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How to Prepare for a Virtual Interview

Since the start of the pandemic, the hiring process has evolved virtually. Gone are the days when one would wait in a company lobby and be interviewed face-to-face- although we miss this already! But since the hiring process now is often done virtually, there are things that you need to know on how you can make a great impression even if they can only see you via screen.

1. Prepare the Link for your Interview and Take Note of the Details

It is actually pretty nerve wracking when you are given a schedule for your virtual interview and, with just a few minutes before the start, you can’t find the link you need for it.

A day before your interview, make sure that the link for your interview is bookmarked in your browser and you also note it down in a Word document or in a notepad so you can easily find it. This will save you time and by doing this, you will avoid being late for the interview. Take note as well of all the instructions the interviewer gave you to follow before and during the interview.
Its best that 15 minutes before your scheduled interview, you are already waiting for your interviewer.

2. Secure an Excellent Internet Connection

One of the most important things, perhaps the most vital thing, in a virtual interview is having a stable and excellent internet connection. You need to have this in order to communicate well with the employer and be able to confidently discuss your CV and talk about your skills. When your internet connection is unstable or unreliable, this is frustrating for both you and the interviewer and this hurts your chances. In some cases, you may find the interview is ended early as the connection drops out and you cannot re-connect.

If you do not have a secured connection at home, go to the nearest café, hotel lobby or library which has a good internet connection. Remember that a poor internet connection means a poor outcome.

3. Have a pleasing location/background

An employer will appreciate a pleasing location or a clean background. If possible, position yourself with a plain white background or a pleasing background. Plants or any necessary decorations will give you a great first impression.

Avoid having a background of clutter or even a background where other people can be seen. Make sure that you are alone and that the surroundings are quiet and tidy.

The easiest way to achieve this is to use a background filter.  There are several available on MS Teams and on Zoom you can upload an image to as your background.  You should try this beforehand as your computer needs to be above a certain specification to create a virtual background.

4. A great camera and headphones go a long way

You want to be heard and you want to be seen. Make sure that the camera on the laptop, cellphone or computers you will use are working well and that the employer can see your face clearly. Your headphones must also work well if you want to be heard and if you want a free-flowing and uninterrupted conversation.

5. Dress up like you are going for a face-to-face interview

It might be a virtual interview but preparing like you are going for a face-to-face interview is essential. Dress up accordingly.. Brush your teeth, fix your hair and apply simple make-up and at least look presentable. Recruiters will notice if you prepared for the interview or if you just woke up for it.

As the hiring process evolves, so should you. It is still important to look at virtual interviews like a face-to-face interview. Preparedness is still the key.

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