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How to Ace a Virtual Interview

Updated: Nov 21, 2021


Video interviews are becoming a routine part of recruitment, but they can be daunting, especially if you have never experienced one before.


So, how do you get comfortable with this new situation? And how do you give a good impression to a potential employer when you are not even in the same room?


There are various types of video interviews that you might encounter. It is best to practice and do your research in advance so you can “show your best side" when you are interviewed on camera.


The two most common virtual interview styles are:


One-on-one: this is the most common type of video interview, and it is often conducted via a familiar app like Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime. It is remarkably like a telephone screening interview, but with video. Your interviewer asks questions, and you answer them. Simple! I recommend practicing this with a family member or friend in advanced of your interview. This will help you feel more comfortable and relaxed at the time of the interview.

Panel interview: a video conference in which you are interviewed by a panel of people, instead of just one or two. If this type of interview process is new to you, again, I would recommend practicing. Set up a free Zoom account, gather a couple of your friends and or family members and ask them to each take turns asking you a question or two. It is a great way to stay connected will be we are quarantined at home.

You may also see virtual interview requests in the form of:

· Pre-recorded session: you record and submit your responses to predetermined questions, instead of having a "live" interview. The company may ask you to use the technology of their choice or simply use the video app on your phone. In this form practice, practice, practice. Anytime you are prepping for an interview or a big speech, consider videotaping yourself on your phone. I know this seems silly, and will feel awkward at first, but it is a valuable tool to assess and learn things about yourself. What does your body language say? Do you say “um” a lot? Do you touch your face or use too many hand gestures? Plus, this is for yourself only and know one else will critique you.

Artificial intelligence interview: as with pre-recorded video interviews, you do not speak to anyone in an AI interview. But your responses and facial expressions are analyzed by an algorithm, and a report is generated for the hiring manager. This may sound like science fiction, but it is already a widely used recruitment method.


One of my most memorable virtual interviews occurred in the Sacramento Airport. My flight was of course running late, I raced from my gate to find a quiet corner in a busy airport. I took a deep breathe and logged in with seconds to spare. Little to my surprise, I was interviewing simultaneously with another candidate. The interview lasted over 90 minutes, which a brief intermission. Myself and the other candidate were supposed to gather information, and come up with a plan to present our idea to the interview panel. I was surrounded by chaos and noise. I was able to pull myself together enough and assist my "competition" who was their in person with the interview panel and complete our task. At the end of the day I was called back for a follow up interview. I was told "it was evident I was calm under pressure."


At the end of the day, the best way to bring your best self to a virtual or in person interview is practice. Have a handful of examples you can apply to behavioral based questions that may come up in your interview. Research the company by reviewing their website, social media, and LinkedIn page. Show up to your virtual interview looking professional. If you do not know what the normal level of professional environment you are interviewing in, try to look for images while doing your research. If that does not work, do not be afraid to ask! Lastly, be sure to follow up within 24 hours with a thank you e-mail to everyone you spoke with during your interview.

For more information and ideas on how to ace your virtual interview, please reach out at tarynmconsulting@gmail.com

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