Not all interviews are created equal. While some of the fundamentals of in-person interviews will translate to a virtual setting, there are some key points to keep in mind when dialling in to meet your potential employer. Here are some things you should keep in mind for your upcoming virtual job interview.

Check out: 10 Tips to Ace Your Next Interview.

#1- Do your research.

Never walk into an interview (or any meeting for that matter) without having done your research. Look into the company’s history, culture and values. Knowing as much as you can about the organization will help you to tailor your answers to show why you are the best candidate for the job. Be sure to prepare some questions for your potential employer ahead of time and be ready to answer the questions they’ll have for you. Give yourself a leg up with research.

#2- Dress appropriately

Much like an in-person interview, you’ll want to dress professionally. You may only show them the upper portion of your outfit but make an effort to change out of your sweatpants for the occasion. You never know if you’ll need to stand up during the meeting, and you don’t want to expose the dreaded “Wardrobe mullet.” (Business up top, comfort on the bottom). You don’t want to be caught with your sweats on, even if they are the societal norm right now.

#3- Test your equipment ahead of time

When booking the interview, be sure to pay close attention to the program the interviewer will be using. There are various virtual meeting platforms these days, and you will want to make sure you can navigate the program when the time comes. If it is not a familiar system, you’ll want to do your research and test it out. It is also essential to check your camera and microphone before the day of the interview. The last thing you want is to be on time and ready to go but embarrass yourself because of a technological malfunction.

#4- Check your surroundings

If you share your living space with others (family, housemates, pets), you’ll want to give them the heads up that you’ll be in a meeting. (We all remember the infamous clip of the kids walking in during a BBC interview) Let them know they should steer clear of the area for that time. This is especially important if you’ll be working remotely (if you’re a successful candidate.) You want to show that you are capable of function without distractions.
This is also an excellent time to evaluate your background. Tidy and declutter the space that will be visible in the camera during the interview. Be sure to remove anything that could be deemed inappropriate. You may also consider using a virtual background. Once again, make sure it is appropriate and works properly before the time of the interview.

#5- Showtime

When the time comes for the actual interview to occur, the main rules for interviewing still apply. Be positive and engaging, answer their questions succinctly and be confident without being off-putting. Crucial things to keep in mind outside of the norm are minding your facial expressions and speaking clearly and slowly. When the interview ends, be sure to pause for a moment after you hang up. You never know if they’re still connected on the other end. From there, it’s the regular follow-up. Be sure to send an email to thank them for their time.

Want to learn more about improving your interview skills? Check out the other articles in this interview series here.

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