Job interviews are nerve-wracking no matter how they take place, but virtual interviews are especially daunting. You’re trying to connect with the interviewers while dealing with the ins and outs of cameras, background noises, and potential internet troubles.
However, if you take time in advance to make sure you’re set up for success — if you follow these virtual interview tips — you can ensure you’ll able to put your best foot forward, even from hundreds (or thousands) of miles away.
What to expect from a virtual interview
A great virtual interview should have a lot of the same ingredients as an in-person one! But instead of the formalities of handshakes and figuring out which chair to sit at in the conference room, you’ll click a link and drop into a video call, where hopefully your interviewer will be waiting.
1. Ensure you have a fast, reliable internet connection
If a tree falls in the woods, does anyone hear it? If a new scientific breakthrough is shared on a crummy connection, is it still brilliant?
A poor connection means you risk unclear audio on the call, which is a real deal breaker. No matter what excellent preparation you do for the call, if your interviewers can’t hear you or if your video freezes, you’re cooked.
In case you’re curious about your internet speed, sites like Speedtest are great for measuring your bandwidth. It’s also a good idea to close out of any other programs that might be slowing down your computer or hogging data before your interview starts.
2. Get the hardware you need
Whenever possible, always do your video call on a laptop with a webcam! It’s a better experience for you and those on the other end; joining a video call from a mobile phone can come across unprofessional if not done properly. If you have to take the call from your phone, try to get a stand to stabilize things.
Pro tip: Always wear headphones on a video call, especially if it’s an interview! You’ll get clearer audio, reduce the chances that you’ll get an echo, and minimize surprise background noise. While you can go as fancy as you’d like on a headset, the earbuds with a microphone that come with most mobile phones will also do the trick.