Must Read Tips for Your Next Virtual Interview

As many as 75% of companies utilize video conferencing during the interview process, which means virtual interviews are here to stay.  It will take some practice but, as with in-person interviews, you can master this platform; with these tips we’ve made it easier.

Run a tech check.

Immediately upon accepting the interview invitation, check your web cam, microphone, and headset. If you need to replace equipment, do so right away. If you struggle with spotty WIFI, use a hardwire connection. On the day of the interview check everything again. Run a speed test on your internet connection and schedule a run through with a friend. You can never be over-prepared.2. Set your stage.

Choose a quiet area with minimal distractions and a pleasing background. You should be the star of this show, not the photo gallery wall behind you.

Consider the lighting and camera angle.

If you can control it, control it. The most flattering camera angle is typically at eye-level or just above. Play around with lighting in the room during the time of day your interview will take place (natural light is usually best) and make sure there are no harsh glares.

Control your environment.

Plan for kids or pets to be out of earshot. Set your phone to Do Not Disturb. Clear your desk of distractions. Those notes you have taped to your monitor? Remove them. The pile of bills stacking up? File them away. Lay out a notebook and pen for notes and that’s it. Though you should also have the interviewer’s phone number and email address nearby in case technology fails and you need to quickly reach out to them.

Dress to impress…the interviewer and the camera.

Loud patterns or colors do not translate well on camera. The same goes for stripes. Resist the urge to dress “business on top” only. Dressing professionally from head to toe will elevate your mindset and focus during the interview.

Pay attention to your verbal AND non-verbal communication.

Many people use small, verbal responses or acknowledgements in conversation without even realizing it. But on a video call, even an “ok” or “uh-huh” can be picked up by the mic and could cause audio interference. Instead, nod or smile to indicate agreement. Your facial expressions matter more than ever, so be mindful of your reactions. Also, do your best to talk to the camera, not your computer screen so you can mimic real eye contact as much as possible.

Do your research and make a connection.

It can be more difficult to make a meaningful connection in a virtual interview. Spend time beforehand researching not just the company, but the interviewer as well. Your intel can highlight a common interest or detail you can use to relate to this person. Use expressive words and intonation to communicate your insights and passions when answering their questions. Your excitement will have to come through the screen!

Last, but not least, re-read #1.

We cannot stress this enough. Studies have shown that “tech savviness” is one of the top traits employers are looking for in a candidate. If your technology crashes and burns, you may have robbed yourself of the entire opportunity. 

Of course, many aspects of a virtual interview compare to an in-person one.  Make sure to prepare, take your time to answer questions clearly and succinctly, be yourself, look for ways to highlight your skills and follow up within 24 hours.  Virtual interviews CAN play to your strengths! You just need to prepare a little differently and the above steps can get you started.

The CFO Suite is a boutique consultative staffing and executive search firm specialized in management and executive level accounting and finance talent.  We boost the capabilities and capacity of your accounting and finance department, offering a unique ability to provide an integrated and comprehensive suite of services.

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