That dream job is right around the corner, but the dreaded virtual interview stands in the way. You know you’ve got the skills, but now it’s time to make a knockout first impression that gets you through the door.
If that means using your lucky eyeliner pencil or buying an overpriced iced coffee, so be it!
What are the best ways to prepare for a virtual interview so that you can hop on that video call with confidence and seal the deal? Here are eight tips to make it happen.
1. Be Ready for Common Questions
Every interview is slightly different, but you can safely anticipate some common questions from the start. Write down a list of questions you expect based on the position and your experience, and rehearse a few responses before the meeting begins.
Here are a few frequently asked questions that will likely come up:
- What inspired you to apply for this role?
- Why did you leave your last job?
- What ambitions do you have for your career?
- What is your greatest strength/weakness?
- Where do you see yourself in one/five/ten years?
It sounds cliche, but these questions will probably appear in some form or other, so be prepared! Just be cautious to avoid scripted responses that sound too good to be true. Authenticity is everything!
2. Have Facts and Figures to Reference
Business is all about the bottom line, no matter your profession. Interviewers love to hear about your performance in clear terms referencing familiar metrics like sales, impressions, reviews, and deliverables.
If you have these facts and figures on hand, use them to your advantage to articulate your value, both present, and future. If you don’t have these numbers available, try to quantify your performance in another way.
3. Show Interest and Enthusiasm
Earning employment is more than pure performance, of course. Personality and enthusiasm also matter, yet these things can be difficult to convey in a virtual format. Your best bet is to show engagement and interest through body language and active listening, even if it’s hard to show on camera.
Avoid closed body language and smile without grinning too broadly. If you’re genuinely attentive and interested in the conversation, you won’t have to fake a thing! Even if you’re seeking a remote role, enthusiasm will pay dividends throughout your career.
4. Shut Off All Distractions
We all know how easy it is to drift into distraction mode when seated at the computer, but this is the last thing you want to have happen during an interview.
Make sure your phone is in another room, with all notifications turned off, and all other apps and tabs are closed on your main workstation. That means no music, no social media–nothing but the video conference app and your notes, if needed.
Trust that even if you think nobody notices, being distracted will give the wrong impression and leave you vulnerable to mistakes.
5. Perfect Your Tech Setup
Be honest: does your video conference setup look clean and professional, or like a makeshift college dorm room? You don’t need a cable news-caliber production, but proper lighting and framing go a long way to make a more compelling presentation on your end.
Rearrange your background so that you are centered and framed aesthetically, without distractions or glare. Make sure you’re comfortable, stable, and audible, with a proper mic setup and all.
Finally, double-check your tech before the interview to ensure all systems are ready to go.
6. Level Up Your Look
Yes, your appearance is important when interviewing, whether online or in real life. While your resume and personality should speak for themselves, you also want to look and feel your best, and make the decision easier for the interviewer in the final rounds.
Find a happy medium for makeup with an eyeliner pencil and some light colors. Outfits should be professional, and definitely no pajamas! Picture how you might dress on your first day at the office, and take it from there.
7. Prepare Questions of Your Own
At some point, the interviewer will flip the script and see if you have any questions to ask. This is your chance to express more interest, show knowledge, and bring value to the table in your own way.
Try asking a technical, work-focused question, and then something about company culture and policies to show you’re well-rounded and in it for the right reasons.
8. Use Relaxation and Focus Techniques
Minutes before your interview, expect your heart rate to rise, along with some nervous energy. That’s a good sign, as long as you use that excitement to get focused and ready. Practice deep breathing, clear your mind, and review your notes one last time before jumping in.
Interview with Unmatched Confidence
With these preparation techniques, you’ll be unstoppable in your next interview! Give it your all and make the best of every opportunity to come.