With social distancing a norm these days, our interviews are now all conducted virtually. And it may surprise you how different a virtual interview is compared to traditional face-to-face interviews. Because communication is done through screens, it will do you good to know how certain visual and verbal cues are affected.
Here are some tips to help you present yourself as effectively as you can and leave an unforgettable impression during the interview.
- Do a dry run. Get familiar with the video conferencing app and test it out by yourself. Observe the way you look and sound, and the mannerisms you project when talking.
- Dress right. Wear the ‘best clothes’ you would wear if you were in the office. Keep your dressing distraction-free and avoid wearing accessories like dangly earrings or clothing with prominent logos.
- Dial-in early. Get in at least 15 minutes early to troubleshoot any connection, video or sound issues. If you have persistent connection issues, do let the interviewer know, and be prepared to turn off your video to support a stronger audio connection. Dialing in early also allows you some time to calm yourself and collect your thoughts before the interview begins.
- Download additional backups. Download the video conferencing app onto your phone and tablet in case your laptop or main device is facing issues, so you can quickly get back into the meeting.
- Decide on a professional background. If you’re using an actual background, it should be clean and tidy with good lighting. You can also simply use the neutral backgrounds offered by the app. A busy background can be a distraction, which in turn may also leave an impression you wouldn’t want to!
- Designate a quiet hour. Allocate at least an hour of ‘quiet time’ even if the interview is only scheduled for less time than that. Let the people in the house know to keep extra quiet and schedule deliveries for another time. Sometimes, it’s that final ten minutes of discovery conversation that gets you the job, and you don’t want to be ‘rushing’ at the end of an interview or be distracted.
- Do the interview indoors. The connection outdoors may be less than optimal, and your interviewer might be distracted by the environment sounds and people walking by.
- Dial down on the distractions from your phone. Pay the utmost attention to your interviewer and put away your phone if possible. If you are expecting an urgent call, let the interviewer know – he/she will be more than understanding!
- Don’t eat or drink. At most, keep a cup of water out of sight and drink discretely.
- Direct the camera just above your eye line. Show your best angle! People tend to look better filmed slightly from above rather than from below.
- Do mind your body language. Maintain a good posture and try not to fidget and gesture excessively. Your gestures may go outside the screen and if you move your hands too close to the camera, they will appear huge! Do a practice conversation with the app and see how you look.
- Determine when and how to respond. Communication is a different ball game when it comes to video calls. Breaks in the connection can cause the two parties to talk over each other unintentionally. So, wait a few seconds to be sure the other party is done talking before you respond. Plus, choose to smile or nod when expressing your acknowledgement, instead of doing it verbally. Responding with verbal acknowledgement can interrupt your interviewer and break the flow of conversation.
- Don’t be afraid of silence. Being comfortable with silence also allows you to pace yourself so you won’t give off an impression that you feel rushed.
- Do prepare notes. One big advantage of an online interview is you can prepare notes and questions and areas you may want to cover during the conversation. Refer to these discretely to ensure you don’t miss out anything.
- Discern the right time. Choose a time where you and your interviewer may both have better energy levels. You may want to consider earlier in the week at a time where energy levels are generally better for both you and your interviewer.
When it comes to virtual interviews, clear communication is key. Having a firm grasp of the technical challenges of a virtual interview can give you an edge in helping interviewers better understand your skills, talents and personality. All the best!
Are you passionate about driving meaningful change in the world? Explore opportunities at Accenture today.
Disclaimer: This content is provided for general information purposes and is not intended to be used in place of consultation with our professional advisors. This document makes reference to marks owned by third parties. All such third-party marks are the property of their respective owners. No sponsorship, endorsement or approval of this content by the owners of such marks is intended, expressed or implied.
Copyright © 2021 Accenture. All rights reserved. Accenture and its logo are registered trademarks