Limited to the Screen: Acing Virtual Job Interviews

Job interviews, whether virtual or not, can turn any person into a nervous wreck. Having to answer at least a dozen questions about your personal background and career history while trying to make a good impression and win the boss over can definitely be a challenge for most people. You have to sell yourself, highlight your skills, and convince them that you’re the best person for the job—all within a span of thirty minutes to an hour. This is easier when the interview is in person, as you can fully express yourself and use gestures to show your interest and enthusiasm for the job. But what if your dream company schedules you for a virtual interview instead? How can you make a lasting impression and gain the interviewer’s approval when there’s no personal interaction involved?


Go the extra mile

Don’t fret. The upside to this is that you don’t get to shake the interviewer’s hands with your sweaty palms. At least you won’t be written off as a nervous wreck. Kidding aside, virtual interviews are actually not as challenging as you think. It’s just like any other interview. The only difference is that you’re talking to the interviewer via the computer screen instead of in person, so you have to make some extra effort in order to win him over. Unlike in-person interviews during which you can basically fill the entire room with your aura and enthusiasm, virtual interviews are limited to the four corners of your computer screen. As such, you have to go the extra mile so that the interviewer can still feel your confidence and interest in the job despite the lack of personal interaction. Your presence must radiate off you and through the screen.

Dress professionally

It doesn’t matter whether you’re at home or in a coffee shop during the interview. Dress professionally. Wear corporate attire from head to toe, as you would for a normal interview. Don’t put on a blazer but then wear shorts just because the interviewer can’t see the lower half of your body.

Adjust the camera angle

This goes hand-in-hand with dressing professionally. You should look your best even if it’s just a virtual interview. Position your webcam or built-in camera in a way that would capture your best angle. Make sure the camera isn’t positioned below or above your face. Set it parallel to your head and adjust it accordingly so you can look at the lens directly during the interview.

Test your equipment

Whether you’re using VoIP service or other software, both need to be tested first before your scheduled interview. You can’t risk any technical glitch or malfunction over the course of the interview, or the interviewer will think you didn’t come prepared. Test your computer, webcam, Internet connection, and video-conferencing software for proper function at least a couple of days before the interview. Have them fixed or upgraded if necessary to ensure uninterrupted connection.

Be ready with your answers

Giving irrelevant answers to important questions won’t put you on the shortlist. Prepare your answers beforehand so your mind won’t go blank during the interview. Maximize the time allotted to you. Answer quickly but intelligently. Remember to sell your skills and highlight stories or previous job experiences that are relevant to the position you’re applying for. These tips are useful for any type of interview, be it personal or virtual.