A Quick Guide Preparing For A Virtual Interview

As the world is adapting to remote working, it also changed the way of doing the interview. 

Now several interviews are conducted virtually via video calls. 

It does have different benefits, including being convenient, cost-saving, and expanding the reach to find more suitable people even though they live further away. 

However, to prepare for a virtual interview, you need to understand a few basic things, and for help, here is a quick guide for you. 

What Are The Types Of Virtual Interviews?

It’s important that you know about some basic things as it includes knowing the type of interview you are going for. 

When it comes to the virtual interview, there might be two types, and here is what you should know about them: 

Live Interview 

This type of interview is when you meet up with the recruiter in a video chat which is life, where you talk about the role and how you are a suitable candidate for it. 

Recorded Interviews 

These are where interviewers send the list of questions and you have to record it answering all the questions.

This way, the reactor watches all things when they are ready. 

What To Do Before You Do The Virtual Interview? 

You must have a proper setting. However, it’s not scary as it might seem. 

There are many job seekers who said that face-to-face meetings are more intimidating. But when the meeting is happening in a comfortable and familiar environment such as your home can help. 

But if you don’t have the right setting, you need to prepare some basics before you do the virtual interview. 

things check before virtual interview

It includes : 

Ask You People To Give Some Space 

When you are having an interview at home, it’s obvious to have family members, spouses, or friends roaming in the back. It might be an accident but it still happens. 

So the best is to ask them to give you some space where they’d interact or disturb you for a while. 

Get Another Laptop 

If your laptop has any kind of issues, it’s best to get another. You can ask your work colleague to lend you the laptop or if your family member has it, you can take that too. 

Avoid using a faulty laptop that can stop working in the middle of an interview. 

Get The Better Connection 

Another point you should focus on is to be sure your connection is better, if the internet has some issue, you can use another connection. Or find someplace where you can do the interview without having an internet connection. 

27 Ways To Prepare Yourself For A Virtual Interview 

Once you are done doing the setting, you are all set for the interview. However, to make sure it stays effective and also has no issues, here are some of the ways that can help. 

Use Prop Or Stand To Hold Phone 

If you are doing the interview using your phone, then don’t put it on selfie mode. Find a shelf, stand, or prop where you can adjust the camera angle. 

The interview should not be looking up to the nose or the side profile. 

Find Better Place Than Couch 

Maybe it’s tempting to do an interview with your coach as it’s the most comfortable place in your house. However it’s not professional-looking, so find a proper place where you can sit and do the interview. 

Do Indoor Interviews 

Since it’s a virtual interview, it doesn’t mean you can do it anywhere you like. Don’t do interviews at the beach or park. 

Have a proper place, and do it indoors where you get a quiet atmosphere. 

Try A Test Run 

To make sure that there is nothing that causes a problem, you can do the test run. Ask your friend or family member to help conduct a mock virtual interview. 

You can check if there is a proper connection, nothing lags, and the microphone is working or not. 

Also, check if there is proper lighting, and volume and have no outside noise. 

If you know which platform is going to be used for the video interview, you can check it with your friend, and do the test run. 

Choose What You Wear For Face To Face Interview 

Since it’s a virtual interview, a lot of people believe they can wear something that they would do when they are at home. 

However, it’s not what you should do, take it seriously as you would do a face-to-face interview. 

It should show what you are wearing, pick a proper attire that is not casual. 

Also avoid the top half as there are a lot of mishaps that happen when people stand up or drink a glass of water, revealing they have not dressed for their bottom half. 

what to wear during virtual interview

Have A Glass Of Water With You 

It happens that during the interview, you might get a dry throat from doing all the talking. In such a situation, leaving the interview might seem rude or even ruin the momentum you built up 

That’s why you need to have glass water near you so it can be easy to get water when you need it. 

Be Smart With What Looks Good On Camera 

Well, one of the differences you get is that what might look good on face to face, might give a different vibe on camera. 

So when you are picking the dress for yourself, focus on what looks good on you and translates well on camera too. 

In such cases, avoid wearing something which is too bright or with stripes, checks, or patterns. 

Sit With Proper Posture 

When you are doing the virtual interview, it might be in your subconscious mind, but since you are in front of the screen, you sit slouched or appear as one.

So focus on how you are sitting, you can do the practice so you don’t do it while doing the interview.  It is also important to see where you have put your camera and what angle you are getting.

Check If Its Zoomed In Or Close U

Check your settings as it should not be zoomed in close up of your face. 

A reasonable distance you can consider is a headshot or having your shoulder in shot. However, it depends on the space you have around you. 

