There’s no escaping it: virtual interviews are the new normal, especially for digital professionals who work from home.
And while we’re all reaping the many benefits of remote working, we’re also finding ways to integrate home offices, curious children and hyperactive pets into the interview process.
From technical assessments to one-on-one introductions, how do you cope with your cat using your laptop as a cushion while you’re mid-interview?
Demonstrating strong communications skills, professionalism and good time keeping can get you from the interview stage to an offer.
Never fear – as a leading talent network, we’re accelerating the careers of thousands of talented professionals. And we’ve got you covered!
Here are some handy tips to help you level up your interview skills and secure your dream new role.
Do your research
Make sure you thoroughly research the company you’re interviewing for. From their value proposition to their ethics, familiarize yourself with their mission statement, clients and business objectives. The more prepared you are, the more interested and professional you will appear to your interviewer.
Practice makes perfect
Jot down a list of potential questions you might be asked, from your work experience to your skills and ‘tech stack’ expertise. Practising answers to common interview questions will help you feel more comfortable, and prepared. You could even run a mock interview prior to the real thing, testing both your answers and your video quality!
Be an early bird!
Where possible, join your Zoom (or equivalent communication platform) meeting 5 minutes early, in case there are any technical issues. Punctuality creates a good first impression.
Find a quiet space
Choose a relaxed and quiet area, at a desk or table. If you can, close the door to ensure you won’t be interrupted by excitable pets or inquisitive family members/flatmates. The interviewer needs to hear you clearly so try and make sure that there aren’t any distractions. Make a good impression by clearing your room of any clutter and ensuring you have a tasteful or neutral backdrop
Don’t conduct your interview while you’re out and about.
Dress for success
Ooze professionalism by dressing the part. Choose a smart outfit that you normally would wear to an office workplace, and when in doubt just ask in advance about the company’s dress code.
Make sure your technology is on point
We’ve all experienced it. You’re midway through a fantastic interview, it’s all going perfectly and then… freeze frame! Your wifi drops and the interview abruptly ends before you’ve had the chance to show off your potential.
Check your internet connectivity in the run up to the interview. Find an area in your home close to the modem with the strongest wifi signal to conduct your interview. If your wifi connection continues to drop, consider borrowing or purchasing a booster to amplify the signal.
Turn on your video and help bring your answers to life! Interviewers want the chance to chat with you face to face – even if it’s via a camera lens.
If the picture on your laptop camera isn’t clear, consider investing in a small mini webcam with a built-in microphone, or borrow one from a friend or family member.
If your camera isn’t working and you don’t have access to a webcam, let your interviewer know. They’ll be happy to rearrange or work around the situation.
You want every opportunity to connect with your interviewer and feel confident in your presentation. Ensuring your technology is in tip-top condition in advance will work wonders for your communication skills!
Don’t use a camera phone for your interview.
Lights, camera, action!
Before the interview starts, check your camera framing, backdrop and lighting. Ensure your webcam sits at eye level, with your face and shoulders in the frame, and that you have ample light. The right camera angles and lighting are essential for high-quality virtual interviews.
If you are asked any unexpected questions or anything you find difficult to answer, keep calm. You can always politely ask the interviewer to rephrase or explain the question more clearly, to ensure the interview gets back on track. Don’t be afraid to ask questions too! Interviewers respond well to interested and engaged candidates.
And most importantly… good luck! Enjoy your interview and the process.
We hope these handy interview tips helped. For more insights, check out our Andela blog.