How to Ace a Virtual Interview

Virtual interviews have become the new norm particularly after the Covid-19 pandemic that reigned in seismic shifts in the job landscape.

Conducting a job interview online does make it any lighter a task than do it physically. This post is focused on helping you ace a virtual interview.

Get The Dates, Time and Time Zone Right

This one seems obvious but you will be surprised how overlooking getting the dates, time and the time zone right can cause much grief that could have been avoided.

Before you do anything, ensure that you have got the correct date and time for the virtual interview.

Also make sure you get the time zone right especially if you are in a different location from the interviewers.

Also ensure that you have saved the link to the virtual meeting room (in most cases its Zoom or Teams). You don’t want to be foraging through your emails last minute looking for the link.

Copy the link on time and save it where you can access it easily.

Ensure that Your Tech Is On Point

Over and above what has been highlighted above, there are a few more things you can do to get ready, including practicing your answers and avoiding distractions.

Practicing for a virtual interview

Practice in a setting that is as free of distractions as possible. Practicing in a coffee shop with background noises can be distracting, as can interruptions from cell phones.

Try to avoid distractions during your interview by turning off your cell phone and ignoring notifications from online services.

Avoid interruptions when you practice on a virtual set to ace an interview.

Make sure you dress appropriately for the job, as well.

How to Practice for a Virtual Interview

Before you head to an actual interview, practice on a computer or a phone. Don’t forget to practice with different people so you can avoid feeling robotic or insincere.

Practice on a few different scenarios before the actual interview.

Practice answering hypothetical questions from the hiring manager or interviewers so you can practice presenting your ideas.

Remember to be yourself and avoid giving a scripted response.

While practicing on a virtual environment, candidates should also know the tools they’ll need to use to connect to the video chat service.

Make sure you know how to set up the video chat service and which commands to press in order to be fully comfortable.

Practice avoiding embarrassing situations that can make you appear incompetent. You may even want to try practicing in front of a mirror before going for the actual interview.

If you’re going for a virtual interview, make sure your setup mirrors a newsreader’s.

Try to speak clearly and slowly without mumbling. Be sure to avoid fillers by speaking slowly and clearly.

If you’re a non-native speaker, practice by speaking to a friend or a video-interview partner to get a feel for the setting.

Before the interview, test the technology. Make sure your internet connection and camera are working correctly.

If you’re going to use video chat for the interview, purchase a mini webcam with a built-in microphone.

You should test your equipment in a virtual interview 15 to 30 minutes beforehand. If you’re unsure of how to use your video chat program, try it on your friend’s computer before the actual interview.

It might even be best to buy a mini webcam with built-in microphone. Practicing is the key to aceing your virtual interview.

Avoiding Distractions In A Virtual Interview

When conducting a virtual interview, the first thing you should focus on is avoiding distractions.

You should sit in a comfortable position with the right lighting. Avoid distracting items such as your television or computer.

Your surroundings should also be clean and clutter-free.

You should close the windows and turn off all other distractions. Your background should be as professional and neutral as possible.

Avoid using flashy colors when conducting a virtual interview.

Another thing to avoid is background noise. Try to avoid conducting your virtual interview at a coffee shop, as the noise from the environment can be distracting.

Likewise, make sure there are no interruptions, such as cell phones or notifications from online services. It’s also important to switch off your computer or phone.

You also should not use your mobile device while interviewing someone. Make sure to turn off all of your computer’s speakers and microphone before beginning the interview.

The best way to avoid distractions in a virtual interview is to focus completely on the interviewer.

Stay focused on the virtual interviewer, and avoid looking at yourself in the camera. This will help you feel more confident and avoid being distracted by outside distractions.

You should also try to connect with the interviewer as much as possible.

Remember to tell them about a common interest or personal story that they may have with you. This will avoid you from blending in with other applicants.

Another important consideration when conducting a virtual interview is to avoid background distractions. Make sure that you have a quiet room with no distractions.

If your interview is taking place on a tablet or phone, prop it up against a table or something else so it won’t distract you. You should also make sure that any notifications don’t pop up on the screen.

This is especially important when you’re conducting a video interview.

In addition to avoiding visual distractions, shot down any other programs and windows on your laptop that you do not need.

If possible use a Wi-Fi or fibre solutions for your connectivity. While you can use your cellular data, the signal quality may not be best for video conferencing. So these are possibilities you need to test out on time.

Speaking Clearly

When addressing an interviewer over video, it’s important to project your voice and speak clearly.

Digital connections are often slow and delay between meeting participants can cause a lag in audio. If possible, pause for a few seconds before responding. During a video interview, the interviewer’s questions should be answered first. If the interviewer has a long question, it’s best to wait until they finish before responding.

Body Language is Crucial

When speaking, remember that your body language is important. While it’s natural to speak faster in person, it’s difficult for a virtual interviewer to read your body language.

So, slow down a little bit to make it easier for the interviewer to follow your conversation.

Additionally, speaking more slowly will reduce the chances of interruptions or the use of filler words. By following these simple tips, you can make a better impression on your interviewer.

Pause Before Answering Questions

Pause before you answer questions. It’s natural to react as the interviewer finishes talking, but try not to do it right away.

By pausing before responding, you can gather your thoughts and show that you’ve thought about your response.

Remember, people differ in their opinions on some topics, so be careful not to discuss sensitive topics.

You can always ask the interviewer a question to gain more insight into the job.

Adapt Your Environment

Adapting to your surroundings is also important.

While it’s impossible to make use of a comfortable office chair or workspace, you can still adapt to your virtual interview environment.

If your interview is taking place at a location without an office space, choose a place with good lighting and a window.

A good seat is also essential, as it helps you see the screen clearly. This way, you’ll make it easier for your interviewer to see you.

Remember that you’re on video, so it’s important to make yourself visible and understandable. It’s easy to get sidetracked and a pause in your speech can seem awkward.

Instead of filling the silence, you’ll seem more approachable to your interviewer and can build a more personal connection.

You’ll be glad you did! So, if you’ve prepared for your virtual interview, you’ll feel more confident when the actual interview starts.

Signaling The End Of Your Answer In A Virtual Interview

One of the most important aspects of a virtual interview is signaling the end of your answer.

There are many different ways to do this, from using visual cues to asking a follow-up question.

But no matter which method you use, make sure to signal the end of your answer before the interviewer does.

Leaving a long silence between questions and answers is often awkward, whether over video or in person.

In a traditional interview, candidates can show their interest in the job by nodding a few times when they finish a sentence or respond to the interviewer.

But in a virtual interview, a lack of physical cues makes it difficult to make your answer seem focused or engaged.

A few seconds-long pauses will also give the interviewer time to process your answer. If you are unsure of when to signal the end of your answer in a virtual interview, try to practice answering a few questions at a time.

Once you’ve finished answering a question, you should turn off any unnecessary background noise.

You may want to mute the sound on your phone or laptop to make sure you’re free of distractions.

Turn off any music and internet tabs before beginning the virtual interview, and make sure you’re completely in a quiet space.

Also, make sure that you have a contact number for the interviewer so that you can follow up with them later.

Final Thoughts

Acing a virtual interview is crucial for your career and for landing that dream job. Follow these tips share above and you’ll be on your way to landing that dream job. It’s matter of when, not if.

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October 2023


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