With the Covid-19 pandemic, online interviews have become more commonplace in the world of recruitment. If you’re currently looking for a new role, it’s more than likely that you will have to go through the interview process in front of a screen, with 88% of hiring managers using virtual interviews during the pandemic as a way to continue their recruitment. So, how do you prepare for your virtual interview?

 

Your preparation

The first – and probably most important – thing to remember, is that you still need to prepare for your interview. Just because it’s being conducted virtually, doesn’t mean you can fluff your way through it and expect to be offered the role. It’s a good idea to research the company and role beforehand, prepare to be asked common interview questions related to the role, and ask the hiring manager questions in return that will really show that you have done your research and want the job.

It’s also a good idea to test your technology before the day of your interview. The last thing you want is a technical issue that prevents you from performing as effectively as you can. This will also set your mind at rest during the interview, so you aren’t worrying that something is going to go wrong and ruin your chances of getting the job. It’s always good practice to run through the process of a virtual interview with a friend or family member beforehand, joining a video call and ensuring you can be heard and seen. This will also allow you to get familiar with the programme and prevent any confusion on the day of the interview. You should also consider where you will undertake the video too. Try and find a table or desk to rest your laptop or tablet, check the angle and have a look to see whether your background is really what you want a future employer to see.

Another good thing to do is to let those who live with you know when your virtual interview is taking place. This will prevent any unwanted interruptions occurring during the interview, and will ensure that background noise is kept to a minimum throughout. If you have pets, such as a cat or dog, ask someone else to look after them or put them in a separate room for the duration of the interview. If something does happen during your interview, such as someone walking into shot or your dog barking, take it in your stride, be open and acknowledge the differences in the interview process. It’s not the end of the world, and it won’t harm your chances of getting the job – it may even help your chances if you show you can handle disruption in the right way.

 

The day of the interview

It’s important to get a good night’s sleep the night before your interview, so you wake up refreshed and ready to go. Starting the day right will give you more confidence in the hours beforehand too – you don’t want to be rushing around and getting flustered because you’ve woken up late.

What you wear for your virtual interview matters just as much as it would if you were meeting the hiring manager in person. It’s certainly tempting to dress casually just because you’re in your own home, but it can make you look disinterested in the role if you wear something inappropriate. We always recommend wearing business casual for any interview, and in this instance, it’s important to check it looks appropriate on camera too.

Another good idea is to ensure you’re prepared to join the video call a few minutes early. First impressions count, and one of the worst things you can do is be late to your interview and waste the hiring manager’s time. Before you enter the call, take a few moments to do some breathing exercises and calm yourself down, so that you are fully prepared and in the right mind-frame.

As with any interview, starting with a smile is always a good idea. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to give a handshake, but you can still say ‘hello’ in an open and friendly manner, and it might even help to begin the interview with an informal conversation to break the ice and calm your nerves.

It’s also important that you try to remain calm. Remember, it’s likely that everyone else is currently going through the same process, and they are probably feeling exactly the same way as you. Virtual interviews are very similar to the normal interview, so there is no need to expect anything different and make yourself even more nervous.

 

Following these tips will give yourself the best shot of performing successfully during a virtual interview and getting the job. If you still need some additional guidance on performing in interviews, read our article, ‘How do you do well in an interview?’ here.