Show Your Engagement 

It becomes much more important when you are doing a virtual interview to show that you’re engaged and interested in the conversation. 

So focus on making the connection. Natural physical cues might be not that evident since you are in front of the screen. 

You can show the enemy by responding every few minutes or nodding your head. 

If you don’t do it, you might seem bored or not have the focus on the discussion. 

Keep A Pen, Notepad, And Everything Else 

When you are doing the interview on the virtual setup, you need to keep things that you might need such as a pen, notepad, questions, or CV. 

A video interview from home requires you to take notes and refer to your CV and list of all questions that need to be asked. 

Keep Yourself Ready 

Since the interview can’t see you physically, you can use this to your advantage. You need to keep the notes handy. including the standard answers next to you.

These help you in better focus especially if you tend to get nervous and worry that you might miss. 

Have Your Plan B Ready 

There are different things that might go wrong, but when you are using the technology regardless of how good the connection is, there will be something that might go wrong. 

There might be buffering. lags or even the sound cutting out. 

So make sure you have the plan ready, it can leave more gaps of silence between the whole interview. 

Here you need to be comfortable asking to repeat themselves. 

Give The Right Pause Before End 

Ending the video interview might not be as natural as compared to when you do it in person. 

That’s why you need to ensure that you have asked all the questions and know what will be the next step. 

When you are saying goodbye, you need to give the right pause and don’t repeat goodbye again once the interviewer has responded. 

Logged Off Properly 

It’s important that you need to log off properly once the interview is done. 

A Lot of times,  candidates react without realizing that the interview is connected. so you need to officially log off, and then make it better to relax. 

Make Sure Your Virtual Identity Looks Professional 

Well in the world of digital,  you need to make sure that you are giving the first impression good. However, it starts with your email address and username. 

So make sure you are using your name for the email and username, don’t let the hiring manager have doubt your professionalism. 

You need to remove any kind of once hilarious email that you created during high school but still use it. 

Well to create a professional-looking impression, you need to consider : 

  • Make sure you keep the email and username simple.
  • Try the different combinations using the first, middle, and last time. 
  • If you feel stuck, you can also use the industry keyword. 
  • Avoid using symbols and numbers from one and zero. 

Create An Impressive Set 

It’s important that you have an interesting and professional-looking background. Don’t sit anywhere, it’s important to focus on what kind of background you have. 

So choose what you are going to wear depending on the background color and also if possible, consider sitting in front of a blank background. This makes you the only focal point which is important for the virtual interview. 

If you have a void of empty walls, you can set up a living room and home office, here you need to pick on what is close to the business. 

Make sure the place is neat and clean. Don’t sit in front of the pile of clothes in the background. 

You also need to check the lighting, the best is to sit near the window as the natural lights are ideal. 

Remove The Distractions Around You 

When you are doing the virtual interview, there are some distractions that you have to deal with. So make sure that you are eliminating all kinds of potential interruptions that might cause disturbance while you do the interview. 

So make sure you turn off the tv, keep your phone on silent and close the window to avoid any kind of blazing sirens and honking horns. 

Also, there are some kinds of disturbances you can’t avoid such as having kids, so you need to be prepared. 

Have Some Practice For Answering Interview Questions 

There is no way that you will know what exactly your interviewer is going to ask,  however, there are some common questions that you can be ready for. 

You can consider doing the practice for answering the questions. 

Well, some of the questions that you to prepare include  :

Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job?

Well, this doesn’t mean you need to criticize the current job, instead focus on where you want to take your career and how the company you are interviewing is going to help. 

What Are Your Weaknesses?

Here the employer wants to have an authentic answer, not something like you work too hard. 

The key here is to share the negative but explain how you are already working or going to work into turning it positive. 

Why Should We Hire You? 

Well, this question might sound intimating, but here you need to summarize the experience and emphasize the strength which makes you unique for the role. 

Do The Follow Up 

You need to treat the video interview like a real face-to-face interview. 

It means you need to do the proper follow-up once the interview is done. 

Within 24 hours, you need to send the email to the interviewees, thank them for their time and share some questions on which you want to say something. 

You need to keep the email concise. 

Keep Yourself Prepared 

Just because you are going to sit in front of the computer, it doesn’t mean you can search the web for the answer while it’s going. 

So make sure you are avoiding clicks here and there. And your focus should be on what the interviewers are saying and on answering the question. 

Do the research but it should be before the meeting starts, jot down all the easy references in one place and print the resume so you don’t forget. 

Do Your Practice Instead Of Memorizing 

Instead of memorizing and sounding robotic, or giving an elevator pitch, you need to be more genuine. 

