The interview process is stressful under normal circumstances. These days are not exactly normal. With a large percentage of employers shifting towards virtual interviews almost exclusively, you might be feeling especially anxious or unprepared.
As a Human Resources professional who is especially involved in the pre-employment process, I hope to quell some of that anxiety and provide some tips to ensure that you have the best interview possible and your prospective employer gets to know the real you.
CHECK YOUR TECH
Before your interview takes place, I strongly recommend that you practice logging on to your computer, following the meeting link, and following all the steps that get you into your virtual meeting. It’s also important to be sure that you have the following equipment and that everything’s fully functional:
- Computer OR mobile device (smartphone/tablet)
- Reliable internet connection
- Microphone (many devices have these built in. If yours does not, you can easily find earbuds with a built-in microphone)
- Camera/external webcam
One thing I love as an interviewer is having questions asked of ME. This not only makes my job more fun by keeping me on my toes, but, more importantly, it shows me that the person I’m interviewing is genuinely engaged.
From your perspective, it’s so important that you have as much information as you need to make a decision about your employment, especially when you’re not able to physically go into that workplace and assess the environment. Realize that you have an equal share of power in this relationship – You’re also interviewing the employer to see if you want to join their organization.
KEEP BODY LANGUAGE IN MIND
This tip is relevant for any interview, but especially a virtual one. The interviewer in this case will not be able to read your body language as well as they usually would, so they will be locked in on any little cues you give. Pay special attention to facial reactions and hand movement – Keep a steady gaze on your camera and try to keep a calm, neutral presence.
Preparation for a virtual interview will consist of many things, but let’s just focus on three:
- Make sure that the environment you set up in is free of any distractions, if possible. You may have unique circumstances, and that’s okay!
- Practice. Video-Call your family or friends from your interviewing spot to make sure everything looks and sounds good.
- Look the part! No, you don’t need to wear a 3-piece suit. However, it’s so easy to make a quick positive impression by putting some effort into how you look. It might even improve your confidence!
Don’t make this interview harder than it needs to be. That stress from leaving early and driving, going into a new building, meeting the person at the front desk, and waiting for your interviewer is all gone when you interview virtually. As long as you’re ready at your scheduled interview time, you can do anything you want beforehand. Stretch, grab your favorite soda, look over your résumé, run to the bathroom again, or do whatever it is to ease your mind. Even though this is an important and sometimes scary moment, keep in mind that you’re in control of more of the variables.
Now that you know how to make your virtual interview a better experience, learn more about getting a job with Goodwill of Central Iowa at https://www.dmgoodwill.org/work-here/ or call Jason at (515)265-5323 x254.