Tips for interviewing in a virtual world

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1. Check Your Technology

Most recruiters will invite you to interview over a video call. This may not be something you’re used to or you may not be familiar with the software, so be sure to check that your device is set up and ready to go well in advance – don’t wait until 15 minutes before the start time!

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2. Set the Stage

Give yourself the opportunity to make your best first impression. Try to join the call using a laptop or a larger device like a tablet. If you join with a phone you may not be able to see all the interviewers on the one screen and they may only be able to see a small part of your face. Also, check before the interview to make sure the lighting in the area you have chosen to conduct the call doesn’t appear too bright or dark through your device’s camera so that the interviewers will be able to see you properly.

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3. Dress for Success

You may not be leaving the house, but it is still just as important to project professionalism throughout the interview process. This includes dressing as you would for an in-person interview. Dressing as you normally would if you were going into the company’s offices will also help you get in the correct mindset. 

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4. Monitor your Body Language

You are trying to emulate the same impression as you would in an in-person interview so find yourself a comfortable chair and desk with a neutral background to give yourself an office atmosphere. Don’t forget you’re on camera so you still need to be aware of what your body language is saying.

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5. Limit your Distractions

With all parties joining from separate locations, the number of possible distractions drastically increase. Turn off your phone, inform the people in your household to not disturb you and close your windows to avoid external noises. Ask the people, pets, and kids to leave the house or at the absolute minimum to be in a separate room for the interview. However, if a rogue toddler makes a break into your background it’s not the end of the world the recruiter will understand the challenges that come with working from home and are more than likely in a similar situation.

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6. Be Prepared

Avoid clicking around on your computer, you want to appear focused and ready to answer any questions. Do your normal pre-interview research into company but don’t look down to read off your notes throughout the interview. If you have a particular point you want to remember write it on a post it note and stick it to your computer. 

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7. Relax

Relax and be yourself! It’s understandable that you might be a bit more uncomfortable sitting in a virtual interview, but this set up is new for most people. Try not to worry about your surroundings, stay calm and do your best to sell yourself.

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8. Build a Rapport

An aspect of an in-person interview that can be lost in a virtual setting is the small talk before and after the official conversation that allows you to build a rapport. However, it’s still important that you build a relationship with the interviewers. Energy and enthusiasm are extra important in a virtual setting to get across your personality and build rapport. You can also send a follow up email to the recruiter thanking them for their time and letting them know you're available if they have any additional questions.