Ensure your interview goes virtually perfect

While virtual interviewing via video is not new, the coronavirus pandemic has spurred an increase in its adoption. Now, career experts think it’s here to stay. Toni Rhorer, director in W. P. Carey Career Management, says “Now that employers see the value in virtual interviewing, it’s time- and cost-savings benefits are hard to ignore. We expect many companies to continue virtual interviewing long after it’s safe to travel again.” Knowing how to succeed in a virtual interview setting is now a vital part of your job-seeking toolkit.

While many traditional interviewing tips still stand, there are some tips and tricks to keep in mind particular to the virtual medium. Here are some ways you can Zoom past the competition.

Tech tips
One of the most important (and nerve-wracking) factors in a virtual interview is the success of the technology. That means testing your internet connection, audio and webcam, and videoconferencing software ahead of time. ASU Enterprise Technology recommends a download speed of at least 5.0 mbps, and you can test your current connection here.

Try to use headphones with a microphone (most smartphone earbuds do the trick) to eliminate audio feedback. Have a test call with a family member or friend to make sure everything is in working order. And if something goes wrong, don’t panic. “Most employers recognize tech hiccups are part of the process. Problem solve to fix the issue, take a deep breath, and show them you can handle stressful situations,” says Rhorer.

Distraction actions
One of the most difficult barriers to overcome in a virtual environment is the many potential distractions for both interviewer and interviewee. Try to eliminate these ahead of time to stay focused during your interview. Turn off your cell phone or even put it in a different room. Print off your resumé or any notes so you don’t get sucked into other open windows on your computer.

Also think about your surrounding environment. Is there anything distracting behind you that might catch an interviewer’s eye? Arrange lighting and your camera angle so your eyes are level with the camera and your face is not backlit. Check out this article where we focus on tips for creating a great virtual interview environment.

Tried and true
Finally, don’t forget the basics. Many of the same edicts apply to a virtual interview as a traditional in-person one. Make sure you do your research ahead of time and feel prepared to tie your skills to the job and company. Have questions jotted down that display your interest and curiosity. Dress appropriately, which in most cases means business professional. Not only will this make you appear qualified, but it will also help you feel more confident!

After the interview, follow up with a thank you note. Even virtually, the interviewers shared their time with you. A thank you note is both polite and helps keep you top of mind.

Meet with your career coach
As you work through interview prep, remember that the W. P. Carey Career Management team is here to help. Schedule an appointment with your coach in Handshake. Together, we will make sure you are ready to ace your interview, no matter the format!

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