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For Job Seekers

Lots of interviews, but no offers? Here’s how to nail that virtual interview

By Kathryn Tremblay, Co-Founder and CEO at Altis Recruitment, an affiliate of excelHR.

Published on

December 7, 2021


Sure, the job market is record hot right now, with more jobs than qualified candidates to fill them. So, you might be thinking you’re a shoo-in for a job offer, regardless of your interview strengths, right? Think again.

We’ve heard from clients that great candidates are losing out on awesome offers because their virtual interviews are really poor.

Yes, candidates, a virtual interview is still an interview! And it’s here to stay. According to LinkedIn’s global report on the Future of Recruiting, 81% of recruiters say that virtual hiring will continue in the future.

So, while you may have distractions at home, do your best to keep it professional. Focus on the interview, not your dog. Or cat. Or even your kids, if possible.

Six tips to nail a virtual interview

1. Minimize distractions and noise

Multitasking is great, but not during an interview. We’ve heard that some candidates clean, drive, eat, cook, walk, text and answer their phones—all while being interviewed. You may be wondering, “Who would ever do those things?” Guess what – even experienced professionals are forgetting that a Zoom interview is still an interview.

Sure, it’s challenging mixing work and home life. Dogs will bark (mine do!) and kids will talk (yep, been there, too!) but during the interview, try to minimize all distractions that are within your control.

Turn your cell off, ask a friend or family member to babysit or pet sit, and eat AFTER the interview.

If you know there will be noise (for example, if you can’t arrange childcare), let the interviewer know. People understand, especially if you do your best to set the call up for success.

2. Know your resume

You are your best advocate. It’s your resume and you should know it by heart—all dates, roles and responsibilities. This is your time to shine, so be a bit boastful, while still being truthful. And here’s a little reminder: Make sure your resume matches your LinkedIn. Employers will always check!

3. Test your technology

To avoid last-minute stress, make sure your technology is set up and tested ahead of time and familiarize yourself with the interview platform—Zoom, MS Teams, Google Meet or other.

Charge your laptop and test your camera and mic. And if your Internet isn’t stable at home, try finding a better spot, like a friend’s house, a library or an Internet café.

4. Focus on the interview

You can look out the window, check your phone or catch up on TikTok later! During the interview, keep your eyes on the prize (that is, the interviewer and the possible job offer). Be in it. Think of it like a game that you want to WIN.

5. Be human AND professional

Home life can be distracting but do your best to put your most professional foot forward. Tidy your background or blur it if you must. Would you bring a stack of laundry to an in-person interview? Or hang a bra off the back of your chair? Both are fine at home, of course, but they don’t belong in an interview.

6. Let Yourself Shine

And lastly, a few more important tips that seem so straightforward, you may wonder why they bear repeating. It could be that we’re all so accustomed to virtual communications, we’re forgetting how and when to draw the line between our professional and personal lives.

  • No employer wants to conduct an interview in the dark, so make sure to set up a light in front of you, illuminating your face, and look straight into the camera when you speak.
  • And while many of us are getting used to comfy clothes at home, be sure to wear at least a professional top (although wearing full business attire can help you put your game face on!).
  • When logging into the interview platform, use your full name—nicknames are cute, but “kitty kat” won’t impress the hiring manager.
  • Be on time and ready with questions about the role, culture and what they see this year.
  • Lastly, be yourself! It’s hard to be engaging and personable through Zoom, but do your best to be positive, maintain eye contact, use your hands, and avoid reading a script. Let your personality shine through.

You got this!

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