Adulting 101: How to Ace Your Virtual Interview
Virtual interviews are here to stay for college, internships, and jobs. That means that young professionals need to be fluent in the art of the virtual interview. We’re here to help.
Virtual interviews are here to stay. Many colleges and universities encourage them for students who can’t visit in person. Lots of offices are going virtual and hiring the best talent from around the country (and even, the globe). With the mass disruption of COVID-19, even more are considering this approach and using video interviews during this unstable time. Virtual interviews are also increasingly popular as a means of interviewing job or internship candidates who plan to relocate but currently live far away. Instead of expensive plane trips, the interviewer is a click away—saving time, money, and the environment. Even internships, apprenticeships, and job fairs are increasingly moving into the virtual space.
All of this means that young professionals need to be fluent in the art of the virtual interview via technologies like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Skype.
Many of the old rules of interviewing still apply. For example, dress like you would for an in-person interview. It may be tempting to dress professionally on top while rocking some cozy sweatpants on the bottom—because who’s going to see them? However, life doesn’t always go to plan. What if you spill coffee? What if UPS knocks on your door? It’s better to approach the interview as if you’re in the room. Nix the drawstrings and make the best impression! And always send a follow-up thank-you note via email (and for good measure, follow up with snail mail).
The biggest change from in-person to video interviewing is the technology. Even if you’ve used video technology in the past, it’s always best to test, test, test ahead of time. A glitch or needed software update can start your interview on the wrong foot. In fact, consider practicing with a friend or loved one beforehand. This allows you to get comfortable with the technology, ensure its working, and see how you’ll look on the other end (how’s your background, lighting, eye contact, etc.). You can also practice answering common interview questions.
Speaking of eye contact, it’s still really important to maintain it in the virtual space. This is not wholly intuitive on video calls. To maintain eye contact on a video call,, you need to look at the web camera and not the interviewer. I know, I know, always something to trip you up, but you’ve got this!
Really, with a little preparation, you’re going to be great! Here are some resources (in addition to those linked in the article) to set you up for success for your next virtual college admissions, job, or internship interview. Visit our Adulting 101: Successful Interviewing for more!
General Virtual Interviewing Tips
Northeastern University explains what a virtual or video interview is, how to prepare, how to use positive body language and choose a background, and what questions to expect.
Harvard Business School outlines 9 ways to master your virtual interview, including being yourself, making a connection, and ensuring your dirty laundry is out of the video frame!
Even virtually, body language—posture, eye contact, smiling—matters. Flexjobs reviews seven ways you can make sure your body is sending the right message.
College Admissions Interviews
U.S. News and World Report provides insights into acing a virtual college interview, including ensuring your username and photo are appropriate, signing on early in case of problems, and turning off other electronics.
College counseling and admissions experts tell you what to expect from a college admissions interview via Khan Academy. Remember, the fundamentals of interviewing remain the same between in-person and virtual.On June 24, 2020 at 4:19 pm by Katelyn Silva
What makes you nervous about virtual interviewing? Do you have a story/tip to share with others to help them get more comfortable with video interviewing or a blooper you learned from?