Succeeding at virtual interviews

Virtual Interview

Remote interviews have become more common these days, particularly following lock-downs due to Covid. The most popular tools are Zoom, Skype and FaceTime.

These are my tips for succeeding in virtual interviews:

  1. Make sure you are using the most up-to-date version of the software being used.  Don’t be late to the interview while you have to wait for your software to update.
  2. Use high-speed broadband like fibre if you can.  Most platforms will not run very well on dial-up internet services.
  3. Have practice sessions with friends or family to check that your equipment is working and that you feel more comfortable on the day.  This shows professionalism, foresight and planning which are, of course, traits that employers value.
  4. Ensure that your username and profile photo are at the right level of professionalism for the job you are going for.  Students are the most likely to commit this faux pas, so be warned – your fun snap from the Christmas party is not going to help you get a professional job!
  5. Make sure that background contains appropriate content.   Turn around and have a look, or check your video camera preview before you broadcast.
  6. Brush your hair and put on clothing appropriate to the job you are going for.  I interviewed someone on Skype once who was clearly straight out of bed, and she looked like she was wearing pyjamas.  Not a professional look.
  7. Keep children and pets away from the area.  You don’t want to lose focus when answering a question because your child has started crying.  Turn the phone off and put a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door if necessary.
  8. Use communication signals like smiling and nodding to ensure that the interview comes across as interactive.  Try to look at the camera when answering a question, rather than at the little picture of yourself in the bottom corner of the screen which can come across as a bit shifty.
  9. Feel free to have notes to hand so that you can refer to them, although avoid reading verbatim from something unless you are asked to.  You may wish to jot down any questions you want to ask at the end.

Written by Jo Hampton, Successful Resumes NZ