How to Stand Out During Virtual Interviews
Written by Tracie Johnson, Tracie is a New Jersey native and an alum of Penn State University. She is passionate about writing, reading sales training blogs, and living a healthy lifestyle. She feels happiest when around a campfire surrounded by friends, family, and her Dachshund named Rufus.
The continuing COVID-19 health crisis has changed the job search landscape in numerous ways. One primary change is that many organizations are choosing to conduct their interviews in a virtual format. While the content of the interviews largely remains the same, there are some additional considerations to make before you log on for this experience. Here are five ways that you can stand out in a virtual interview.
Test the Technology
Before you log in for the interview, it is imperative that you test out all of the technology that you are using. It is a good idea to do a dry run the day before the interview to make sure that all of the technical elements are functioning properly.
For example, you need to decide if you want to use headphones during the interview. Experimenting beforehand will help you to decide what makes you the most comfortable. You should also make sure that you have mastered the tools of the online platform. For example, you need to know how to adjust the volume, how to share a screen, and anything else that you may be expected to do during the interview.
While it may seem like a cliche, it is true that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. It is always important to land that first impression, but it becomes even more so when you are doing your interview virtually.
Begin the interview with a positive and professional greeting. Be sure to thank the person interviewing you for their time and the opportunity to speak with them. In the absence of a traditional handshake and in-person eye contact, it is more important than ever to use the best words and to convey your professionalism using the right tone of voice.
Do Your Research
You will automatically feel more confident heading into the interview if you have done your research prior. It is easier to sell yourself and your talents if you present yourself as a candidate up to date on everything in your field.
One of the best ways to do this is to read up on ways that you can improve the skills related to the job that you are trying to land. For example, if you are applying for a sales position, reading a sales training blog will bring you up to date on the latest news in the industry, as well as tips and techniques to help you to hone your trade.
Pick Your Location Wisely
You should also take care in deciding where you are going to conduct the interview on your end. It is important to choose a place in your home that is free of distractions and extraneous noise. This will only serve to heighten your anxiety during the interview. Do not forget to turn off all notifications on your phone or laptop so that it does not become a distraction.
The lighting that you use will also play a big role in the overall vibe that you present. Most people find success in facing a window for natural light. The light source should be in front of you and not behind. Lastly, you need to make sure that the background is free of clutter or anything else that may put you in a negative light.
Savvy professionals understand the importance of arriving at an interview prepared to answer questions. One of the positive aspects of a virtual interview is that you can prepare notes ahead of time and have them on the desk in front of you. While you do not want to spend the interview looking down repeatedly at these notes, they will provide a nice crutch if you get into a bind.
On these notes, you can also jot down a few questions that you may want to ask the interviewer. If you plan on writing things down during the interview, be sure to let the other party know what you are doing.
Implementing these five tips will help to set you up for success in your virtual interview. You will knock the interview out of the park if you take the time to prepare and put your best foot forward.