Remote and hybrid working has become the norm across a range of professions. It is becoming more common for organisations to forego traditional in-person interviews in favour of virtual interviews.
Virtual interviews have the benefit of saving unnecessary travel time, hassle, and expense. But remote interviews come with their own set of unique technical challenges. However, it’s still important to remember the foundations for a good interview and how to succeed.
It’s essential to come to your interview prepared to answer and ask relevant questions. Being able to answer questions about your background, experience and plans will help show that you are a rounded individual. As well as your professional background you should also remember to showcase your personality, interests and hobbies.
Try to make your answers clear and concise. Avoid one-word answers and expand as much as possible, whilst avoiding rambling on without making a point.
An interview is your opportunity to show what you can contribute to the organisation. They are looking for people who can provide the most value, so be ready to discuss your successes. Value does not only come from experience and skills. Showing that you can work as part of a team is important, and a good attitude, friendly manner, and evidence of a willingness to learn are all valuable qualities.
Interviews are a two-way process. While the interviewer is trying to gauge your understanding and abilities to do the job, it’s important to ask questions to ensure the company is also a good fit for you. Asking questions shows that you have taken the time to become familiar with the organisation and that you are interested in learning more about the company.
You don’t need to know everything, but you should have confidence in your achievements and in your ability to learn more.
Technology Tips For Your Virtual Interview
Be comfortable with the tools
Become comfortable with the software you will use in the interview. Knowing the basic controls of how to adjust settings for your camera, sound, file sharing and screen sharing will help avoid creating any pauses or awkward moments in the interview while you hunt for a button.
Test everything in advance, if you can; and have a backup plan in case something doesn’t work. For example, can you easily connect with your phone if something happens to your laptop?
Turn off updates
Install any software updates ahead of the interview, or turn them off if you can. There’s nothing worse than your computer deciding to reboot mid-interview.
Turn off notifications on all your nearby devices before the interview. Silence your phone even if you are using a laptop or tablet. These could be a distraction for you and the other people on the call.
Know how to share your screen
In your interview, you may be asked to share or present something on the call. If this happens, make sure you know how to share exactly what you need. Ideally, close all other windows or applications before the call so there is no risk of confusion or a mis-click during the call.
Try to position your camera as close to your eye-line as possible. This will give your interviewer a natural scene of your face. If your camera is too low or too high, your position will appear unnatural to the interviewer. Another great tip is to place your screen as close to your camera as possible. It’s natural to look at the person you are talking to, rather than addressing the camera, so keeping them together will replicate a natural eyeline. You don’t want to appear that you are looking at something else when you are giving them your full attention.
Your location should be well-lit with a bright, even light, so you look as good as possible. Don’t sit with your back to a window or other bright light sources, as this is likely to turn you into a silhouette. Face the window instead; if this is an option. If the daylight is too bright, adjust the curtains or blinds. If you sit facing a lamp, make sure you are not too close to avoid any bright spots or shadows on your face.
Make sure your speakers or headphones are on and working before your meeting. If you have a Bluetooth connection, make sure this is reliable and connected in advance. Check your device settings so the correct speakers and microphone are selected, as some devices can have several options.
Conduct your interview in a quiet location where you won’t be disturbed or distracted by external noises. Avoid places like coffee shops, as these are often noisy environments with many distractions.
Make sure there is nothing in your camera which is distracting for the other people on the call. The background of your location should be as presentable as possible. Move bags, clothes, or anything else that gives the appearance of clutter out of the shot. You should avoid using virtual backgrounds in your interview as these often call attention to themselves, but a blurred background is a subtle way of ensuring that you, and not your surroundings, are the focal point.
Make sure your device is plugged in, or if this is not possible, ensure the battery is fully charged prior to starting the interview. A low battery indicator will add unnecessary stress to the interview, especially if things are going well and you overrun the allotted time.
Check you have a strong internet connection and your device is logged in before starting the interview. If your signal is weak, consider moving to a new location with a more reliable connection.
Digital filters in video calls can change your appearance. They are most often used to make minor improvements, for example, to enhance how your skin looks. In one sense, they are no different to using makeup or lighting to look your best, but digital filters are different because they only work when you are using the app. At some point, you will have to meet people face to face without it, so it’s best to take this opportunity to show them the ‘real you’ right from the start.