’t mean that you can search the web for answers mid-interview, so avoid clicking ground. Appear focused and ready to answer any questions without the help of the internet. Research the company way ahead of time and jot down notes for easy reference. 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. It is easy to tell if you aren’t being genuine, so it’s a good idea to run through a few practice rounds with a friend or family members. This will give u a chance to rehearse with different personalities and answer a variety of different questions. Being clear and concise is one of the most important things in a job interview.



4. Dress to impress:


Projecting professionalism goes beyond your email address and username. For your video interview, you should dress professionally, the same way you would for an in-person interview. Research the company culture before your interview so you have a good idea of what’s appropriate. To look your best on camera, avoid bright colours and patterns and opt for softer colours instead. Dressing in a professional manner not only gives you confidence but also makes you feel prepared. A great outfit example for men and women is a button-down shirt and blazer with slacks. Avoid flashy accessories so as not to divert the employers attention from your expertise. You should be the focus of the interview, not your wardrobe.



5. Use professional Body language:


Because interviewing via video or phone limits the ability to communicate with body language, it is important to utilize body language in a clear, professional way. For example, if you get a question that is unexpected, make sure to stay poised and take a moment to collect your thoughts. Sit up straight, smile, and keep the camera at eye level. In most interviews, you shake hands with your employer at the beginning and at the end of the discussion. It’s an important body language cue that helps you establish the relationship. Research shows that employers are more likely to remember what u said if you maintain eye contact, so keep your focus on the camera when talking, not on the image of the hiring manager.


6. Professional account name and ID:


Providing professional name and ID to the interviewer builds a positive first impression on the candidate. Be sure that your profile name and the email ID you give for the meeting is professional. The simplest thing is to use your full name as your profile name and mail ID. The reason being some people have old account they have made in the past and sometimes have quirky, funny names they created that can come across as unprofessional.


7. Follow up:


Show your interest! Immediately after your interview(s), reach out to the interviewer by email to show how much you want the role and thank them for their time. Be sure to mention different nuggets of information and tidbits of relevant conversation from the interview. It’s a good practice to send a follow-up email within 24 hours of an interview and let them know your are available if they have any additional questions.





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