How to Ace your Virtual Interview

Nov 22, 2021

3 Min Read

Your actions during the interview can make a difference between getting the job and missing out. These days interviews are more important than ever, but the process itself has changed. The pandemic has forced a lot of jobs and interviews to the virtual world. As a result, virtual interviews have become the standard way to conduct interviews.

The tips outlined below will help you distinguish yourself from competition in online interviews.

Avoid virtual backgrounds

Succeeding at interviews starts with preparation. That might include going over the talking points or organizing your surroundings to look professional. Setting up your background is a key part of the preparation process. Make sure to pick a part of your home or office that is quiet and suitable for conducting the virtual meeting. If your virtual meeting is going to be held using conferencing applications like Zoom, you will probably have the option to change your background. However, utilizing this option might give an impression that you have something to hide. Your real background doesn’t need to be fancy. Any simple background that doesn’t distract the person on the other end is going to be fine. Having a wall as a background is okay, it’s certainly better than artificially changing the background to some landmark.

Choose the color of your clothes carefully

In certain industries, an aspiring candidate who shows up for an in-person job interview should be well dressed. When interviewing online, rules are less strict, but the candidate must avoid certain pitfalls. For instance, one shouldn’t wear a shirt that blends in with the background. Interviewers might have a problem distinguishing you from the background, and it’ll create an annoying distraction.

In general, sticking with conservative, solid colors is a safe bet. When interviewing for a job, avoid too many patterns or flashy colors. Even if the interviewers don’t mind distinct fashion senses, dressing simply will make you appear more dependable.

Consider using two monitors

When interviewing for certain roles, using a dual-monitor setup can help you show off your skills and past experiences better. The idea is to use one monitor for sharing the video, and the other for sharing your screen. Conducting interviews online can be beneficial because it allows the candidate to show off their portfolio in practice. The second monitor can also be used for showing presentations where you discuss your past job performance and goals for the new job.

The format allows you to talk about your projects as you’re presenting them. Again, this is an excellent opportunity to convince the interviewer of your professionalism and potential.

Sharing content without two monitors is not impossible, but it is difficult. For the reasons described above, using two monitors is an excellent idea.

Use the whiteboard feature

Depending on the nature of the job you’re applying for, whiteboards might also come in handy. Most online interviewing tools like Zoom come with a whiteboard feature. Whiteboards are very useful for jotting down your thoughts and taking notes. Whiteboards are particularly useful when interviewers ask you questions that would be better answered using visual aids. Such questions usually come up in interviews for management or consulting positions.

If you intend to take notes, use the built-in whiteboard feature instead of relying on pen and paper. This will make communication easier.

Make eye contact

In real life, we often use societal norms like handshakes and eye contact to develop a basic bond with the person we’re talking to. Online conferences make it very difficult to establish the same type of bond. Candidates must be extra careful not to seem distant and dishonest. When talking with interviewers, potential hires should look directly at the camera, not the screen. Video conferencing tools display people’s faces on our screen, and we’re instinctively wired to look at people’s faces. Doing so can help us pick up on body language cues and adjust our approach. However, when conducting an interview online, we must learn to overcome these basic instincts and look at the camera instead.

With practice, old habits can be changed or at least slightly adjusted. For example, you can practice it when you’re speaking to your relatives online. Try to look at the camera instead of looking directly at the people you’re talking to. Practice makes perfect, so eventually, you’re bound to get better at making eye contact during video interviews.

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