How to Successfully Prepare for a Virtual Interview

December 06, 2012 by Careerminds

Increasing numbers of job candidates are finding themselves in preparing for virtual interviews, whether as part of the initial screening process or in place of a face-to-face interview when virtual offices are utilized. Internet-based conferencing and interviewing are currently raging in popularity because they increase efficiency and lower expenses related to the entire interview process. Travel costs are reduced for job candidates as well, which makes it possible for them to interview for more positions in the same window of time.

Due to the quickly rising popularity of virtual interviews, it is extremely important that jobseekers know how to ace them. Many people are still finding themselves ill prepared, which can give those who understand the virtual process well a pretty significant advantage.

  • First, practice using the video conferencing program that you will be utilizing for your interview so that you won’t be caught fumbling and bumbling during the interview. Test all of the technology that you will be using, including your sound system and camera. You might even want to practice a few times with a friend before the actual interview date. Choose a respectable username to lend a professional air to your interactions with prospective employers.
  • Dress just as professionally as you would for a face-to-face interview. And don’t only dress for the occasion from the waist up, just in case you need to stand up during the process. Additionally, dressing well makes you feel more confident, and this bodes well for anyone.
  • Think carefully about what the interviewers will see behind you. If you don’t have a home office, do the best you can by choosing a background with bookshelves or other professional looking items rather than your unmade bed or children’s toys scattered on the floor.
  • Ask children and other family members to stay out of the way while your interview is in progress, and avoid any unwanted sounds by asking them to keep all technology turned off as well.
  • Remember your body language! Since your interviewer will not have the benefit of a face-to-face interaction, impress them as much as you can with the two feet of your body that they will see by sitting up straight, smiling, and looking into the camera as much as possible. Avoid wiggling around in your seat or looking bored, and stifle any yawns as hard as you can.
  • It is extremely important to speak clearly in any interview, and even more so in one that is virtual. Because the sound quality is never 100% optimal during a web based chat, speak relatively slowly and use a strong voice so that your interviewers can understand your answers. While you want to avoid the impression of shouting, mumbling and low-talking is even worse.
  • Because of the possibility of a delay (technology is advancing quickly but it still isn’t perfect), remember to pause often in case your interviewer has a question about what you are saying. Be sure to allow everyone on the other side of the interview to finish speaking before you jump in with an answer.

The most important piece of advice for virtual interview success is something that you should do regardless of the geographical location of your prospective employer: be yourself. Your self-confidence and personality is one of the main things an interviewer is looking for. Finally, be sure to finish the interview with grace by thanking everyone for their time and ensuring that the conference has officially ended before ripping off your tie!
Careerminds provides scalable, strategic solutions to organizations seeking affordable, web-based outplacement services. Using a Web 2.0 e-learning platform that delivers affordable, online career transition services, Careerminds provides a high-tech and high-touch blend of on-demand career transition education supported by senior-level career consultants to help displaced workers reenter the workforce quickly.



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