The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

May 14, 2020

Tips for Acing a Virtual Job Interview


With social distancing practices keeping companies from conducting interviews in person, job seekers must adjust their interview tactics to fit virtual platforms. Most people are accustomed to phone and in-person interviews, but unless you have had a specific reason to do so, you have probably never interviewed over webcam before. Before tackling your first virtual interview without any extra preparation, consult our tips to ensure you are ready to make a lasting impression without an in-person connection.

1. Become familiar with the software you will be using

Most likely, the company will decide which platform the interview will be conducted on. Once you know which software you will be using, complete any set up needed, and document any login information so that you are not stressing about passwords minutes before your interview is supposed to start.

2. Test your audio and visual quality with a friend or family member

Once you are up and running on the interview platform, run a test of your camera and computer audio to ensure they will be able to see and hear you clearly. If any issues arise, ensure they will be taken care of before the interview is scheduled.

3. Ensure you will have a clean background and no distractions

Finding the right place in your house where the interview can take place is key for a distraction-free meeting. Keep the wall behind you clear of any art or decorations and test that any unplanned noises will not be heard. And be sure to remind your family that you are interviewing and not to interrupt.

4. Have printed copies of your resume and the job description

You may not think to print these documents as you will be on your computer anyway but switching between windows on your computer can create awkward pauses in the conversation. Have any papers you may need printed in front of you and ensure your notes are easy to read.

5. Look professional, even if just from the waist up

Remember, just like an in-person meeting, the interviewers will be taking note of your appearance. Dressing the way you normally would for an interview can also help to put you in a professional mindset. If you would prefer not to dirty your work pants when they will not be seen, at least opt for jeans instead of sweatpants.

6. Join the meeting on time, not early

Unlike an in-person interview, being early might be more of an interruption than a sign of your punctuality. The interviewers may sign on early to go over your details before they begin. Logging on at the time of the interview will ensure you do not interrupt, but still, demonstrate your timeliness.

7. Speak clearly and pause between thoughts

Even if your audio quality is top-notch, you still do not want to race through your answers. Make sure you are eloquent and enunciate so the interviewers are not asking for you to repeat your answers. Furthermore, pausing between thoughts allows them to take notes and ask for clarifications if needed.

8. Give it the same respect as an in-person interview

While getting an in-person interview usually signifies that you are getting closer to an offer, that is not currently an indicator you can use. Because of this, prepare for every virtual interview with care and dedication as you would for an in-person. You got the opportunity to interview for a reason, make sure you ace it!

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