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Practical Tips for a Virtual Interview

One of the hottest topics of the year has been video calls, whether that is facetiming family and friends for a weekly quiz, organising TEAMS meetings at work or perhaps it is preparing for a virtual interview. Now more than ever before video calls are crucial to our social and work lives.

This means it is all the more important to know how to ace a virtual interview. To help with this I am sharing the tips we have learned here at Instinct from the many virtual interviews we have supported our applicants through over the last year.

Before the virtual interview

Firstly, always make sure you have received a link from the prospective employer, remember to check your junk as it may have ended up in there.

It is important to test your technology before the day of the interview – this will help avoid the dreaded technical problems that may occur during an interview. Although remember, employers understand technology can fail us all, it will be impressive if you have done everything you can to avoid there being an issue. Make sure your laptop / computer is working, fully charged and your camera, microphone or headphones are set up and working.

Get ready to share your work examples via screen share. This has become increasingly popular, and it is an effective way to show employers your work experience. Sharing work examples can lead to fruitful conversations about your learning design style, authoring tool use and experience. Have these open in the correct application or tab and practice screen sharing before the interview to ensure a seamless transition.

You want to make sure the interview is as professional looking as possible; prepare a simple background and tidy space.

Eliminate distractions. Ensure that your interview time is convenient for you and the people you may live with to avoid any noise or interruptions to the interview. Make everyone in your household are aware to act mindfully – perhaps even put a sign on the door of the room to ensure no one forgets.

The Interview

Arrive early. This is key – although there will be no commute involved it will be important for you to be early onto the video call. It will communicate professionalism and a genuine desire to perform well in the interview.

Dress smart. Although we have adopted a casual dress sense during lockdown, never underestimate the importance of dressing smart and appropriate for a virtual interview. Like arriving early, this will make sure the employer knows you are serious about the role and will approach work professionally.

Sustain your focus on the interviewing panel by switching self-view off. Body language and eye contact, although harder to read via video call, are still something to be conscious of. I recommend turning off your self-view to allow yourself to focus your attention on the panel, looking into the camera to make eye contact.

Crucially, do not underestimate the formalities of a virtual interview. This includes all the aforementioned points. Treat a virtual interview as you would an in person interview and you will most definitely communicate to the employer your desire to succeed. Also, these tips will establish the right headspace for an interview – setting yourself up for true success!

Key takeaways…

  • Make sure you have received a link.
  • Test your technology.
  • Get ready to share your work examples via screen share.
  • Prepare a simple background and tidy space.
  • Eliminate distractions.
  • Arrive early.
  • Dress smart.
  • Switch off self-view.
  • Do not underestimate the formalities.