How to Prepare for a Virtual Interview

Hands Typing on a Laptop ComputerIt is almost summer and for many students this would typically signify the beginning of a summer job or co-op position, but during this time of isolation and social distancing the way we interview for positions has changed quite a bit.

Those who do snag an interview are probably going to be introduced to something called Zoom quite quickly. I recently had my very first Zoom interview and I am here to relay what I learned and how you can set yourself up for success in the digital job hunt.

1. Treat it just as you would an in-person interview

While this interview is online it is still a real interview and you want to give your best. Do your research, come prepared with questions and answers, have a small glass of water ready, and don’t forget to thank them for the opportunity.

2. Dress From Head to Toe. No Pajama Pants!

Yes, your interviewers are most likely not going to do a check to see what graphic print your pj’s have but dressing for success will put you in a more professional mindset than if you only go halfway.

Don’t forget to look in the mirror and make sure you look the way that makes you feel most confident. And make sure to check your lighting if you wear glasses; you don’t want a glare.

3. Find the Right Setting

Now this is vital because it sets the stage for your whole presentation. No windows with a bright light shining in behind you, no walls covered in posters, no pets walking across the keyboard, not in the middle of the living room with your roommate in their bathrobe in the background.

Try to find a quiet, well lit spot with a neutral background and try to set your laptop so that it is on an appropriate level. You do not want your interviewers to have to feel like they’re staring up at you from your feet or down at your from the ceiling fan.

The closer to eye level the better and the more natural the better so avoid the green screen backgrounds or the touch-up filter; you want to look real and the natural professional you are.

I dragged my dining table next to my bed since that was the most neutral wall and I had an eye level set up. They had no idea, so get creative!

4. Check. Your. Internet. Connection. Beforehand.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

The absolute best advice I can give is check your internet connection, download Zoom, and learn how to use it with a friend or parent DAYS before your interview.

Trust me, I am so glad I tried it 3 days early because I discovered I literally had an internet download speed of 2 (which isn’t enough to even open Google) and that my computer needed about two days of updates and a restart to my wifi modem to get it up to speed.

Thank goodness I checked! The last thing you want is for your connection to drop in the middle of a great answer.

Follow these steps and take a deep breath, you got this you tech savvy job hunter you!

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