Preparing Yourself for Virtual Interviews

Over the past couple of years, we’ve experienced one of the most significant shifts in the modern-day working environment as people are working from home and creating their own workspace.

Alongside the rise of remote work has been the rise of the remote interview. Where once we had the opportunity to physically meet potential employers and discuss our suitability for the job face-to-face, we now have to sell ourselves more and more online. This can be a completely different experience to sitting across from someone in the traditional interview scenario.

Be the best candidate

Here at Virtual Recruitment Ireland we want you to be the best candidate you can be at your next virtual interview. And so in this article, we take a look at what you need to know about preparing yourself for virtual interviews.

Types of interview

The cyberworld of virtual interviews has created a number of different types of interviews – so it’s important that you are comfortable with whatever technology is going to be used to interview / evaluate you as a potential candidate.

Interviews can range from Live, One-to-one or Group Interviews, Hybrid Interviews, Pre Recorded interviews, Asynchronous video interviews, Audio-only interviews, Online Skills Assessment Interviews. It is essential that you know and prepare for the type of virtual interview you are taking.

No distractions or disturbances

Regardless of when the interview is scheduled, you will need to make sure that you are prepared and everything is in the right place. You want to ensure that you are in a quiet environment. Close the windows so passing trucks and wailing sirens aren’t a distraction during the interview. Let your flatmates/family know that you are being interviewed and that they are not to disturb you. Control your pets so they don’t make unexpected appearances!

Performing at your peak

Make sure you have nothing planned before or after the interview as this will put unnecessary pressure on you and added stress. You want to be as fresh as you can. Eat a healthy meal beforehand and maybe schedule your daily exercise for a couple of hours prior to the interview ensuring your energy levels are high and you are performing at your peak.

Time management

And of course make sure you take a note of any time differences if your interview is with a company overseas. This may seem obvious but you’d be surprised how many candidates have missed an interview and had to contact the company afterwards saying, “I’m sorry. I thought it was Irish time”. This is not a good look! And sends out all the wrong messages to potential employers.

Do your research

One thing that will always be the same – regardless of what type of interview – is the need to do your research. Interviews are not just about you and your experience and skills. It’s also about the company you are hoping to work for. So do your research on them. What is their history, their values, their ethos. Who are their clients? Spend some time on their website. Read their blogs? Sign up for their email newsletter. As well as putting you in the right mindset ahead of the interview, this research is vital when it comes to asking questions about the company during the interview and demonstrating your enthusiasm about the company.

Control your space

You want to make sure that you prepare your interview space and have it ready before the interview takes place. Have a clean, uncluttered desk in front of you. Do a test with your camera and microphone to make sure they are working correctly. If you can, make use of natural light, sit opposite a big bright, soft light source, like a window and use a microphone to improve your audio. Make sure your computer camera is at your eye level. And of course prepare your background. No one wants to see the contents of your wardrobe or a pile of dishes in the background, so make sure the room is neat and tidy. Alternatively you can select to blur your background or choose a virtual one – but make sure it’s professional, something like an office or similar.

Notes

Many people like to have notes in front of them that they can refer to during the interview. These could be open in tabs on your computer or post-it notes around your computer / on the wall with key points you want to make. Just be sure you don’t end up reading and reciting during the interview. Your notes should be bullet points or keywords that prompt you to speak naturally.

Fail to prepare; prepare to fail

Taking all these into account will ensure that you are taking the right steps to being the best you can at your interview. As the saying goes: Fail to prepare; prepare to fail. So be sure to follow these steps and best of luck nailing that next virtual interview!

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