10 Tips To Prepare For A Virtual Interview

In 2021, virtual interviews are our own “new normal”. Sometimes these interviews can be intimidating so below I listed 10 key things to do before logging on to your next virtual interview. These key items should help reduce your stress and allow you to focus on the interview process.

1.) Check your mindset

When you are approaching a virtual interview, it is important to reflect on how you are feeling. Whether you are happy, excited, nervous, anxious, or exhausted, take note of how you feel and use that energy to better understand why you are feeling this way to propel yourself forward. Always know that when the company reaches out to schedule an interview, they are very interested in you and your skills, and the company wants to get to know you on a more professional and personal level. Stay positive!

2.) Check the date and time of the Interview

Know the date, time, and location of the interview. When you receive a confirmation email for your interview make sure to mark the date, time and location on your calendar and set a reminder. If the time is in another time zone, make sure to calculate the difference so you are on time.

3.) Prepare your technology

Make sure you have an account on that specific platform that allows you to meet with the company. Before the interview, logon to the specific software to be used and check your internet speed, camera, and microphone to make sure they work. This also presents the opportunity to record yourself as you ask and answer questions, so that you feel more comfortable on the screen. I recommend testing your technology a minimum of two times before the interview, once a couple days before and again 30 minutes to an hour before the interview. If you are unable to work out any technical issues, reach out to the interviewer as soon as possible, they should have their phone number and an email attached when providing the details of the interview.

4.) Check your environment

The best environments for a virtual interview are quiet, well-lit spaces with a natural background. If you choose to stay in your room during the interview, make sure you have a clean backdrop, and if you live with others, inform them of the date and time of your interview so they can be respectful of the space. Put your laptop on a solid surface, like a desk or table, so that the camera is not shaky, and your microphone can pick up your voice. Additionally, IU offers plenty of spaces you can reserve at the BUS/SPEA Library.

5.) Research the interviewer and the company

You can use resources like LinkedIn to research individuals within the company and have a better understanding of the company’s online presence and platform. Additionally, using Google and the company’s website provides you plenty of information to ask tailored questions during the interview.

6.) Dress for success

You should always dress professionally, from head to toe, for a virtual interview. With your computer positioned on a desk it might sound appealing to only dress half the part, but if you only dress half the part, you are only putting in half the energy. And when you dress fully you will feel more confident and prepared.

7.) Market yourself with confidence

Know why you want to work for this company and why you are a good fit for the position. Use this reflection to help you answer key interview questions like: “Tell us a little bit about yourself”, “what are your strengths and weaknesses”, or” tell us why you want to work for this company”. When you practice answering these simple questions, you can confidently answer more specific questions related to the position. We also recommend answering the interviewer’s questions with the STAR method. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result. This allows you to present accomplishment statements to the interviewer. By taking a moment to think and formulate your response, the interviewer will notice your confidence.

8.) Listen to understand

During virtual interviews, it is common to be easily distracted. You can also be very anxious to answer the question and input your personal qualifications too soon, cutting off the interviewer in mid speech. When you let the interviewer finish their thought and listen to understand you can use their vocabulary and scenarios to respond to them. And by listening you will appear professional and truly interested in what the interviewer has to say about the position and their future employees.

9.) Follow up

Once you have completed the interview, follow up with a personalized email. This email shows the interviewer that you are grateful for their time and gives you the ability to specifically show your interest in a specific part of your conversation allowing you to elaborate more on why you would like to be a good fit for the position. We recommend following up within 24 hours after the interview. If you do not have the interviewer’s email, you should try to find them on LinkedIn and send a connection request and a thank you message.

10.) Take a Deep Breath

Now that you are prepared, take a deep breath. You got this!

In conclusion, virtual interviews can be positive experiences with a lot of energy to prepare and perform your best. By checking your mindset, being prepared, marketing yourself with confidence, listening to understand, and following up you will be able to show up to your virtual interview prepared and confident that you are a good fit for this position. For more interviewing resources please visit the O’Neill Career Hub website.

By Cindy Lang
Cindy Lang Assistant Director of Employer Engagement & Strategic Partnerships