Also, you need to do the practice beforehand, do the practice and rehearsal.  but make sure you find something much more genuine, have thoughts ready, and improve the answer forming. 

So keep things simple for you, and don’t have long answers that the interviewers don’t even need to hear. 

Make sure that you are being concise and clearer with your answers during your interview. 

Monitor Your Body Language 

A virtual interview removes the physical interactions and has a firm shake of the hand, this is why you need to monitor what your body language says. 

To make yourself look confident, you need to sit up straight, smile, and keep your camera at eye level. 

According to the research, the employers are going to remember what you said when you are maintaining eye contact. 

Also, keep the focus on the camera while you talk, not the image. 

Be Who You Are 

Since the interviewer is not taking your interview for the first time, they did eat tons of other candidates, rehearsing the same thing over and over . to stand out, you need to be you and add you’re natural shine. 

Don’t try to give the vibe you can’t carry, and it can be tiring and seems fake. 

Adjust Whatever You Can See

With the video call, it allows both of you to see each other. However, it also allows you to see what’s behind you and where the camera can catch it. 

You can do the test by doing a mock test, if not then use the actual webcam and see what the interviewer might be actually seeing. 

So adjust those things, it can be the stack of books, a pile of clothes, etc. remove anything that seems not good for the first impression. 

Turn Off The Notifications And Noise 

When you are going for the interview, do check if your phone is turned off or not. Don’t let the sudden call disturb your interview and make sure you are adding this to the pre-interview checklist. 

Also, do that to every online service that might happen during the interview,  you need to turn off everything like the laundry machine, microwave, etc that might make a sound. 

Have Light In Front 

To make sure that you are looking best, you need to have the right source and in the right direction. 

The light should be in front of you even though it might be tempting to show the window week, but it causes backlit which shadows your face. 

  • Since you don’t have any fancy lights or ring lights, you can put yourself in front of the window. 
  • So make sure you are taking the best advantage of the natural light. 
  • If you don’t have a good window for use, then you can use the table lamp and place it in front. 

Have Your Place Ready 

You can practice by setting up the stage and making sure everything around is comforting and causing no disturbance. 

Here are some of the points : 

  • Decide where you are going to sit so it gives a better and direct look to the camera.
  • Check the background for making sure there is nothing you don’t want to shoot and detract from the interview.
  • In case of using multiple monitors, set them in so you are looking directly at the camera, otherwise, the interview is going to look side of the face and you would look unfocused. 

Masters Tool, You Are Going To Use 

Remote interviews tend to be unique in that a relationship with your employee can end just because of technology, or not sharing the right space and connection. 

So it’s important that you should take some time and invest in getting comfortable with the tools you are going to use for the interviews. 

Also, you can blend the technology much more seamless into the background, here are some of the points that you should focus on : 

  • Check you need to set up another account or need to download another software for the video call service. 
  • Make sure you know how to adjust the audio inputs and outputs of the computer and manage the audio of the video call.
  • Give some time in practicing muting and unmuting, sharing screens, etc. 

How To Stand Out When You Are Doing Virtual Interviews? 

Once the interview starts, you can’t stand up and move around, there is no going back as you have to hand out and create an impression to get chosen for the job. 

However the pressure can be overwhelming, for your help, you can remember these points to stand out.

stand out during virtual interview

Look Into Webcam 

When you are talking to the interviewer, talk to the camera instead of the face.  As when you are seeing their face on the screen, you are actually looking down. 

So even though it feels unnatural, it gives the sense that you are making eye contact and paying attention.

Don’t Move Or Stand Up Too Much 

When you are doing the interview, you need to stop moving, it doesn’t mean to sit still, but to avoid using unnecessary moments like fidgeting, typing on a keyboard, swiveling the chair, and leaving the frame. 

It makes the interviewer feel like you’re paying attention and it can be off-putting. 

Set Your Note-Taking Expectations 

It’s encouraged to take the notes when the interview is going on, but if you are planning to type the notes on the same drive on which you are taking a call, it’s important that you tell the interviewer so they know you are not being rude or distracted. 

Be Honest 

When you are doing the interview, especially a virtual interview, there are chances of something happening such as a bad connection or a sudden interruption that regresses how prepared you are. 

In such a situation, it’s better, to be honest, and everyone understands there might be some glitch, so ask the interviewer to repeat what they said in case you didn’t listen well. 

Have Fun And Smile 

Well focus on being genuine, also have fun and make it on a light note. Smile and laugh, show that you are encouraged and enjoy the interview. 

This shows your confidence and inverse in the work as well as your role. 

