In the moments before a big job interview, nerves are no joke. Thankfully, a virtual interview eliminates a couple of the most anxiety-inducing elements: scrambling to arrive on time, navigating a new office space, and waiting around in an unfamiliar room for somebody to come fetch you. Now, you can take your interview calls from home, logging on easily without any traffic jams or awkwardness. That leaves more time to prepare, so focus on these three important things you can do to stand out in a virtual interview.
1. Be professional
Professionalism is key in any interview! Show up for your call on time; it’s smart to test your computer beforehand to avoid any last-minute hiccups. Dress for success with a sharp outfit (at least up top!) to make a great impression. Finally, clear your background of any clutter, unwanted guests, or distractions so that the interviewer can focus on what you bring to the table… not what’s on your table.
2. Prepare thoughtful questions
Asking questions shows your interest in the company and the role you’re interviewing for. Brainstorm in advance of your virtual interview and write down questions—being prepared demonstrates that you’ve done your research. Remember, a job interview is your chance to learn about whether this is an environment you want to work in; it’s just as much about you interviewing them as they’re interviewing you! Take advantage of the opportunity by asking questions that help you assess whether you truly want to work at this organization and in this particular role. Here are some examples:
- “How would you describe the company’s culture?”
- “What kind of opportunities does the company offer when it comes to career growth (ex: mentorship in the workspace)?”
- “What is the organization doing to help/impact the world at large?”
If you want more help preparing virtual interview questions, check out these tips.
3. Set expectations about next steps
When wrapping up your virtual interview, ask for insight about the rest of the process and get an idea about the timeline for next steps. Asking about next steps isn’t pushy or presumptuous; it will simply come off as confident, organized, and professional. Here are some good questions to ask if your interviewer hasn’t answered them over the course of your virtual interview:
- “What are the next steps in this process? Is there a timeline that I should be aware of?”
- “Will I only hear from you if I’m moving forward in the hiring process, or will you reach out either way?”
- “Is there anything I can do to prepare for the next steps in this process?”
These will give you a clear idea of what to expect after you end your call, to avoid waiting around and wondering: “What now?”
Kiss your nervous jitters goodbye! With these three things in mind, you’re on the track to success for your virtual interview.