With a shift of more Americans working remotely during COVID-19, companies are using virtual platforms to interview job candidates. Want to get prepared for a virtual interview? Contact a Careers Instructor today!
Moraine Park’s Career Centers have virtual interviewing practice available using InterviewStream software. InterviewStream mock interviews provide students with knowledge and confidence to excel at job interviews in a virtual setting. This format provides flexibility to practice interviewing anytime and anywhere. Interview preparation helps students perfect their pitch to employers.
Here are some useful tips to increase your virtual interviewing success (adapted from InterviewStream Best Practices)
- Create a Video-Friendly Environment
It is important to have everything in place before you begin. You want to limit distractions so the focus is on you, not what’s in your background. Follow these simple guidelines below to create the ideal background environment:
- Position your webcam at eye-level.
- Adjust your lighting for high-quality video,
Turn on any available lights in the room and check to make sure there is no glare on your monitor. Never use your monitor as your light source.
Be mindful of your background.
Position yourself in front of a wall with neutral colors; avoid patterns, wallpaper, and mirrors.
Be sure your recording area is clean and organized. A tidy workspace conveys professionalism and organization to your potential employer.
Turn off all appliances or devices that may create ambient noise or disrupt your interview.
- Make your recording space quiet and comfortable.
Eliminate all possible distractions and interruptions – turn off your cell phone and if you’re at home, make sure people in the house know you are taking an interview.
2. Prepare for your Interview
Mental preparation for your interview is just as important as the physical setup. You should prepare for your pre-recorded video interview with the same tenacity and focus as if you were walking into your potential employer’s office.
- Practice, Practice, Practice – before you even turn your webcam on, try practicing by looking into the camera as if you were having a conversation with someone sitting in front of you.
In a traditional interview, eye contact is of the utmost importance, so make sure you look directly into the camera to answer the questions posed to you.
Do not look at the computer screen when answering questions – this places your line of sight below the webcam and you will appear to be looking down from the interviewer’s point of view.
It may seem awkward at first, but the more you rehearse looking at the webcam and not the person on the screen, the more comfortable you will feel during your interview.
- Research the organization and be prepared to answer company-specific questions.
Familiarize yourself with the company’s mission statement, history, product and service offerings, management, and information about the company culture.
Polish your answers – nothing destroys your credibility faster than a constant stream of filler words such as “um”, “like”, and “you know”.
- Dress for success; communicate professionalism with your attire.
Men: Navy, black, or dark pants, long sleeve dress shirt, conservative tie, professional, clean-cut hairstyle, clean-shaven.
Women: Navy, black, or dark grey pants or skirt, coordinated blouse, limited jewelry, professional hairstyle, and light make-up.
In general, you should look as if you put considerable time and effort into your personal appearance. Your clothing should be a complement, not a distraction.
3. Complete the Interview
The most important step in this process is answering the pre-recorded interview questions. Our video interviewing experts have provided some suggestions below:
- Speak clearly and enunciate.
You don’t want your brilliant answers to be lost because you were mumbling.
Practice answering questions and time yourself to make sure you are answering effectively in the allotted time.
- Listen to each question, contemplate your response, and answer concisely.
Make sure you answer the question being asked.
If you are given the opportunity to retry your answer, attempt to nail down your response sooner rather than later. We have found that more tries may begin to dilute a clear message, so your first or second answer will likely be your best.
- Take a deep breath, relax, and let your personality shine through.
At the end of the day, employers hire human beings, not just the name at the top of a resume.
Smile and have fun – remember, if you are adequately prepared, you will be successful.
4. Contact a Moraine Park Technical College Careers Instructor for additional practice and feedback!
Careers Instructors are available to support you remotely. Take advantage of online resources through Canvas, Zoom and/or phone appointments.
We are here to help and can provide guidance specific to your goals. With the uncertain economic state, it is important that you use this time to maximize your career readiness and make yourself as marketable as possible.
Wendy Herrmann | Beaver Dam
Dr. Rhonda Roehrig | Fond du Lac
Lisa Ferguson | West Bend