15 List Of Mistakes You Should Avoid In Virtual Interviews 

mistakes avoid in virtual interview

Many people who are new when it comes to virtual interviews tend to feel more nervous and worried.

And that’s why they end up making the same mistakes over and over again. To avoid such things, here is a list of mistakes that you need to avoid: 

Having Bad Connection 

There is nothing more annoying than having the buffering signal.  It gets more frustrating when you are watching the live stream or doing the video online. 

If something gets to your current internal signal, then you might not be able to give the best emission. 

Also how they will know that your network keeps stopping. If you are not sure then do the test and find a place where the network is good. 

Too Much Distraction Around You 

Anyone who started to work from home is aware of how much distraction it can bring.  There is no doubt that something will be going on. If you have kids, they might be running here and there, or have pets, they need your attention. 

The distractions can be outside too, maybe you like above the noisy neighbor or there is a constant honking going on the streets. 

You need to set a private place where you can minimize distractions. 

Having a Bad Camera Angle 

Another mistake you can make is having a bad camera angle, you need to fix it before the interview starts. 

Also, it’s not great to have the picture which is not in focus on not pointing directly to you. 

To avoid this, ensure you have the right angle before starting. 

Not Picking Right Clothes

Like the face-to-face interview, you need to wear something that you should be wearing for the real interview. 

Wearing Pj or less formal clothes gives a bad view and shows you are not serious. It gives a bad impression and will hurt the chances of you getting the job. 

So dress well and sit in front of the computer. Best to stick with block colors and not wear something that can create optical illusions. 

Connected Last Minute

You would show up at the last interview when you are going for an in-person interview. 

So don’t do it when you are having a virtual interview.  It’s important to arrive at least a few minutes and be ready as well as composed for when the interview begins. 

Don’t connect at the last minute, and try to find the place where the connection is or get a private place at the time when you are doing the interview. 

Having Messy Room 

Another mistake that you need to avoid is doing it in a messy room. 

Remember that your recruiter is going to see not just you but also where you are at, your surroundings, at least we’re the webcam captures. 

So choosing a place where you have a wall, or laundry piled up, can show that you are not serious about the role. 

Also for the interviewer, it can be extremely distracting. 

Poor Lighting 

Another major mistake that people make is not paying attention to their lighting. 

However, it’s something you won’t be worried about when you are on the regular interview. 

So you need the interview to see you properly and go for the body language 

So you need to find a place which is not dark and has poor lighting. 

Eating And Drinking While Interview

Another biggest no-no is to avoid drinking and eating, Even if you find it not as problematic at first glance. 

But it does show you are unprofessional, and this is why you need to avoid such cases. 

When you are at home, do all the eating and drinking before you start the interview. Not when you are doing it. 

Not Paying Attention 

When you are going for an interview, it’s normal to feel distracted and nervous. but when you are in a regular interview, you wouldn’t stare into the pace or check your phone while the other person is speaking. 

So don’t do it during the virtual interview. This is not going to give the best impression.

Criticizing And Complaining

Everyone knows that professionals seek opportunities that sometimes get frustrated with their current employers. 

But when you are doing the interview, do remember that it’s not a therapy session. so you need to avoid whining and complaining about your current job and boss. 

However it should not be that you are lying, but try to use the words in better ways. 

Using Buzzwords Without Understanding Meaning 

While some think that using the different jargony phrases and buzzwords might make them look professional, according to the survey, it is a real buzzkill. 

Using words like motivated, innovating, and trustworthy are standalone generic, but using buzzy is considered too overused. 

Bad Background For Digital 

The background is important, and to find the right setting you need to understand what basics to cover. 

However there is no need to go for the perfect background, but you need to avoid the messy and dirty ones. 

Also, keep the area clean and have lights, make sure whatever the camera can catch looks neat and has a certain kind of aesthetic in it. 

When you have a messy background, it gives the impression that you are not an organized person. 

Not Explaining The Gaps

While some gaps can be not as serious or deal breakers, you should explain them to the interviewer. 

According to the survey, the interviewer takes those gaps as clear mistakes especially when it’s not explained. 

So you need to tell them why there are certain gaps and for what. 

Not Proper Eye Contact 

The next mistake that you should be avoiding is not giving enough eye contact. It can be a sign of lack of confidence and preparation which can backfire. 

So make sure you are giving the right amount of eye contact, also it is important to know where to look when you are doing a virtual interview. 

Having a Bad Sitting Posture

Having posture can show what kind of personality you have. When you have body posture, it shows you are professionally 

Not just that, body posture and body language are important and play a virtual role in the interview. 

Keep you sitting straight and be comfortable. 

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