How to Ace Your Virtual Job Interview
Imagine you’ve just received an email from the hiring manager working for the company you’ve been eyeing. This company’s values align with yours and you couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to interview with them. Then you see it. In the corner of your eye, just a glimmer, that says your interview will be virtual.
This potentially nerve-racking reality is becoming increasingly more common, especially in the midst of a global health pandemic. On the one hand, we’ve learned it’s possible to do many jobs from home that we may not have considered previously – but have we mastered the art of dressing up and presenting ourselves professionally for an interview that takes place in our own living rooms?
Virtual interviews are something we may have to grow comfortable with, especially as our society seems to be embracing more remote and telecommuting positions. How we connect to and work with others is changing rapidly, and we’re here to give you a few handy tools to add to your career toolbox today.
Learning how to nail a virtual interview can put you one step ahead of the others, as virtual interviews require more effort to convey your charm and positive attitude. You can’t rely on your optimistic vibrations to fill the room; rather, you need to make sure that your talent, skills, and dedication are jumping off the screen.
Let’s look at proper preparation and techniques that will help you sail through your virtual interviews with confidence and ease.
How to Prepare Yourself for a Virtual Interview
Preparation for a virtual interview is a bit different than getting ready to go wow someone in person.
Here are a few tricks that will help you stand out from the crowd and make sure you’re ready to amaze your potential employer.
Do a Tech Test
The first thing that you’ll want to do is to make sure that all of your technology is functioning properly long before your interview. Make sure that your internet connectivity is up to par, your laptop is charged, and your microphone and camera are working.
Ideally, you should check all of your technology once you’ve landed the interview, and then again on the day of your virtual interview. Enlist a friend (or use another device you own) to check the quality and levels before you enter your interview. You’ll want to consider how loud you are speaking, how good your connection is, your body language on camera, and other things that you wouldn’t think of for a regular interview.
No matter how mentally prepared you may be, nothing can cut an interview short like a technological flub.
Consider Your Ambience
Now it’s time to set the scene for your interview. Choose a neutral, professional location in your home, like the office or the living room. Make sure that you have abundant lighting, allowing your personality and work ethic to shine through. (Sitting near a window can provide a lovely glow, as long as it’s not behind you.)
Once you’ve decided on the space, take a moment to organize and clean up the area, making sure it looks neat and tidy. Now make sure to remove any distractions and turn off all electronic devices that may interrupt your train of thought.
Curate The Look
Now it’s time to focus on your look. Many of us have been working from home or telecommuting over the past few months, which can lead to some serious fashion fatigue. We’ve been making deadlines in lounge pants for a while now, and you may feel uncomfortable getting dressed up to sit down in your own home.
However, it’s important that you present yourself as the professional individual that you are. You may be tempted to wear a suit jacket with your sweatpants, but for this, it’s best to go full out. Why? A sharp outfit will set the tone of your entire persona, it will boost your confidence and help your interview flow more smoothly. So, dust off your lucky dress or favorite pantsuit and hold your head high and proud.
Don’t worry about overdressing, your interviewer will be impressed by the effort you put into your appearance.
Think of the Details
It’s always a good idea to prepare yourself for standard interview questions, like “Why are you interested in this position?” or “What are your salary expectations?”
Even if you feel confident in interviews, it’s easy to get tripped up or stumble over your words – especially when you’ve been asked a question that you weren’t prepared to answer. Research the position and the company before entering the interview, this will not only show that you cared to google them but that you know exactly what you want.
Additionally, make the most out of the time you are given by preparing a few of your own questions. Most employers will ask you if you have any questions for them, and when you answer confidently you look even more qualified. You might ask what you can expect out of a typical day in this position or how they might describe their ideal candidate.
Consider the Vibe
Before your interview, it’s important to clear your energy and remove any negativity or doubt that might seep in and distract you. It is also important that you consider your overall energy levels.
Here are some suggestions on how to raise your vibration in time for your online interview:
- Meditation & Yoga can clear the mind, helping you find mental clarity and focus on the questions at hand. Take a moment to practice a few deep, yogic stretches to help your body let go of tension and insecurity.
