There are times when attending an interview in person may not be possible. Whether you’re applying for a role in a new city, another country or are unable to attend due to travel restrictions - whatever the reason, we’ve compiled a few tips to help you prepare for your virtual interview.
1. Get to grips with the technology
“You’re on mute” may be one of the most frequently uttered sentences of the past year. If you want to make a good impression, particularly for roles looking for tech-savvy employees, make sure you know how to use the programme that will be used during the interview. Test your camera, microphone and internet connection, and get to grips with some of the features such as mute and unmute.
2. Lights, camera, action!
Potential future employers don’t want to see last night’s takeaway during your interview. Keep in mind that it will be hard to convince interviewers of your good organisational skills if the background is a mess.
Wherever you may be during the interview, make sure your surroundings are quiet, presentable and well-lit (check for glare!). To stop flatmates or pets from making an unexpected appearance during your interview, make sure you notify the people you live with about the time and date of your interview, close the door and consider sticking a note to the door to stop anyone from entering. If possible, reduce background noise or wear headphones if you think it will improve the audio.
3. Keep it professional
While most of us have become used to working from home in our comfiest loungewear, bear in mind that it’s not just your surroundings that should be presentable during your interview, so ditch those slankets and wear something suitable. Another thing worth considering is your online presence – have you got a professional sounding email address? If not, consider setting up a new email account consisting of your name and retire that old Hotmail account you set up with your high school nickname. More and more employers are checking applicants’ social media profiles – so make sure your accounts are set to private and that nothing inappropriate is posted publicly. If you have a LinkedIn account, now would also be a good time to check it is up to date.
Last but not least, be mindful of your body language and the signals it may be sending to the interviewer. Smile, sit up straight and maintain ‘eye contact’ with the camera when talking.
4. Do your homework
Just like with any regular interview, research the employer you’re interviewing with. Find out what they do and what their corporate values are. It is also a good idea to take notes on what interests you about the company and the role, as well as any questions you might want to ask during the interview. Coming well-prepared and showing an interest in the company will make a good impression. And here’s our pro tip: Take advantage of virtual interviews by sticking a note with important info to your laptop for easy access during your interview!
Practise answers to common interview questions or ask your housemates to hold a mock interview with you. You can also book a practice interview with the University’s careers service.
5. Additional resources
The University of Bath careers service runs an interviews blog that provides in-depth information and guidance on various interview topics. You can also access their blog post on interview preparation resources. Visit the University’s careers service page for appointments and lots of helpful information and resources, including webinars, careers guidance and CV feedback.
Now all that’s left is for you to take a deep breath and relax – you’ve got this!