8 Tips on How to Prepare for Your Virtual Interview
Virtual interviewing has certainly gained momentum over the last few years. Whether you live far away or need to interview remotely for another reason, the use of video conferencing is a great solution that many companies, including Mutual of Omaha, use to meet candidates “face to face.”
While virtual interviewing may seem like a more challenging way to make a good impression, there are still many ways to wow your interviewers while on video. Follow these eight tips to prepare for your next virtual interview.
- Test Your Technology. The minute you agree to a virtual interview, test your technology to ensure you’re set up for success. Check your internet connection and confirm your camera and microphone are working. If the picture is grainy or you’re experiencing an echo, you might need to buy a mini webcam with a built-in microphone. This is hard to do five minutes before the interview, so don’t procrastinate. On the day of, test your equipment and internet connection again.
- Set the Scene and Minimize Distractions. While testing your technology, determine where to take the interview. Find a room with optimal lighting, preferably near a window or a blank wall, to guarantee you’re the focal point of the conversation. Whether you sit on your living room couch or in your home office, tidy up your surroundings. If possible, face the door so the camera is pointed away from it in the event someone else in your home walks into the room, which could distract from the interview. Once settled, eliminate all other distractions – turn off the TV, silence your cell phone, and close any nearby windows to muffle neighborhood traffic. Depending on what platform you will be using for the virtual interview, you may choose to blur your background as well.
- Be Prepared. Just because you’re on a computer doesn’t mean you can search the web for answers mid-interview, so avoid clicking around. You want to appear focused and ready to answer any questions without the help of the internet. Research the company ahead of time and jot down notes for easy reference. Print out a copy of your resume, too, so you don’t forget key talking points.
- Practice, Don’t Memorize. You don’t want to sound robotic throughout your interview – whether answering or asking questions or giving your elevator pitch. It’s easy to tell if you aren’t being genuine, so it’s a good idea to run through a few practice rounds with a friend or family member. This will give you a chance to rehearse with different personalities and answer a variety of questions. While it may be awkward, you’ll have a safe atmosphere to make mistakes and learn from them, so you’re better prepared for the real thing.
- Monitor Your Body Language. You can’t firmly shake a hiring manager’s hand or easily exude enthusiasm via video. But what you can do is monitor your body language. The main way to communicate confidence is to sit up straight, smile and keep the camera at eye level. Research shows that employers are more likely to remember what you said if you maintain eye contact, so keep your focus on the camera when talking, not on the image of the hiring manager.
- Dress the Part. Dress professionally as you would for an in-person interview.
- Make a Connection. You never know how many interviews a company may conduct for a position. You might be at the end of a long list of people the hiring manager spoke to that day. This is why it’s important to make a connection. Don’t be afraid to have a short discussion about a common interest. The manager might enjoy the break from the routine questions they have to get through. It’s not easy to connect with everyone, but it’s a crucial part of a virtual interview. You want the interviewer to be able to remember a personal story you told or a common interest you share. This is the best way to keep from blending in with the other applicants.
- Be Yourself. A key task for the manager is determining whether you would be a good fit with the company’s culture. This can be challenging during a virtual interview because there is a physical disconnect. It’s more difficult for the interviewer to understand your enthusiasm through the screen, so make sure you’re expressive when answering questions.
Interested in joining Mutual of Omaha? Be sure to check out our available opportunities by clicking “Job Search” at the top of the page.
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