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How to prepare for (and ace) a virtual interview

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.


No matter what, job interviews are nerve-wracking. For someone who has done a total of three job interviews ever, it is probably one of the most daunting and intimidating experiences of all time. Job interviews to me are like going on a never ending rollercoaster while screaming and crying the entire time. I’d like to think I perform well in interviews considering I was able to land my current part-time job, but of course there is always room for improvement.

1. TEST YOUR TECHNOLOGY

Before doing anything, the first thing you need to get out of the way is making sure that the video platform your potential employer is using is compatible with your phone or laptop. When I discovered my interview would be through Google Hangouts, I immediately asked a friend to test it out with me. During the test call, I made sure the camera and audio worked and I’m so glad I did because when it came time for my interview, Google Hangouts wouldn’t let me join the call. Can you imagine me not testing it out prior? It would’ve been a huge mess.

2. DRESS THE PART

Even though you aren’t being interviewed in person, it is still important to dress the part. When you looking professional and put together shows that you are interested in the job and didn’t just roll out of bed. For me, this also meant wearing dress pants instead of secretly wearing pyjama bottoms. Plus, when you get dressed up, it can increase your confidence and how you perform in the interview.

3. PREPARE

Be sure to conduct your research for the interview, this means looking over the mission statement and core values of the company. It is important that you show that you are well educated about these areas . As well, make sure you practice some potential interview questions such as “what is something that makes you stand out from other candidates?”. While the questions you use to practice with may not be the ones asked, they will give you that extra practice and confidence in your actual interview.

4. BODY LANGUAGE IS IMPORTANT

A virtual interview does not mean you can be laid back or surfing the web. Be sure to sit upright, and show that you are attentive and maintain eye contact. It also can help to show non-verbal cues such as nodding your head. 

5. BREATHE

My final tip is to breathe; when I recently did my interview I didn’t do enough of this. After finishing the video call, I immediately replayed the interview in my head, analyzing everything I did and said. I felt I could’ve spoken more clearly and slowly and had more ideas to share afterwards. I was so nervous that I would constantly speak to fill the time. Remember that when you think you’re speaking too slowly, you aren’t. You’re going at the right pace.

With all that being said, universities and many jobs have made the shift online, with virtual interviews  more common now than ever. It is normal to feel nervous, but remember that even if you don’t land the job, it will be okay. I have no clue if I got the job in my most recent interview, but what I do know is that being considered as a potential candidate meant they saw something in me worth interviewing. Each interview you  do is valuable because it prepares you for the next one.

I hope these tips were helpful and are useful the next time you have a virtual interview or even one in-person!

Sonia Tumkur is currently studying journalism and double minoring in public relations and sociology at Ryerson University. She is interested in all things social and tech and can't live without her daily cup of coffee. In her spare time, you can find her going on a run or exploring Toronto coffee shops.
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