Should you be preparing for virtual interviews the same as a face-to-face interview?

Absolutely, yes! A virtual interview is the same as a face to face interview and should be prepared for in the exact same way (or at least in a similar way, you don’t need to leave your location to reach your interview well ahead of time!)

1. Prepare in advance

Don’t wait until 10 minutes before, to test the link or quickly look up who you are meeting with. Be sure to do your research in the lead up to the interview. Making sure that as soon as the time rolls around, you are ready to go.

2. Show up on time

Don’t make your interviewer wait on the call for you. Think of it like an in-person interview, arrive 2 minutes ahead of schedule to make sure you’re ready when the interviewer logs on.

3. Dress for success

Ensure you are dressing for your virtual interview, the same as if you were meeting with the firm in-person.

4. Background

Consider what is your background. What can your interviewer see? Make sure that your background is clear from clutter and not distracting for your interviewer.

5. Who else is home?

If you’re attending the interview at home, make sure to let who you share your home with know that you’re attending an important interview. The last thing you want is someone walking through the background mid-interview! Also take into consideration any pets you have, does your cat like climbing over your laptop or your keyboard?

6. Maintain Contact

One of the hardest things to do is read someone’s energy in virtual interviews. Whilst it may be hard, consider still giving eye contact and engaging with your interviewer the best you can. Avoid long moments of looking down/sideways and ensure you’re maintaining posture.

7. Be present

Leave all distractions in another room, make sure you are present to the interview even though it feels funny on screen. Perhaps turn your notifications on silent, and even your laptop’s notifications, to avoid the email ping sound!

8. You can have prompts

The good thing about virtual interviews is that you can have prompts to assist you. Whilst I would avoid reading off a script, or having long moments of looking away from the camera. You can have prompts written on a notepad beside you, or on a post-it note. Using a post-it note is also a great way to remind yourself of what you wanted to ask, or what you need to avoid doing when nervous (eg. Stop biting my nails)

9. Stay positive

It’s very difficult to read how a situation is going when not doing it in-person. Stay positive and keep your head up even if you feel the interview isn’t quite going as well as you hoped.

10. Maintain in posture until you’re sure the interview has ended

Something that has happened, is that the interview can continue for a few more seconds than you think. Remember to maintain in posture until you’re sure the interview has ended! Don’t sigh and then realise that your interviewer can still hear you!

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