Virtual interviews are becoming very common in the hiring proces. With many sites closed or at reduced capacity due to the pandemic, almost all interviews are currently conducted virtually. There are two main types of virtual interviews:
Definition: an interview in real time, simulating a face-to-face interaction. It provides the opportunity to converse and to clarify as needed, as well as to assess interviewers’ nonverbal responses.
Platforms: Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, FaceTime
Definition: an interview that involves on-screen prompts. You’ll be asked to record responses and submit them for review by the employer. Because you’re not speaking to anyone in real time, you can complete the interview at your convenience before the deadline. You usually have a predetermined time to respond and are unable to revise your responses.
Platforms: VidCruiter, myInterview, HireVue, Spark Hire, interviewstream, Harver
Find a quiet space free of distractions and with a neutral background. If you share the space, let people know ahead of time and post signs as a reminder. If you need a quiet space on campus, NCA has rooms available during business hours in our main office that can be reserved via Handshake. Consider the room lighting; it is best to have front lighting so you appear brighter on camera.
Even though only your head and shoulders are likely to appear on camera, treat virtual interviews like in-person interviews: dress professionally from head to toe and be mindful of your posture, which can convey confidence and interest (or a lack thereof).
Test your connection, audio, and video in advance to avoid unexpected technical issues. Ensure you have a strong internet connection and are near the router (or use a hardwired connection if possible). Depending on the platform you are using, adjust your username to be your full name. Close other programs on your computer before your interview to limit noise and alerts. Always have a second device (back-up plan) in case anything goes wrong. If there is a glitch in technology for either you or the interviewer, try not to panic. Take a moment to try to reconnect with the interviewer, and if that is not possible, try to connect using a secondary device (phone, tablet, etc).
In an effort to make eye contact, be sure to look at the camera, not the screen. To simulate real eye contact, it may help to move the other person’s video image as close as possible to your computer’s camera. Consider placing your computer or laptop so that the camera is above your eye-line, angled slightly downward and an appropriate distance from your face. Your head and shoulders should be visible on screen. In addition, use non-verbals such as smiling as nodding to demonstrate your enthusiasm and interest.
Look for clues and visit the website
The interview invitation email you receive may indicate which platform your interview will be on. If you’re able to determine the specific platform, visit their website to gain insight into their process.
Keep your profile professional
When doing a Zoom interview be sure that your name shows up especially if it’s a shared computer. For Skype interviews, your interviewer will see your Skype username and picture, so double check that they are both appropriate.
Practice makes perfect
Doing a trial run with a friend or career adviser beforehand can help you gain confidence, improve your interview skills, and get familiar with the technology.
A thank you note is just as important after a virtual interview as it is for an in-person interview.