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Virtual Interview Tips for Success

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Virtual interview
Improve the outcome of your virtual interview

1. Have the right technology for your virtual interview

2. Minimize distractions

3. Ensure you have good lighting

4. Create the right setting

5. Pay attention to your attire

6. Prepare yourself for the interview

7. Conduct research for the virtual interview

Why are Virtual Interviews Common?

A virtual interview (or video interview) is common because it helps recruiters to reach a more diverse and global pool of applicants. It’s also a cost-effective way to screen job candidates. So if you’re searching for a job either from your home country or in Canada, you can expect to attend a virtual interview.

As with a face-to-face interview, it’s important to prepare for a video interview. However, in addition to researching, and preparing answers for common questions, you have to consider technical needs. For example, you need to ensure that you have the basic elements that include a:

– Computer with a built-in or external video camera

– Built-in microphone or headphones

– Reliable internet connection, and

– Suitable location to speak that is free from distractions.

When you consider these extra factors, you can expect to have a successful interview, secure a follow-up interview, and hopefully get the job offer you want! In addition, preparing for the technical aspects of a video interview will ensure that you remain calm before and during your interview. Attending a job interview can be stressful, and a virtual interview may require additional effort to improve your performance.

What is a Virtual Interview?

A virtual interview uses technology to allow for a remote discussion between you and the interviewer. Some common conferencing platforms include:

– Skype

– Zoom

– Google Hangouts

Video interviews are becoming more common as companies look to reduce costs, save time, and increase efficiency. As well, during COVID-19, it offers a way to limit physical contact. However, even when the pandemic is controlled, you can expect that video interviews are here to stay.

To improve the outcome of your interview, you need to prepare for common questions and consider the technical factors. And while there have been many enhancements to video conferencing, you need to prepare for potential issues. For example, during a video interview, you may experience a connection problem, communication delays, or video and audio quality issues. Hopefully, none of these issues occur, but it’s best to be prepared to deal with them.

Seven Tips for a Successful Virtual Interview

Knowing that your technology works well before the interview will give you more confidence. And, you won’t have to fumble during the interview if something does not work. You want to show that you’re confident in a virtual setting. When you prepare in advance, you’ll be able to focus on the conversation. These X tips will contribute to your success.

1. Ensure You Have the Right Technology

Ensure your computer’s audio and camera work effectively before the interview. Check that your microphone is not set to mute and your camera is on. It’s also a good idea to use earphones instead of the microphone on your computer to improve the sound quality.

A sharp and clear video image will make you look both professional and presentable. If you have an older computer, you may want to consider buying an external webcam if the video image is poor. 

You also want to make sure that you have access to a good internet connection. However, as with any technology, there’s always a possibility that things won’t work. If you think you might have a problem, you may want to ask the interviewer for a telephone number if the video or audio stops working.  

It’s a good idea to test your equipment the day before the interview so that you have time to correct any issues.

2. Minimize Distractions

To improve your performance it’s important to be focused and present. To do this, select a location where background noise is limited. Before the video interview remember to:

– Turn off the TV

– Put your phone on mute

– Turn off any notifications on your computer

– Close windows to avoid honking horns or sirens in the background.

If you have children or pets, keep them out of sight and hearing range.

Interested in learning more about virtual interviews? Register to attend our free online settlement fair and join the webinar: How to Ace Your Online Interview.

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3. Ensure There is Good Lighting for Your Video Interview

Proper lighting for your virtual interview can help you appear engaging and lively. You want to avoid your interview seeing just a dark shadow of your face on the screen. A good forward-facing light source will ensure that you are visible.

Also if the light is coming from behind you from a window or other light source it can create a harsh silhouette.

4. Create the Right Setting for Your Virtual Interview

It’s important to appear professional and that includes paying attention to your backdrop and location. Choose a location that is most like an office. It’s best to sit in front of a background that is simple and neutral. Make sure that the space is neat and organized.

Or, you may choose to use a virtual background if you can’t find a suitable space. You can find free virtual backgrounds for Zoom, Skype, and other video conferencing software.

5.  Pay Attention to Your Attire

Some people feel much more relaxed in online environments and that also applies to their dress code. However, it’s important to consider the first impression that you want to make. So dress for success and treat your online interview with the same respect that you would for a  face-to-face interview. 

It’s safer to err on the side of dressing more formally rather than too casual. Also, avoid wearing accessories and jewelry that might distract the interviewer. You want them to focus on your expertise. You can also consider the colour of your clothing. Some colours that work best on the camera include navy, light blue, grey, beige, and jewel tones. 

When you dress the part, you’ll feel polished and professional. And, this can give you an important boost in your virtual interview. How you feel can affect how you speak and sound. As well, your dress and speech convey helpful cues and clues to give a good visual impression to the interviewer.

Even in a virtual setting, you have to be aware of your personal brand. This is a great chance to show your future employer that you are digitally savvy, current, and professional. 

6. Prepare Yourself for Your Video Interview

Attending a job interview can create stress and anxiety for most people. There is often much at stake which contributes to being nervous. This is completely normal. Some people are very comfortable in a virtual environment, but if you need help to manage nerves pay attention to your body language. These are important things to remember:

– Show interest through your posture and body language

– Remember to smile. Smiling makes you appear confident and comfortable.

– Maintain eye contact with your interviewer. Look at your video camera rather than the screen.

– Speak clearly and slowly to ensure effective communication

– Prepare responses to common interview questions

– Prepare questions for the interviewer.

 7.  Conduct Research Before the Virtual Interview

As you would for a face-to-face interview, thorough research is key. To research any company, you can go directly to the company’s website. This will provide you with the most credible source of information. You can also scan the news for relevant information about the company. 

As you conduct your research, think of questions that will show your interest in the company and knowledge of the industry. Interviewers will give you a chance to ask questions during or at the end of your interview. And, well prepared and thoughtful questions show your passion for the role. 

You may want to ask the interviewer to describe the ideal candidate for the role. This answer will allow you to assess what skills you have that will contribute to your success in the role. In addition, the interviewer might identify an area or skill that you may not have discussed. This is a great chance to discuss that skill or strength and help them to assess your suitability for the role.   

Another helpful step is to research the interviewer. If the interviewer has a profile on LinkedIn, you can get a sense of their background and learn something about their professional background that you have in common. This can provide you with a sense of connection and build rapport during your interview. 

As virtual interviews become a common practice with employers, it’s a great chance to show your technical savvy, communication skills, and interest. With these tips, you can ensure that you will have a positive experience and improve your chances of getting the job offer.

For more information, tools, and free webinars visit the finding a job in Canada resource page. Get the help you need to achieve your career goals in Canada!

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