COVID-19 has really changed the landscape of almost every industry. For those on the job hunt, applying for positions is not going to look the same as it did before the pandemic. Instead of meeting your prospective employer in-person, chances are you will have at least one or two rounds of virtual interviews (or possibly all virtual interviews) while trying to land the job. Here are five useful tips to help you be successful and put your best foot forward.
- Testing, testing, 1.2.3.
ALWAYS test your computer and all necessary equipment or applications before your interview. Waiting until just minutes before is asking for trouble. If something isn’t working according to plan, you may end up late or missing the interview entirely. Often there will be a program you need to download (such as Zoom). This can be time-consuming and involves a bit of setup once downloaded. Taking the time well before your interview to learn all you can about the platform or program will help you feel much more at ease. Test your internet connection, try out your microphone, speakers, and camera, ensure the angle and lighting looks good, and think through any distractions that could occur then do your best to minimize them. Being prepared will let you focus on the interview instead of on the technology.
2. Research the role
If you are interviewing for a specific position, take the time to do some research and find out what it entails. Learn everything you can about the company you have applied to and think through how your skills align with the job requirements. This will let you sell yourself in a way that is enticing to your interviewer and shows you are taking things seriously. That bit of extra time researching the company and position gives you a competitive advantage over other candidates and shows you are truly interested in the position.
3. Practise the common questions
There are many resources available online that can help you gain insight into what kind of questions you may be asked while interviewing for specific roles. Role-playing your answers with someone else will help you be prepared, and you will feel more comfortable and confident for the real thing. Typically, interviewers stick to situational and behavioral questions. While you might not be able to predict everything they will ask, you can be prepared for questions such as:
Situational – How would you deal with an unhappy customer?
Behavioural – What is your biggest weakness as an employee?
4. Details matter
It’s often the little things that will get you noticed. As much as it is in your control, think about those little details that will help you look professional. Your virtual interview area should be clean and well-lit. Try to minimize any noise if possible. A private space is always better than a public location. If you are using a library or community center, find a quiet corner or room where you will experience less interruptions. The point is to let the interviewer focus on you, instead of being distracted by what’s going on in the background.
5. Be yourself!
This is the most important point, by far. When you interview in-person, it is a lot easier for the company to get a feel for who you are. Without that friendly handshake and small talk while you are waiting for the interview to start, it is even more important to put your personality on display in a virtual interview. Be engaging, show enthusiasm, ask questions, and offer personal anecdotes where appropriate. Find commonalities between yourself and the person interviewing you to create a connection, and don’t be afraid to laugh and smile. A friendly disposition is something every company is looking for.
Put these five points into practise and you will be on your way to landing a job you will love. Nailing the virtual interview process will let your new company see you can ‘roll with the punches’ and adapt to new circumstances…an important quality in a new employee.
Good luck! You’ve got this.