It's no surprise that more and more people are looking for jobs that will allow them to work from home. However, landing a fully remote position isn't as easy as it sounds. Virtual interviews have added completely new obstacles to the interview process that, if you're not prepared for, can result in you not getting a callback. Here are our Recruiter's top 10 tips for mastering your virtual interview and leaving a good impression.
Test Your Technology
There's nothing worse than having to update Zoom 2 minutes before your interview. Give yourself a few extra minutes to test meeting links, charge your battery, and get your camera set up. Technical issues can distract from the conversation and make things awkward for both parties.
It’s easy for a conversation to feel relaxed when it’s taking place on your couch. However, it’s still important that you prepare for your interview. Your interviewer will be able to tell if you just came in from running groceries, and that’s not the impression you want to leave. Our recruiters recommend giving yourself 15-30 minutes to revisit the job description, review the company’s website, and write down any additional questions you’d like to ask. Here are some of Inc’s most commonly asked interview questions to help you prepare.
Dress for Success
Just because you will be able to do this job in your pajamas, doesn’t mean that’s what you should wear. One of the easiest ways to demonstrate your interest in a position is to dress the part. You don’t need to go overboard, but make sure you look put together. If you don’t know what the dress code is for the company you’re interviewing with: aim for business-casual. For men, a blazer, button-up shirt, or sweater and chinos will do. While a dress, turtleneck, blouse, and blazer are great options for women.
Minimize Distractions in the Background
We’ve all been on at least one video call where the speaker was explaining something, but everyone was distracted by the cat walking on the keyboard. You want to make sure you are the focus of the conversation. Give yourself time to find a quiet space with good lighting, ideally near a window in front of a blank wall. This will ensure that you are the focal point on the screen.
Keep Your Virtual Profile Professional
There's no denying it: video calls have made interviews much less personal. For hiring managers, this means it’s harder to get to know you. As a result, many hiring managers and recruiters are now leveraging platforms like LinkedIn to do additional research on candidates. Some companies even require a LinkedIn profile, just to be considered for the role. You can’t blame organizations. It’s a big risk to hire someone without really meeting them. When applying for remote positions, do so knowing that hiring managers are going to be reviewing your online profiles.
Our recruiters recommend you turn your social profiles to private, and review your LinkedIn to ensure it’s in line with your resume. If you do not have a LinkedIn, we strongly recommend you make one. Here are LinkedIn's tips on how to make a winning LinkedIn profile.
Monitor Your Body Language
Being on camera has its pros and cons. It can be extremely uncomfortable if you’re not used to it, however, it also allows you to check your body language. Remember: confidence is what you’re going for, and you’d be shocked how much confidence you can exude without saying a word. Make sure you’re smiling, sitting up straight, shoulders back, and maintaining eye contact.
Be Conscious of Time
For worse, (or for better), most video calls have a time limit. According to Indeed: the average technical interview lasts about 45 minutes. That’s a short amount of time to introduce yourself, explain why you think you’d be a good fit for the role, answer questions, ask questions, and follow up on the next steps. Additionally, most video interviews have a time limit, and then they log you out. Be sure to check how long the meeting is scheduled for and keep an eye on the clock.
There’s an old saying in sales that: “The fortune is in the follow-up”. It makes sense that this also applies to interviewing, as you are trying to sell yourself. Be sure to send your interviewer an individual thank you email, ideally 24 hours after your interview. This shows you appreciate their time and gives you the opportunity to gently resell yourself.