Virtual interview tips

How to ace your virtual interview

woman on a virtual interview with a man

If you had the pleasure of undergoing a virtual interview prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, you were probably in a small minority. For most job candidates, it’s a brand new concept. And yet in just a few short months, being interviewed via a video link has become the default option in this remote, socially distanced world we find ourselves in.

If you are currently looking for work, the chances are that you will face a virtual interview at some point, and maybe for the first time. That is bound to add extra anxieties to an already stressful process, and raise questions. What’s different about a virtual interview compared to face-to-face? Do you have to prepare differently? How do you make that all-important ‘connection’ over a Zoom or Teams call? Is there anything you need to be especially aware of?

Everyone is starting from the same position, learning as they go. With that in mind, here’s our top five virtual interview tips for candidates….

Prepare your technology

We all know first impressions matter in interviews, and being late is one of the worst impressions you can give. If you’re new to the virtual process, one thing to watch out for is your camera and microphone not working properly or having to download apps for the meeting platform, which can easily hold things up. Check everything works well in advance and don’t leave it to the last minute to enter a room – do whatever it takes to be on time.

Prepare your environment

Speaking of impressions, remember that this is still a formal process, regardless of whether you are sat in your bedroom or not. Make sure you tidy whatever room you are sat in – your interviewers will see behind you, and they will make a mental note of what sort of state your environment is in, even if only sub-consciously! If necessary, create a neutral ‘set’ behind you, even if that means just positioning yourself with a plain wall as the background. The general message is – do everything you can to come across as professional as you can.

Go for a practice run

If you have never experienced a virtual interview before, it’s a good idea to have a test run beforehand. Get a friend or colleague to put you through a mock interview. As well as being a great way to test your technology (if your WiFi is causing audio and visuals to buffer, you want to know about that well in advance of the real thing), it is also an opportunity for you to practice and adjust your performance. Body language is a particularly tricky thing to get right in a virtual interview. Ask for feedback on whether you seemed fidgety, experiment with how close to the camera you sit, and practice looking into the camera rather than at the interviewers on screen!

Minimise distractions

One of the trickiest things about home working in general, especially if there are several people in your household working from home, is the potential for distractions. When you are being interviewed via video link, the last thing you want is your partner / children / pet interrupting because they didn’t know what you were doing, or loud noises in the background. Make sure everyone knows when your interview is, and do what is necessary to get some peace and quiet.

Don’t forget to follow up

Finally, most of the standard rules of interviewing apply whether you are on a video link or in person – be prompt, be professional, be friendly, sell yourself! Another one not to forget is to follow up. It’s always good practice to send an email asking for any news or feedback 24 hours or so later (if you haven’t heard back yet), it shows you are keen and gives you an opportunity to learn from the experience whatever the outcome is.

Next Steps…

Are you ready to progress your career? Are you new to video interviewing? Our team of recruitment experts are working on a series of exciting IT and tech roles and, are on hand to offer best practice advice and guidance. Contact us on hello@fruitionit.co.uk or 0113 323 9900.

Next up, our top five virtual interviews tips for hiring managers…

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