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Ask a Recruiter: Successful Virtual Interview Tips

Virtual interviews are becoming the ‘new norm’ due to the impact of COVID-19. Given the new recruiting landscape, we asked one of Recruiting Solutions’ Senior Staffing Coordinators, Ryan Hooper, for his tips and tricks for having a successful virtual interview.

 

What is your #1 tip to prepare for joining a virtual interview?

When joining a virtual interview, make sure to test your equipment prior to the interview. Do not just assume that everything will work correctly. You’ll want to take some time well before the interview to ensure that your hardware(webcam, computer, tablet, etc.) and software are working correctly. Employers use many different software applications to conduct virtual interviews, such as Zoom, Skype, WebEx and Google Meet; so I would advise everyone to run a dry run on the application to ensure that everything is working correctly, including your audio and video settings.

 

How can you ensure a successful virtual interview?

Prepare for the interview just as you would if you were coming into the office. Do your research on the position and the company you are interviewing for and, if you have any questions for the interviewer, have them ready. Also, make sure that you have enough time set aside for the interview and make sure that you have a secluded area that will be free of distractions. If you are interviewing for a position that will be remote, even if only for the foreseeable future, take the interview in the area where that you would be using as your work space. Showing the recruiter that you already have a secluded, distraction free work space is a great indicator that you’ve set yourself up for success in a remote position. Also, be prepared to take notes during the interview.

 

What is your pet peeve in a virtual interview?

Be on time! The recruiter may only have a certain amount of time allotted for your interview, you don’t want them to have to cut your interview short because you weren’t able to get onto the interview on time. Good etiquette is to join the interview a few (3-5) minutes early and have everything ready to go.

Additionally, if you are using a mobile device (phone or tablet) for the interview, make sure that it is propped in a stationary location for the interview. It can be very distracting if I’m interviewing a candidate who is holding or moving their device around while I’m trying to conduct the interview.

 

What should you do if you are having technical difficulties prior or during the interview?

Let the scheduler or recruiter know as soon as possible. No matter how much preparation you do, some technical difficulties still may be out of your control. For instance if your internet goes out unexpectedly or your computer crashes prior to the interview. Try to troubleshoot what you can, but let the recruiter know prior to the interview if you are having issues and they will be willing to reschedule without holding it against you.

 

How should you dress for a virtual interview?

Business casual, always. Even if the position doesn’t require a business casual dress code, it’s always a good idea to dress professionally. Again, handle the interview just as you would if you were going into the office for a face to face interview and dress appropriately. To see more tips on how to dress to impress here.

 

What should you do after the interview is over?

It’s always a good idea to send an email thanking the scheduler or recruiter for their time and consideration after an interview. Also, make sure that you are checking your email frequently in case they do send you any follow up instruction or information. If you haven’t gotten any feedback after a week or so, there’s nothing wrong with sending an email inquiring about the status of your interview.

Keep searching! Don’t suspend your employment search just because you felt good about an interview unless you were given a firm offer and feel the position is right for you. You don’t want to miss out on a good opportunity just because you were waiting to hear back from an employer who may not have felt that you were the best fit for the position.

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About Ryan Hooper 

Ryan is a Senior Staffing Coordinator at the VBO. He joined the team here as a Staffing Coordinator in 2016. Through his hard work and attention to employees needs, the leadership title came naturally with the level of work he puts in. In 2019, Ryan was recognized for his hard work by receiving Recruiting Solutions Outstanding Client Services award.

Ryan was born and raised in Lexington, South Carolina and is a proud graduate of the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. After graduating, he relocated to Tampa for the better part of six years before finding his way back home to Gamecock country. Now that he’s back in Columbia, he enjoys going to football games and golfing.

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