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A group of people on a virtual interview

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people work, play, and live. The impact of people switching to remote or virtual communication has created a new standard by which people can reach others from their computers or phones. Zoom work meetings, virtual family reunions, virtual bingo, and an  increase in online grocery delivery are just a few examples of how people have utilized the virtual world.

The pandemic has created a fundamental shift in the way people go about their day. The workforce has not been immune to this shift. It has been impacted in ways where many employees work remotely, and companies are changing the way they operate in the new land of remote possibilities. With the use of technology and the ability to work remotely, many companies are now hiring people from all parts of the United States to fill positions that were once held by local residents. In those instances, the companies most likely conduct virtual interviews. When entering today’s job market, it is important to prepare in ways for you to have a successful virtual interview.

Technology

When offered a virtual interview, it is important that you ask exactly what type of technology will be utilized. Ask the company if the interview will be an audio call, a video call, or both. Also, be sure to ask the time zone of the intended interview time to ensure that you are on time.

According to Indeed, the most common type of virtual interview is a video call. The company will provide a link to the interview session and the rest is up to you. This scenario is an entirely different experience and will require preparation for a smooth interview. In this instance, the video call might use programs such as Skype, Zoom, or Google. It is crucial to understand how to access and navigate the chosen platform. Have a computer that meets the requirements of the platform and do research beforehand to understand how the platform operates. There are many online video tutorials related to the different platforms that can help you prepare for the interview.

Location

Location, location, location is not only important in real estate, but is also vital to a successful virtual interview. Be sure that you consider all possibilities when deciding where you will be physically located during the interview. You will want to select a space that has reliable Internet and that is quiet and free from distractions. Also, be mindful of what the location looks like on camera. Choose a location that will provide and clean and organized background.

A company may offer the virtual interview within their own facility, yet the interview is with a hiring manage who is located elsewhere. In that case, as the interviewee you would want to adhere to interview best practices. This format is a bit less stressful as the technology component would be the responsibility of the company. A review of best practices might include showing up early for the interview, researching the company, building your personal brand, practice answering tough questions aloud, and express interest in the company and position.

More Virtual Interview Tips

The Indeed editorial team suggest the following quick tips for a successful virtual interview:

  • test the technology
  • practice, practice, practice
  • choose your location
  • gather your materials
  • prepare you own questions
  • dress professionally
  • be mindful of body language
  • have a backup plan

For more interview tips and strategies to land that job, see the Alabama Extension publication Landing the Job: Tips and Tools for Job Search Success.

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