Acing your virtual interview

The virtual interview is now the norm, yet it does come with some pitfalls.
Aug 19, 2022

Virtual meetings are becoming the norm for either part or all of the interview process. The advantage is that it saves you the hassle and stress of commuting to the interview location, making sure you are on time, factoring in transport delays, getting lost, etc. But video interview can bring its own unique set of problems.

Here are LHH’s tips on how to have a successful virtual interview.

1. Check your internet connection

Obvious, but having a poor connection will cause you stress and impacts on your delivery – also you can guarantee that when your screen freezes it’s won’t capture a good shot of you!Before the interview, test your connection. If you are sharing a WIFI connection with others, make sure they aren’t taking all the band width at the same time as your interview.

2. Dress appropriately

Yes, you might be in your bedroom doing a video interview but make sure you dress the part. Dress like you would doing a face to face interview and not just your top half! What you wear contributes to how you project your image and persona, and this is the same on a video call.

3. Make sure the focus is on you

You are the most important person on this call so maximise your impact by making sure the interviewer is not distracted by things going on around you.

Make sure you are in a place where you can control the background – so avoid public areas where background noise levels could be disruptive. If at home, make sure that you minimise what is behind you. Clear the surfaces, make the bed, put away dirty plates. These things can be easily overlooked but could influence the perception the interviewer has of you. This also includes asking other people who may be in the house with you to keep the noise down.

4. Get the right camera angle

Making sure you are in good lightning is key to helping project a good impression of you. You don’t want to be sitting in darkness or be over lit.If possible, try facing a window so that you are bathed in natural light. If that is not practical, have the lighting in front of you so that it lights up your face. Avoid having lights behind you as this will overshadow your face. As with face to face interviews, try to look at the interviewer on the screen. If you are looking around offscreen, this will come across poorly on camera.

5. Prepare, prepare, prepare

Like with face to face interviews, come to a virtual meeting well prepared. Yes, you can have notes placed discreetly off camera but make sure you don’t start reading from them as this could appear that you have not prepared.

6. Ask questions about them

One thing that is missing from virtual interviews is that you don’t get to visit their office and get a feel of the office culture. So, make sure you ask questions that will give you an insight into what they are like, what are they doing to maintain a great working environment virtually, how are they bringing the team together remotely?

7. And relax!

In one respect, virtual interviews can be slightly easier as you are on your own ground. You aren’t going to a place you have never been to and you are in a familiar setting. So make yourself comfortable, relax and be yourself!