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Advice for virtual interviews
Many interviews now take place online. This creates its own challenges and it is just as important to prepare for an online interview thoroughly.
Here are our top tips:
Step 1: Make sure you are in a quiet room with a plain background
You don’t want your interviewers to be distracted by your background. Either use a filter to blur your background or make sure it is plain and clean. Don’t use a picture background as you can often fade into this when you move around.
Also make sure that your lighting is good so that the interview panel can see you clearly and adhere to dress codes as if it was an in-person interview. Just because it’s virtual, doesn’t mean you can wear pyjamas.
Step 2: Check your video settings
Well before your interview time, make sure your video call settings are properly set up. This includes your video and your microphone. If it is easier, use headphones and an external microphone to make sure you can be clearly heard – and you can hear your interviewers.
Step 3: Have an alternative way to connect
Technology is unpredictable, and it is typical for it to fail when you need it most. So make sure you have an alternative plan set up in case you need it. That might be a different device, or even going to your neighbour or friend and set up there. If you don’t have a backup and things go wrong, you will have to deal with unnecessary panic and stress.
Step 4: Look at the camera
It may feel counter-intuitive, but you can only make eye contact with your interviewer if you look at the camera. Looking at their face on the screen doesn’t work and will make it seem to them like you are looking away. Practice this if you need to, so that you can be direct and engaging for the whole interview.
Step 5: Final Test
Do a test call with your friends, family or your recruiter on the platform you’ll be interviewing on, so that you can check that all of the previous steps are working as you’d expect. Taking care of all the above elements individually doesn’t necessarily mean it will all work together when you’re actually on the call.