7 Ways to Rock a Virtual Interview
Today, we welcome back our Guest Blogger, Laura Farrer who shares her top tips on how to approach a Virtual Interview and impress a potential employer 🙂
For most of us, university career prep courses were full of tips about how to impress during an job interview – use a firm handshake, make eye contact, print your resume on high-quality woven paper, wear polished shoes, don’t wear perfume, mirror the posture of the senior interviewer… the list seemed to go on and on. Unfortunately, all of those are null and void in a virtual environment. Leaving smart working hopefuls to wonder: How am I going to make an impression on someone halfway around the world?
You may not have the physical assistance of a firm handshake to convey your confidence, but there are plenty of digital-friendly ways for you to prove your professional value. Here are seven strategies that you can implement during your next virtual interview to make an impression on any potential employer, no matter where each of you are in the world:
1. Showcase your Experience
Remember, you’re applying to a job, not to the telecommuting lifestyle. Your potential employer does not want to hear about how working remotely will allow you to travel more or pick your kids up from school, they want to hear about your professional qualifications that make you the best candidate for the position. Stay focused on your resume instead of your itinerary. After all, there are millions of people who don’t want to commute to an office, but only you have your unique knowledge and career experience.
2. Look the Part
In a virtual environment, contextual and nonverbal cues that enhance our ability to get to know a person are very limited, so the few that we do have access to become extra valuable. During a video call, your context is what the interviewer can see on screen, which is primarily your background and your attire, so invest in looking your best. Wear clean, professional clothing and sit in an environment that is undistracting. (In other words, no dirty laundry, noisy toys, or extra bright lighting from a nearby window.)
3. Troubleshoot Your Technology
Virtual employees use their digital collaboration tools all day every day to fuel productivity as a team. Therefore, remote workers need to be able to effortlessly navigate software like Zoom/Skype, Slack, and Google Calendar. In a virtual interview, nothing will say “I’m not ready for remote work” like not knowing how to use these crucial tools. So, if needed, be sure to practice beforehand, and always test your functionality before your call to avoid the dreaded “Can you hear me now?” scenario.
4. Prepare Questions
Proactivity, communication, and critical thinking are three critical traits of successful remote workers, so your potential employer will be screening for them in multiple ways. One easy way for you to showcase these skills is to prepare a small list of thought-provoking questions about your role, the company culture, or the workflows of the team.
5. Be Punctual
You’ll quickly learn that one of the quirks of remote workers are that we are shockingly punctual. Without traffic or hallway conversations to slow us down, we have no excuses for being late. So, when a meeting starts at 10:00, it starts at 10:00 on the minute. Not 9:59, not 10:05… 10:00. In fact, if you’re more than 5 or 10 minutes late, it’s likely that your appointment will be postponed or canceled. So start setting up a few minutes early so that you’re ready to click into the virtual meeting room when it is time.
6. Loosen Up
Another quirk of remote workers is that we are notoriously transparent. Because virtual collaboration is based on clear and comprehensive communication, healthy distributed teams are, by default, extremely genuine. Therefore, in order to show that you’ll be a good match for that culture, you will want to show the real you and shake off the pre-interview nerves to engage in conversation on a casual level. Always remain professional and empathetic, but don’t be afraid to crack a small joke, use the interviewer’s first name, or tell a funny story that can showcase your expertise.
7. Send a Follow-Up Email
If you’re interviewing for a competitive role, chances are that your call will be one of many for your interviewer, and at the end of the day the details of your conversation will blur into all the rest. If you want to be (and remain) memorable, you’ll need to capitalize on the law of recency by sending an email at the end of the day to express your gratitude for the opportunity to meet with them, and to refresh their memory on how great you are.
The resources available for us to strategize in a virtual conversation may feel limited in comparison to an in-person meeting, but whether you’re applying to be a customer support representative or a CEO, these seven strategies are sure to help you communicate your professional value to any potential employer 🙂
Guest Blogger Bio:
Laurel Farrer is a Distributed Operations Consultant that collaborates with the world’s top remote-friendly companies to strengthen virtual communication, streamline digital processes, and develop long-distance management strategies.
Laurel also writes about remote working for several online publications and education platforms, and advises US governments, business conferences, and industry associations on how to share remote work resources with their audiences to stimulate economic growth.