4 confidence-boosting tips for virtual job interviews

Even as the economy starts to open up, virtual job interviews will continue to be common. As many communications and public relations (PR) hiring managers are working remotely, conducting virtual job interviews on a regular basis is just one of the changes that has become the new normal during the pandemic.

That said, you might not yet be used to virtual job interviews if you’ve only participated in in-person interviews in the past. But, with a bit of preparation in advance, and by following the tips outlined below, you can successfully navigate this new territory and show up at a virtual job interview with complete confidence. Being confident is critical for being on your game in an interview.

When do virtual job interviews take place?

Interviews early in the hiring process would likely take place virtually in our new normal. Interviews later on in the hiring process have a greater chance of taking place in-person (likely with physical distancing measures in place).

And, if you’re applying for a virtual role – with no central office or “hub” and an expectation that you’ll always work from home 100 per cent of the time – expect virtual interviews throughout the hiring process. An in-person meeting might not ever take place.

But no matter the position, level or location, there’s a high likelihood of virtual interviews for the foreseeable future, even if not within the scenarios above.

How to boost your confidence before your next virtual job interview

These tips will help to boost your confidence so that you can slay your next virtual job interview and get one step closer to your dream job.

Tip 1: Test your tech beforehand

Many of us already live and die by Zoom and Microsoft Teams calls, so it might not cross your mind to get your technology lined up before a virtual job interview. However, if technology fails in a meeting, other meeting participants tend to get frustrated with the person who’s presenting, even if the tech failure isn’t their fault. Avoid having frustration fall on your shoulders in a job interview by preparing in advance.

Ten minutes before the interview, check your cell or WIFI connection, make sure you have the correct meeting link, open the app you’re going to use, and make sure that your phone, laptop and/or wireless headphones are sufficiently charged, or track down your charging cables.

Tip 2: Be ready for a video call

It would be in your best interest to participate in a virtual job interview with your video “on.” This lets the hiring manager and other interviewers get to know you a bit better by seeing your face along with hearing your voice, and also signals that you’re friendly and approachable. Don’t be discouraged if others on the call don’t use video too, and stay confident if you’re the only one showing your face.

Remember the impact of a positive first impression when you’re getting ready. Prepare as you would for an in-person interview. Wear business casual attire (at the minimum), and style your hair and apply makeup as you would if you were attending the meeting in person.

Line up your visual shot in advance, and be sure to remove distractions from the background. Ensure that there’s ample light and the microphone picks up your voice with good sound quality.

Tip 3: Reduce the risk of interruptions

If you’re participating in a virtual job interview from home and there are others in the household, ask them in advance to stay out of your office (or the room that you’re in), and to keep noise levels down. If it’s not possible – perhaps you have young children or a dog with a love of barking – consider having another caregiver take everyone out for some fresh air during your interview. Alternatively, scout a different interview-friendly location a few days beforehand.

Whether you’re at home or not (maybe you’re in your backyard, a coffee shop or park), ensure you’re familiar with the environment and any interruptions that could go along with it. Spend time there before the job interview so that you’re aware of any typical loud noises or other interruptions, and take steps to ensure that no unforeseen distractions pop up during your interview.

Tip 4: Have “cheat sheets” handy

Always prepare in advance. Research the company, review and make notes on the role description, and prepare and practice your responses to 14 common job interview questions. During the interview, have all of your prep work in front of you and feel free to refer to it. Not only will this demonstrate to the hiring manager and interviewers that you took the time to do work before the interview (brownie points!), but you’ll likely feel more confident with your “safety net” of notes.

Good luck at your next interview!

If you’re in the job interview process, please share in the comments the tip that helped to boost your confidence the most.

And, if you want to receive more career-boosting tips created especially for communications and PR pros, subscribe to emails from me below!

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