A candidate using our virtual interview tips

Virtual Interview Tips

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As Winnipeg’s largest recruitment firm, we see virtual interviews remaining popular among hiring managers and recruiters alike. Having transitioned many of our own interviewing practices over the last couple of years, we have also noticed that some candidates differentiate themselves with their virtual presentation. Collected here are the virtual interview tips for setting yourself apart by creating a more seamless interview experience.

The Essentials

Use headphones.

We all notice a drop in call quality when someone switches to speakerphone – and that drop in sound can be detrimental to the conversation. Therefore, using your device’s microphone should not be your default choice if you want superior audio clarity.

A decent pair of headphones can enhance the communication between you and the interviewer compared to your computer (or phone’s) microphone.

Internet.

In a virtual interview, you should do everything you can to form a good impression in the absence of a face-to-face meeting, and a spotty connection can overpower those intangible elements of your personality. While your answers are the same regardless of signal strength, the personal flavour might be lost to cyberspace whenever your internet dips.

The best solution is always directly wired; plug your router into your computer with an ethernet cable – available on Amazon for $12 for 50’.

Lighting.

In a virtual meeting, lighting contributes nearly as much to your professional appearance as your attire. While mediocre lighting does not necessarily score against you, good lighting adds a level of polish to your presentation.

Natural light is typically the best option for meetings, but if unavailable, add diffuse lighting (any source without a direct line between the bulb and your face). This will light up your environment without making you look shiny or overexposed. Also, avoid backlight as it tends to cast shadows across your face.

If you still struggle to find the perfect combination of light for your shot, an inexpensive ring light is a simple, effective option.

Have a plan B.

Technology is prone to fail regardless of user expertise. Having a few contingencies in place, such as a backup device and a backup network, is ideal.

Being able to switch to a different laptop, tablet, or phone – or use cellular data instead of Wi-Fi – could be a lifesaver when facing an unforeseen glitch. Considering your options ahead of time will save you from scrambling during the interview.

Power.

Plug in your laptop or phone, even if you think you have plenty of power. Video meetings can drain batteries fast, and the interview could run long – especially if it’s going well!

Additionally, some laptops enter higher performance modes when plugged in, boosting your call quality.

Additional Virtual Interview Tips

Own the interruption.

No remote setup is immune to outside interruptions; there is always a chance that you may need to pause the interview and deal with something (kids, pets, packages, and the list goes on).

Respectfully request a moment from the interviewer, mute your mic, and turn off your camera to address the interruption. Then come back, excuse yourself and pick up where you left off.

Dress Code.

Choosing to wear appropriate interview apparel still goes a long way in creating a positive first impression. In addition, interviewers recognize (and appreciate) the extra effort.

Background.

Aim to find a neutral spot and remove clutter from the shot. If either is impossible, pick a professional virtual background for the meeting.

Your Screen Name.

Your username should only contain your given name(s).

Close unnecessary software.

Closing any tabs or applications that are not required will channel additional computer resources to your meeting.

Phone position.

If a phone is your only option for a video interview, prop it securely on a desk or table. This way, you can frame yourself in the shot and avoid distracting angles or tilts.

Test Call.

And finally, a test call with a friend or family member to troubleshoot your setup is the best way to cover all your bases so that you can focus on what really matters during the interview: presenting the best you.

Further interview advice

Virtual interviews are not likely going away anytime soon. So keep these valuable virtual interview tips handy in anticipation of your next interview.

After acing your virtual interview, master the post-interview with our article, “3 Post-Interview Mistakes No Job Seeker Should Make.”

Or maybe “3 Job Interview Hacks for Introverts” is the advice you need for your upcoming virtual interview.

Good luck with your virtual interview!

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