How to Prepare for a Virtual Interview

July 1, 2021

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With today’s technology, the virtual interview experience can be remarkably similar to in-person interviewing. It’s still engaging. And, with high-quality web conferencing software, the conversation is comfortable and crystal clear. What’s different is the preparation. Because virtual interviewing involves technology as well as human interaction, there’s more to consider when getting ready.

How Common Are Virtual Interviews?

Meeting with candidates virtually has always been a useful way to interview prospective employees who don’t live locally. During the pandemic, virtual interviewing skyrocketed. An April 2020 poll conducted by Gartner revealed that 86 percent of organizations are incorporating new virtual technology to interview candidates because of the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Even after the risks of COVID have passed, virtual interviews are likely to become the norm. A 2021 study commissioned by HireVue found that 41 percent of over 1,100 hiring leaders plan on using a combination of in-person and virtual hiring practices.

There are a few potential reasons for this.

One, organizations are adopting new technology. So, they have the tools to conduct productive interviews.

Another factor is the increase in remote work in general. With more people working remotely, at least part-time, including hiring managers, all types of meetings are being held online. These meetings include interviews, training, onboarding, and employee reviews.

And the third reason is practicality. Moving the interview online is less expensive and more convenient for everyone. You get the same face-to-face conversation without the costs of travel.

Why Are Virtual Interviews Different?

Technology changes the interview experience in several ways.

Because the interview happens online, it’s easier to schedule the event. There are also fewer logistical challenges for hiring managers. No one has to set up an interview room or ensure there’s enough space when interviewing a large number of candidates.

Another change is who can be involved. Virtual interviews don’t just enable anytime-interviews with candidates located anywhere in the world. You can also involve more hiring managers or recruiters on the video call, which can streamline the hiring process.

One downside of not being in-person is that while you can see facial expressions and some body language in a virtual interview, you don’t get the full picture. This can make it more difficult for hiring managers to gauge someone’s interpersonal skills. It can also make it harder for interviewees to interpret reactions.

Also, if you’re interviewing at home, there could be unique distractions you wouldn’t normally deal with in an office, like a pet barging in for attention or family talking in the background.

Let’s look at what steps you can take to ensure the interview is a success, despite being entirely virtual.

What Can You Do to Ensure the Best Possible Virtual Experience?

If you’re the interviewee, here’s what you can do to prepare:

  • Dress professionally. Even if you’re located in your living room, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress to impress.
  • Make sure your background is distraction-free. Set up your screen so that your camera captures only clean, clutter-free surroundings.
  • Test your technology beforehand. Make sure your internet connection is strong enough, and you know how to join the meeting. You should also test your device’s camera and microphone.
  • Bring what you need. It’s always a good idea to have a pen and notebook handy with notes that can help you during the interview. Jot down helpful information such as company information, questions you have for your interviewer, and talking points you intend to highlight about yourself. You should also have a copy of your resume.
  • Practice and record yourself. Make sure you appear the way you want to present yourself to potential employers. You can do this by turning your camera on and recording yourself answering typical interview questions. Pay attention to your facial expression, tone of voice, and other cues when you watch your recording. Doing this can also help you practice so you’ll feel more prepared for the actual interview.

If you’re the employer, you don’t have to worry about the interview space and setting. What does matter is the technology you’re using.

Does our video conferencing platform have the right features to ensure a great experience for potential employees? Do you have the tools you need to have an effective conversation with a candidate? Here are some communication and collaboration tools to look for that can enhance the virtual interview experience and help you get a better feel about a candidate:

  • HD-quality webcam to deliver best-in-class visuals
  • Screen sharing and screen annotation so participants can easily present information
  • A notes feature enables you to capture key points and send them to other hiring managers after the meeting
  • Custom branding casts the right impression on potential employees

A Solution that Makes Interviewing Virtually Easy

For companies looking for ways to thrive in the new normal, a reliable video meeting platform is a must. With Intermedia AnyMeeting, you have all the collaboration and communication tools you need to facilitate engaging interviews. And, you can count on industry-leading security and reliability.

Intermedia AnyMeeting video conferencing software is a cloud communications solution for virtual interviews, work meetings, training webinars, and more. Try it out with a 30-day free trial and experience how effective modern virtual meetings can be.

Kirsten Barta

Kirsten Barta is Sr Marketing Communications Manager at Intermedia

July 1, 2021

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