Virtual interviews are here to stay. They were extremely rare two years ago. They have now become the norm. How can you be in top form for a live interview from your living room?
Here are some tips to help you prepare.
Basic rules still apply
Face to face or remote, some actions are imperative. Do your research on the company and the position, and have your CV in hand. Prepare a list of questions.
First impressions always count. Dress professionally. Some experts even recommend wearing shoes.
Test your equipment in advance
If you haven’t already, install the video conferencing app that will be used during the interview. Test your camera and microphone and make sure your computer, cell phone or tablet is plugged in or sufficiently charged.
A good internet connection is essential. If yours is unreliable, it may be best to choose a location where the network won’t let you down. Reach out to family or a friend and ask if you can do the interview at their home.
Ideally, use headphones with built-in microphones. They offer better sound, reduce the ambient noise and allow you to concentrate.
As for the on-screen display, if you’re using a computer for the interview, you could try minimizing the application window and bringing it as close to the camera as possible. It will be easier to look your interviewer in the eye. In order to be fully focused on the questions and not on your hairstyle, hide your thumbnail for the duration of the interview.
Choose your decor well
It is recommended to set up in a quiet place, free of distractions. So this excludes busy public places. It also means choosing a room away from pets, children and the rest of the household.
Opt for a neutral background. A wall for example. A messy living room or dining room can distract your interviewers. Avoid wallpapers. Install your device on a stable surface such as a table or desk. Sit in a straight, firm chair. Make sure you have enough light.
If you work alone from home and have little day-to-day interaction, take a few minutes before the interview to get into action and warm up your voice. Stand up, walk, talk, sing.
Lights, camera, action!
Be on time (as in a little early), look your interviewer in the eye and smile. Even virtually, your body language will be scrutinized. Take advantage of virtual interviews: keep a notebook handy and take notes if questions arise during the interview.
Consider sending a follow-up email within 24-48 hours after the interview to thank your interviewers and to remind them that you are available for further questions.