Did you know that companies are continuing to hire during the COVID-19 pandemic? It’s true, and instead of conducting traditional in-person interviews, many employers are choosing to talk with candidates using free online tools such as Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Hangouts. New to virtual interviews? Have no fear! Here are some must-have tips for what to expect and how to prepare, so you are more than ready to get the job.

Interview Tip #1 Practice Makes Perfect

Using virtual interview tools is a very straightforward process. Requests to interview are sent to you via e-mail with a meeting link, and all you have to do is click accept and make sure you mark the appointment in your calendar.  Most sites walk you through the login instructions. Just in case, though, it doesn’t hurt to visit the application in advance to practice how to access the interview.  If you have never used Teams or other virtual meeting tools, that’s okay too. See if your recruiter can set up a test interview well in advance of the live interview. Remember, they want what’s best for you. Also, if you are having trouble connecting and you are late for a meeting, contact your recruiter right away so they can follow up with you.

Interview Tip #2 Housekeeping Items

Check. Check. Check. Now is a great time to test your speakers and ensure your camera is working. Some PCs like HP have a sliding button that you can use to block or unblock the camera. Be sure you have tested yours and know how it works well in advance of the interview.  Also, even when you are not speaking, keep in mind the interviewer can see and hear you.

Interview Tip #3 Keep it Professional

Even though you may be at home, you are still in an interview and should treat it as if you are speaking with a potential employer in person. It may seem straightforward but dress for the occasion and find a quiet place with a plain background to avoid unnecessary distractions.  Now is not the time to walk around your home doing the dishes. Some virtual interviewing tools like Zoom, for instance, allow you to set up virtual backgrounds via the settings which many candidates find helpful.

Interview Tip #4 Make it a No Distraction Zone

Like most of us, your home is anything but quiet these days. If this is the case, get outdoors or sit in the car within the range of your wifi for an interview. Just be sure that when using a phone or tablet, you position your device to ensure your whole face is on camera. Do not hold the phone, as you are likely to lose the frame.

Interview Tip #5 Have Your Resume on Hand

Be sure to print out some extra copies of your resume, just as you would in an in-person interview, and make sure it’s up to date. Feel free to add notes to your copy about specific projects you want to bring up. Or, put sticky notes next to your computer or wherever you can see them, but the interviewer cannot.

Interview Tip #6 Be Prepared

Try logging in at least five to 10 minutes before the time of your interview to account for the time it takes to connect and log in to the application. If the interviewee is not online yet, don’t worry. A message will indicate that the meeting will start as soon as they log in. For this reason, make sure you are ready to roll and not in the middle of doing something else so you aren’t surprised when the interviewer does appear on your screen.

Interview Tip #7 Do Not Disturb

When possible, use headphones, and please, please set your computer to do not disturb, so those pesky text messages and e-mail notifications don’t keep popping up. For instructions on how to do this, click here if you are a windows user,  and here if you are using a MAC. You can even do the same on your iPhone. Finally, it doesn’t hurt to send a thank you note within 24 hours of the interview.

As always, if you are a company looking to hire, top talent is essential to the success of your business, and our team is here to help you find the right people with unmatched expertise.

Let’s collaborate today to fill your open positions. We are ready to source your next top performer for continued business success. If you are a candidate looking for opportunities, check out our job search tool.