Our Top Tips for Preparing for Virtual Interviews

Read our advice on how to do your best in a virtual interview

The coronavirus pandemic has made ‘on-site’ interviews a thing of the past for many organisations, including our own. Those of us who wouldn’t class themselves as ‘tech-savvy’ are rapidly finding themselves having to get up to speed with the virtual world in order to find and compete for jobs.

Here are some of our top tips when preparing for virtual interviews.

Be on Time!!

There is nothing more frustrating than being sat wasting time waiting for an interviewee to arrive, whether this be in person or via an online platform. This is a sure-fire way to start an interview on a bad foot.

Test your Tech!

If only we had a pound for every time we heard “I’m sorry, I couldn’t get (insert video platform here) to work”.  Make sure you spend some time before the interview testing the platform, download any local programmes you may need in advance so this won’t make you late or stressed before the interview begins. If you need to do a presentation, practice on a friend first so you are familiar with the platform’s functionality and screen-sharing in advance. You don’t want to be sat there saying, “sorry, hang on, I don’t know how to share my screen”. Cringe.

Make sure you have a good internet connection. This is so important. If your internet is unreliable get yourself a dongle or go somewhere where you know you can get a good signal. It is incredibly frustrating, when interviewing, when you can’t communicate with your interviewer effectively. It makes for a very poor experience for all involved.

Make sure you have a good internet connection

Dress Appropriately

Whether in person or virtual, an interview is still an interview. While it may be tempting to sit in your PJ bottoms with your slippers on and a shirt on top; is that really going to allow you to project an air of professionalism towards your interviewers? We recommend you dress smart for your virtual interviews. Not only will it show the interviewers that you have made an effort for the meeting, but it will enable you to feel more professional and act accordingly with more confidence.

Do something with your hair. Lets face it, with the hairdressers closed, there’s a lot more Boris hairstyles kicking about. Again, do what you can to tame the tresses. Ladies, tie your hair back and hide the roots. Gentlemen, do your best. The interviewers are all in the same boat as you so will understand you may not look your best but they will be able to tell if you have made an effort or not.

Location, Location, Location!

Do your best to find a quiet place, away from distractions and clutter. While, people are a lot more understanding these days, no one wants to see your family members walking past you and talking. If you can’t find anywhere with a bare wall or bookshelf, use a virtual background to blur out the clutter… and as tempting as it is, don’t use the party balloons or one with bright colours. Keep it plain and simple.

Try to find somewhere with good lighting so the interviewer/s can see your facial expressions so your enthusiasm can come through. Remember, the interview process used to be a lot about body-language. This has been taken away, so your facial expressions and hand gestures are now more important.

Remember; don’t get distracted and maintain ‘eye’ contact. It can be tempting to stare down the camera to simulate eye contact but you don’t want to miss what is on the screen. The occasional glance should suffice.

Don’t get distracted and maintain ‘eye’ contact.

Finally, Be Yourself…

Sometimes, people can struggle on video interview and find themselves acting ‘stiff’ and ‘robotic’. It’s important that you let yourself relax into the process and allow your personality to shine through. A little nerves is never a bad thing. Nerves are there to keep us sharp and on top form, and it shows the interviewer that you really do want to role on offer. If you are unfamiliar with video interviews, again practice with a friend; the more prepared you are the more confident and relaxed you will be.

There are obviously more things to consider for the actual interview itself but if you are finding yourself panicking about an upcoming virtual interview, please get in touch. We are here to help and advise you.

Project Manager

£55,000 - £60,000

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Do you have experience working in a Life Science or Healthcare project management environment? Do you have expertise in management of scientific builds and validation? Are you looking for an exciting and unique challenge with a rapidly growing business?
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