2020’s global lockdown forced many business to operate remotely, and further reinforces the importance of developing our skills in participating in virtual interviews.
Virtual interviews are conducted on several platforms – Skype, Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts. Regardless of virtual platform, there are a few key things to take note of to be best prepared for a virtual interview.
1. Treat your virtual interview as you would for an in-person interview
It is not nice to show up for an interview looking like you just got out of bed (even if you did!). Remember to dress appropriately, show up on time, turn off distractions like your mobile phone, web browsers, lock your cat out of your room, and so on.
2. Prepare your workplace/setting
Many online meeting apps now have “virtual backgrounds” which allows you to display an image of video as your background during your interview session. If you prefer to use a real background instead, please ensure your background is tidy and not distracting. Most importantly, DO NOT attend the interview holding your phone like you are FaceTiming your mom!
3. Brush up on your interview etiquette
Relax and engage in conversation. The interviewer is mostly friendly all the time. Be cheerful, friendly, and remember to smile. A simple “Good morning! How are you today?” makes a very good impression! When responding to questions, try not to end sentences by saying “so… yeah”. Rather, end with confidence by asking “do you have further questions for me?”
4. Be prepared
Do some background research on your chosen employer, understand your job scope and how you are able to contribute towards the role you are taking up. This shows your passion and enthusiasm towards the job you are applying for.
5. Missed/late appointments
When the time comes, try to initiate conversation if there is no response from the interviewer. Occasionally, the interviewer may not show up on time. This can be of a variety of reasons, perhaps they have not wrapped up the interviews with an earlier candidate, internet connectivity issues, or simply a scheduling mistake. It is good courtesy to wait patiently if you can. If you have to leave for another engagement, leave a polite message or send an email follow-up to explain you have now gone offline, and request an interview reschedule.
Your best friends in the interview process are preparation and confidence. Give yourself time to prepare, and present yourself as a competent professional. Chances are, things will turn out well!
Infinity Abroad’s programmes are an excellent opportunity for students and young graduates to participate in virtual interviews with US Host Employers, as an integral part of the application process. Through our programmes, you can build your ability to effectively communicate in your future workplace and stand out from your peers.