Because many events have quickly had to convert to virtual platforms, students must now anticipate virtual interviews becoming the norm for communicating with companies. With this new interviewing method becoming increasingly popular, here are several tips that can help alleviate stress and make it feel more like an in-person interview. If you need more tips, check out even more virtual interview tips here.
- Be early, or at least on time. Although the prior rule of thumb of being at your interview location at least 15 minutes before an interview might be overkill if you have to spend it in a virtual waiting room, it is highly recommended to make sure you don’t have technical difficulties prior to your interview, and to join the Zoom or GoogleMeets (or another online meeting platform of the company’s choosing) at least 5 minutes prior to the start time.
- Dress fully in professional attire. Although it might be tempting to put on a nice dress shirt on top of your joggers and call it a day, an interviewer may ask you to stand up and close your window (or fix something else in your background). This is rare, but it does happen, and if it does, you don’t want to add stress to your interview or to look unprepared.
- Eye-contact and taking notes have not gone away! It might feel awkward to look at the camera, but try to keep your gaze up to show the employer that you are engaged and paying attention, as well as to form a personal connection. With physical handshakes being out of the question (shameless plug for Bentley’s Virtual Handshake here), it’s important to create a bond with your interviewer by looking them in the eye – or in this case – camera. Also, take notes while the interviewer is talking or explaining a topic, it makes you look like a better candidate and gives you a way to review what was discussed!
- Ask even more questions than you regularly would. As discussed earlier, it is definitely harder to form a personal bond with an individual over any virtual platform. Asking lots of questions (but not too many as to overwhelm) is a good way to close that gap between virtual and physical interaction. Make sure you have 3-4 good questions! Good methods are to do some research on the company (look at this blog here) and disperse the questions throughout the interview, if the topics come up, or wait until the employer turns it over to you.
Bentley students are bright and innovative, so I’m sure everybody will get the hang of virtual interviewing soon!