The rise of the virtual interview has been a game-changer for college students looking for an internship or newly graduates seeking their first job. In the past, job seekers had to travel to the company’s office for an in-person interview, incurring significant expenses in the process. This often meant spending money on travel and lodging, which was a barrier for many students.
With the rise of virtual interviews, applicants can connect with companies from anywhere in the world. This has opened up opportunities for students who might not have been able to afford to travel for an in-person interview. In addition, virtual interviews provide applicants with a greater degree of flexibility, allowing them to schedule an interview around their other commitments.
While virtual interviews have some advantages over in-person meetings, there are also important things to keep in mind if you’re invited to participate in one. Landing a virtual interview in your dream company is a great accomplishment, but it’s important to be prepared to make the most of the opportunity. Here are some tips and tricks to help you prepare for your first virtual interview:
1. Do your research
Just as you would for an in-person interview, take the time to do your research on the company, the role you’re interviewing for, and the person who will be interviewing you. This will help boost your confidence and avoid getting tongue-tied during the interview.
Some common questions you can expect to be asked during a virtual interview include:
- What do you know about our company?
- Why are you interested in this role?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- How would you describe yourself?
- What are your career aspirations?
- What is your greatest accomplishment?
While you can’t anticipate every question that will be asked, preparing ahead of time will help you feel more confident and less likely to be caught off guard during the interview.
2. Practice answering common interview questions
In addition to doing your research, it’s also a good idea to practice answering common interview questions. This will help you get into the right mindset and ensure that you’re prepared to answer any question that comes your way.
The best way to practice answering common interview questions is to have a friend or family member ask you the questions out loud. This will help you get used to hearing the questions and practicing thinking on your feet.
It is also helpful to practice in front of a mirror to see your body language and make sure that you are coming across as confident and professional. Additionally, it can be helpful to record yourself on the video to review your answers afterward and identify any areas that need improvement.
3. Test your technology
Before your virtual interview, it’s important to test your technology to ensure that everything is working properly. Start by opening the video-conferencing software you’ll be using for the interview and ensuring it’s working on your device. You can also test your webcam online to check the quality of your video.
You should also make certain that your internet connection is strong enough to support a video call. If possible, connect to the internet using an Ethernet cable rather than Wi-Fi to avoid any potential connection issues.
Lastly, have a backup plan if something goes wrong with your technology on the day of the interview. Have a friend or family member on standby in case you need to switch to a different video-conferencing platform or use their device for the call.
4. Dress professionally
Just because you’re not meeting face-to-face doesn’t mean you can show up in your pajamas. First impressions are still key, so you’ll want to dress professionally from head to toe. That means no sweats, no T-shirts, and holes in your clothes. You should also avoid anything too revealing or too casual.
It’s also important that your hair is well-groomed and you have minimal jewelry. You want the interviewer to be focused on your qualifications, not wondering if you took the time to get dressed for the occasion. Depending on the company culture, you may even want to err on the side of more formal attire.
5. Clean your space
Now that you’ve taken care of yourself, it’s time to take care of your surroundings. Be certain your space is clean and tidy before the interview starts. This will help you feel more confident and focused, and it will ensure that the interviewer can see you clearly on camera.
If possible, find a quiet spot away from distractions like pets, children, or noisy roommates. You’ll also want to make certain that there’s nothing in the background that could be construed as offensive or unprofessional.
Submitting online applications is easy enough, but the real challenge comes when it’s time to interview. But there’s no need to worry, even if this is your first time. With a little preparation, you can ace your virtual interview and land the job of your dreams.
You can ensure that you’re fully prepared for your next virtual interview by following the tips above. From there, simply put your best foot forward and impress the interviewer with your credentials. Go forth and conquer those interviews – you’ve got this!