It’s important to invest in your future now by understanding the best ways to nail your virtual assessment. Like with any traditional, in-person interview or group assessment, succeeding in a virtual interview can be the first step in landing your next career opportunity. It starts with knowing yourself and knowing what you want to achieve — a job offer!
With the dependency in today’s world on virtual interviews, an already stressful process may seem even more intimidating. An online interview requires some technology know-how and a different approach to building interpersonal rapport. Here are some tips that will put you on the right path to feeling confident in your next virtual interview.
before your interview
Discipline is key in the time leading up to your interview. Make sure you do your due diligence. You cannot wing it.
Research the company you’ll be interviewing with by visiting its corporate and careers site, check out the company’s score and employee reviews on Glassdoor, subscribe to its social media and know the company’s mission and values inside and out.
Familiarize yourself with the CEO and leadership team and read the LinkedIn profiles of your interviewers. It also helps to prepare your own answers to commonly asked interview questions.
the day of your interview
On the day of the interview, it’s important to be fresh. Get enough sleep the night before — don't pull an all-nighter preparing! Double-check the time zones of your interviewers. Now that virtual assessments are the norm, your assessors might be located in a completely different part of the world! You’ll want to make sure you log in at the correct time, factoring in any time zone differences.
Leave enough time to test your tech before the interview starts. Make sure your dial-in links are working and you have downloaded any required apps or software. Check your webcam and sound. Set up your lighting (front lighting is best) and clear your background of clutter. Use the bathroom and have a glass of water next to you. Be sure to allow time to settle into your “interview room” before the meeting begins.
during your interview
You’ve done your research, you’ve prepared yourself and now it’s the big moment! Just like traditional, in-person interviews, your first impression counts. Even though it's virtual, professional etiquette still applies: don’t be late, dress professionally, be polite, smile and be open to collaborating with others.
Demonstrate that you've done your research by incorporating company values in your answers or with examples of activities the company has done around that topic.
Jenna Alexander, director of Talent Acquisition for the U.K. and EMEA, offers some good suggestions to interviewees:
“Have the emotional insight and foresight to know what your assessors want to see or what they'll ask. This is where active listening and active engagement come in. It's great to be excited and show enthusiasm, but if someone asks you a direct question, answer directly back and be concise. Be confident but know your boundary so as not to be perceived as arrogant. In group assessments, don't be afraid of silence to give other people the consideration to say something.”
“Throughout the interview or at the end, you’ll likely be given opportunities to ask questions. Come prepared with questions. This is also the chance for you to ask about meaningful things that matter to you and your future in the company,” Jenna adds.
after the interview
After the interview, ask what the next steps are and when you'll hear about the outcome. Always send a thank you email to those you met with, and it’s best practice to highlight three great takeaways you gained from the interview within your thank you email.
Ultimately, in the world of virtual interviews and assessments, basic courtesies and general best practices still remain. The main difference is technology. Don't be afraid of the role technology now plays in interviews of today. Learn to work with technology. Be open to using it and embrace it.