- If you practice chakra healing, balancing the Root chakra through meditation can help you feel more stable and secure, amplifying confidence, and reducing worry or fear.
- Consider your Caffeine intake - Excess caffeine can give you the jitters before an interview, so have your cup of coffee in the morning but avoid over caffeinating in anticipation.
- Crystal healing is a fabulous practice for boosting your confidence before an interview. Red jasper is a grounding stone that further protects the Root chakra and increases concentration. Citrine is probably the most powerful stone to work with before a job interview because it raises your vibrations while attracting abundance. Keep a piece of citrine in your left pocket or to the left of your computer screen to amplify your powers of manifestation.
- Get a good night’s rest - This one is common sense but sleep is really important. Turn off your devices an hour before trying to sleep and ensure you get at least 8 hours.
5 Tips for Nailing Your Virtual Interview
Now that you’re fully prepared and feeling self-assured, it’s time to dive into some of the best tips for your upcoming virtual interview.
1. Acknowledge the Situation
We’re all fully aware of the interesting challenges that the current global health pandemic has brought to business and commerce, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the situation. You may have a protective dog or a wandering toddler in the home, and it’s much better to make a light-hearted comment about the comedy of the situation than to gloss over it.
Most of us would prefer to meet in person for an interview, but you can also use the opportunity to inject a bit of humor into the moment, showcasing your charm. Acknowledge the challenges their company has faced and express gratitude for the opportunity to interview with them.
2. Practice Confident Body Language
Since you aren’t able to meet your potential employer in person, they won’t be able to pick up on your physical energy. However, you can still project self-assuredness and strength through confident body language. Sit up straight and tall, hold your head high, and pull your shoulders back.
Whenever possible, make an effort to look into the camera instead of the screen. While you are looking at the person who is interviewing you on the screen, it’s also important to make that virtual eye contact with them whenever possible.
Additionally avoid slouching, yawning, and chewing gum or eating because this will indicate a lack of interest. You should also avoid fidgeting, which can be distracting and prevent you from showcasing your confidence and talent.
3. Be Yourself
We all want to be the best versions of ourselves for an interview, but it’s important to remember that no one is perfect or without flaws. It’s okay if you trip over your words or make a mistake when speaking – simply acknowledge it with a lighthearted joke and move on.
Don’t try to hold yourself to some unattainable standard or you might end up sounding like a robot. The person interviewing you is looking for a dynamic, talented individual, not a perfect specimen. Allowing your unique personality to shine through during your virtual interview is what will set you apart from the rest.
You have a lot to offer an employer! Show them that you’re proud of your hard work and that you’ll bring that energy to their company.
4. Focus on Connection
While employers are typically looking for the most qualified person for the job, they also want to continue to build a helpful, friendly team. Show them that you’re a fan of social connection and teamwork by being friendly, first and foremost. You have a chance to make a connection with your interviewer that will show them why they want to hire you.
The goal here is a balance of professional energy and comradery. They want to know that you’ll not only work hard but that you play well with others. After all, every job feels more fulfilling when you work with a team of dedicated, empathetic individuals.
Look for a common connection between yourself and your potential employer, and show them that you’re a great companion for a work lunch or a difficult project.
5. Follow Up
The first thing to do when your interview is over is to make sure that you’ve disconnected from your video call before practicing any victory dances.
Once your interview is complete, you may be glued to your phone, waiting for a call or an email to make your day. However, you’re more likely to be remembered and contacted when you follow up.
Send a warm but professional email thanking your interviewer for the opportunity 24 hours after the interview is over. Let them know that you are enthusiastic about this position and remember to make a callback to something mentioned in the interview. Whether it’s lighthearted or more serious, making a reference to something said in the interview will show that you paid attention.
If you had an interview with more than one individual, make sure to thank them each personally. This shows an attention to detail and a friendly, appreciative demeanor.
Conclusion: You Got This!
While virtual interviews may feel a bit unusual, you can still allow your unique personality and strong work ethic to shine by following these steps. Remind yourself that you have a lot to offer and that the Universe is shifting things around to bring the perfect opportunity into your life!
All it takes is confidence, trust in yourself, and faith in the universe.