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If you’re in the market for a job, it’s a pretty strong possibility that you have done, or will do, a virtual interview. Due to social distancing recommendations, many companies are conducting virtual interviews for either the initial interview, or for multiple interviews. It makes sense. It ensures no one can spread COVID-19 and it’s convenient for all parties. You don’t have to schedule an interview where everyone needs to be at a specific location at a specific date and time. It’s brilliant.

Here at JX we’ve conducted plenty of virtual interviews. While some candidates have faired well (and received an offer from us), many could have used more practice.

How do you rock a virtual interview? 

Here are a few tips:

  • Mark the date and time you booked the virtual interview in your calendar/phone. Confirm the time zone as well as the HR rep/Recruiter may be in a different time zone than you are.
  • Ask for the names, titles and contact information of all individuals who will be interviewing you. That will allow you to look them up on LinkedIn and (possibly) the companies’ website. If you wait to ask for their contact information in the actual interview, odds are you will be so nervous and wrapped up in the interview that you’ll forget.
  • Practice! Practice! Practice! In a video or virtual interviews the company representatives will see you and many of your nonverbal communication. Do you have issues looking straight into the camera while you talk? Do you nervously lean forward and backwards? If you’re interviewing on your phone, is your hand steady? Find a trusted friend/family member/former teacher and ask them if they’ll do a mock virtual interview with you. Ask them for their honest feedback.
  • Research the company. Spend five to ten minutes on the companies’ website. The following sections/pages will have tons of information: Home, About Us, News, Stories and History
  • Virtual Interview Technology. More than likely you will not need an account on the platform the company is using to conduct the virtual interview (Zoom, Hangouts, Join.Me, etc.) That being said, it doesn’t hurt to create an account in advance of the interview. And make sure to have your username and password next to you when you’re ready to join the virtual interview.
  • Dress to impress. This is a real interview. Just because it’s being conducted virtually doesn’t make it any less important.
  • Professional Background. Find a spot in your home that looks professional. An office, basement, or living room will be fine. A bedroom is not professional. A bathroom is definitely out of the question. If you’re going to be in your car because you’re on your lunch break at work that shouldn’t be an issue.
  • Login early (10 minutes is fine) to ensure you’re able to access the virtual chat without any issues.
  • Name. For your name (that appears in your box), use the name you want everyone to call you (i.e. Jane Smith, John For, etc.) Stay away from names like “ladiesman123.”
  • Your posture and mannerisms should be the same as if it was an in person interview. Smile. Sit up straight. Don’t do anything odd, or unusual, with your hands and arms. Avoid putting your hands behind your head for an hour.
  • Don’t over-talk. That’s great advice for all interviews. How long is too long? Did the interviewer ask you for just a number? In that case, the question should last 1/10th of a second. If they ask you to tell them about your work history, well, it will last a few minutes. Avoid talking for more than two minutes, or until the interviewers look disinterested.
  • Ask questions. It’s a two-way interview. How do you know it will be a good fit for you if you don’t learn more about the company, their culture, your boss, flexibility, advancement, training, etc.? The hot question that you should ask all companies now is as follows: “Tell me what steps your company has taken during this crisis to help and protect their employees and customers?”

Remember, unemployment is now in the double digits. In a matter of a few short months over 40 million Americans filed for unemployment. You’re fighting for a job against people of all ages, races, experience, education, and skillset. Don’t take this virtual interview lightly as your competition probably isn’t.

If you are looking for new career opportunities, check out the open positions that JX currently has and apply today! 

Author: Nick Stafford, Talent Acquisition Specialist

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