Ace your virtual job interview
Facing an interview board through our laptop and cell phone screens is not something we ever expected. But alas! Here we are.
A virtual interview requires just as much preparation as in-person, if not more. In fact, it is often more difficult to form a lasting impression through a video call.
Here are some factors that need special attention when preparing for an online interview:
When interacting through a video call, it is vital to minimise any network disturbances from your end. Weak connectivity can translate into lack of preparation to your potential employer. There are a number of websites like Speedtest.net, TestMy.net, etc. that can help you verify the speed and accuracy of your Internet.
If technical difficulties still occur in the form of lagging or frozen call, do not panic. Calmly state the problem and wait for your interviewer to respond.
Take time and familiarize yourself with this new mode of interview. Set up a few practice calls on the platform (Zoom, Google Meet, etc.) chosen by the interviewer. Knowing when to mute or unmute yourself, how to share your screen if needed, etc. will help avoid any slip during the interview.
Research about the firm and practice answering some common questions.
There is also scope to make a short list of a few things you would like to highlight about yourself. Be careful however not to refer to it too often or too obviously.
Find a quiet corner with a neat setup. A plain wall background with the light directed from the front would be ideal. Sit straight on your chair, and adjust the camera similar to a passport size photo angle. Lastly, virtual backgrounds are a big no!
Dress professionally and try to choose colours in contrast to your background. Keep in mind that while a suit is unnecessary, pyjama bottoms are unacceptable.
An interview can be overwhelming even when it is virtual. The moment you feel the nerves taking over, stop! You can ask your interviewer to give you a second to gather yourself before continuing. They will appreciate your ability to excuse yourself calmly instead of fumbling with words.
Let your house members know what time you would be starting, and silence your phone and other gadgets to avoid any distractions during the interview.