Now that COVID restrictions are getting lighter, people are slowly going back to their everyday life. After months, people can have dinner out, let the kids at school, and go back to the office. Yet, you still are getting invited for virtual interviews.
You shouldn’t be surprised. After the pandemic, most companies adopted this system to have a first and quicker impression of candidates – which is why it’s important to make a good impression during your remote job interview.
Why Is It Important To Make A Good Impression During A Virtual Interview?
As obvious as it sounds, making a good impression during a virtual interview is important if you want to get the job. As easy as that. We could write a thousand words listing endless whys. But the real reason is that if you want that job from your home, you need to make a good impression. Just as in physical interviews, an interviewer won’t be convinced by superficial answers and a lazy attitude.
And, just like on-site interviews, there are signs to check if you are making a good impression:
1. Longer Conversation
If you notice that the conversation will last longer than scheduled, you are doing well. No one likes to waste time with boring or unnecessary talks. Even if you are engaged in casual conversation, your interviewer is probably interested in listening to your perspective or have a better sense of your background.
Second Round Of Interviews
Plus, if the discussion moves to non-work-related topics, it probably means that the interviewer is testing how you interact on a day-to-day basis. And if the manager mentions a second virtual interview with other team members, you likely have a chance of fitting in with the team and getting the job.
Finally, if they ask you follow-up questions, they want to see if you are interested in the position and ready to start. When an interviewer gives you a timeline for the following steps always sounds intimidating. But that’s the sign that you made this stage of the hiring process.
Now, what to do to make a good first impression during a virtual interview?
Tips To Make a Good Impression During a Virtual Interview
Any interview is different and unique. However, some unspoken rules will help you during your virtual colloquium. If you have been working remotely for a while – as most of us did last year – you probably know that a remote setting needs preparation. And as dull as it will sound, remember that the most obvious things are usually the first to be forgotten!
Have you ever done sports at competitive levels? Before a game or competition, each athlete has a personal ritual to get the right mindset – and hope for goddess Fortuna’s grace. The same goes for important exams. Maybe you always wear green clothes because it is the color of luck, or simply wake up an hour earlier to walk up and down in the kitchen. It’s a sort of spiritual checkout list that helps you get to the right attitude and ace the challenge waiting for you.
So, just as you do when you need preparation for something important, here is a checkout list to get ready for your virtual interview and make a good impression:
#1: Get Tools Ready
During a virtual interview, your winning card is technology. And that simply because the better your tech is, the better will be your chances of making a good impression. The day before your interview, try out the platform you will need to use; make sure to have your laptop charged; and that your connection is strong enough to hold a video call.
Make sure of all these practical details the day before. You don’t want to find out that your audio is corrupted when you introduce yourself during the call, or even worse, waste precious interview time to make the camera work properly. These setbacks can happen, but they won’t help you make a good impression – mainly because your interviewer knows that you could have a test beforehand.
#2: Get There On Time
How can you be late if you don’t need to get out of the house? Maybe you decide to change your outfit last minute, or the connection takes a couple of minutes longer to set. One thing leads to another, and without realizing it, you are 3 minutes late to your virtual interview!
Ensure to settle in front of your laptop at least 20 minutes in advance and open the tab with the interview link. Be ready to log in 5 minutes in advance and just wait until your interviewer connects. Being prepared will make you feel more comfortable and prepared for the discussion. And the best part is that the interviewer will be happy to see you care about making a good impression – punctuality is always a win-win strategy!
#3: Dress Up
When a company invites you for a virtual interview, they aren’t implying you can show up in PJs. You don’t need to wear high heels either, but dressing up professionally is a must. Would you hire someone who looks like a hangover teenager?
In addition, a professional outfit will help you feel more in the role. According to a recent survey, business-professional, business-casual, and smart-casual dressers reported higher levels of productivity than those who work in gym clothes and pajamas. Almost 80% of formal dressers felt productive throughout the day, compared to just 70 % of people in gym clothes and 50 % of those in PJs.
Casual outfits are great, but always keep in mind the company scale and dress up accordingly!
#4. Light, Sound, and Your Best Angle
Just like a film director, test the best spot in the house to set up your home office. Test the camera, the lighting, sound-check, and your best angle. Cameras give you back a different rise depending on the device you are using. With some cameras, you might look slimmer. With others, you might look like a pufferfish. So, make sure to sit straight in front of the camera, without weird perspectives or dark lighting. At the end of the day, the whole point of cameras is that interviewers can see your face, not your shadow.
#5. Don’t Be Afraid Of Casual Conversation
As we mentioned earlier, if you engage in casual conversation during the interview it is a good sign. Your interviewer wouldn’t waste time otherwise, having other candidates on the list. In addition, remember that interviewers look for authentic answers. Most candidates prepare questions and answers in advance, end up talking like robots. Surely, it is a way to show your expertise, but none wants to work with a human Siri. Rather than knowing everything, team leaders want to see how you think about situations and interact with other human beings.
So, take the chance to show more than what you have on your CV. and on the flip side, casual conversation is a way to understand if you like the company and the manager!
#6. Be Yourself
Being yourself is always good advice. Of course, remember that you are doing a virtual interview and not calling a friend. Even if the position you are applying for isn’t fully remote, a lot of your work will involve video calls and communication channels – make peace with it. Get comfortable and find a way to be yourself behind the screen. Maybe it won’t get you this position, but you know what people say: keep learning that you never know what you will need tomorrow!
What Comes Next?
To recap, the most important thing to make a good impression during a virtual interview is showing you care. That’s our best virtual interview tip, especially if you are new to finding a remote job. You will know you are making a good impression if the person you are talking to feels interested in what you are saying.
Of course, on the flip side, if your interviewer isn’t paying attention to your answers or didn’t mention any next step, you know the interview didn’t go well. Additionally, if you didn’t get any follow-up, most likely, you need to keep looking.
But, you know, J. K. Rowling, the Harry Potter lady, got rejected more times she couldn’t remember – and now she has sold more than 500 million copies! Any virtual interview can be a chance to practice and learn something new until you find the perfect opportunity for you!