Top 5 Tips To Set Yourself Up for Success in a Virtual Interview

Many companies perform virtual interviews for initial rounds of interviews. As an applicant, the virtual aspect may make you uncomfortable, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process or the expected etiquette. For example, is a logo background standard or does the interviewer want an unobstructed view of you? Can you wear casual clothing, or is a suit and tie still appropriate? Get more comfortable with virtual interview expectations with the following five tips.

1. Setting Proper Expectations

A virtual interview is similar to an in-person interview. Truthfully, the only real difference is that a virtual interview takes place over a video chat. Still, this singular difference is enough to make applicants weary of interviewer expectations. When scheduled for a virtual interview, ask yourself a few questions:

1. What position am I interviewing for?

2. What am I expected to know?

3. What question will the interviewer likely ask?

4. What do I need to know about the company?

Answering the above questions will help you prepare for the interview and set your expectations for the interactions. Regardless of your answers, however, interviews are professional activities, so you should act as you would if you were an employee.

2. Asking Correct Questions

An interview, whether in person or virtual, is a chance for a dialogue. The interviewer will ask you questions as a potential employer, but you also have the opportunity to ask questions as a potential employee. An interview aims to determine if both parties would make a good team. Don’t be afraid to ask about policies, corporate culture, services, products, management styles, and anything else that interests you as a potential employee, including benefits.

3. Showing Up On Time and Dressing the Part

There is no worse first impression than showing up late to an interview, especially when the interview takes place in your own home. Always double-check the interview information, taking note of the date and time. You should always be seated, logged in, and ready for your interview several minutes before the official start time.

Also, make sure you dress the part. If you are applying to a finance firm, wear a suit and tie. If you are applying to a more casual startup, still consider wearing a business casual outfit. 

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4. Looking Into the Camera

During the interview, don’t fidget or fuss with papers or objects on your desk. Don’t continuously look at notes. You want to keep focused on the interviewer. While it is impossible to maintain eye contact, you can look into your camera to show that you are providing your undivided attention. You may want to practice mock virtual interviews with friends or families to get the eye line right.

5. Using a Virtual Background

If you do not have a proper office, use a virtual office background to reduce the risk of an employer seeing something they shouldn’t or don’t need to. Virtual backgrounds are professional and demonstrate an awareness of proper etiquette on your part.

When preparing for a virtual interview, you can use free Microsoft Teams backgrounds or create a custom option, depending on your needs. Also, if you want more information on interview preparation, talk to a remote work or virtual office professional for additional insight. 

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