How to Stand Out During the Virtual Hiring Process
The shift toward remote work has accelerated and many businesses are now recruiting and hiring entirely online. That means job interviews are being held virtually, adding another layer of complexity for job seekers. Whether you are a recent college graduate or applying for a senior position, you’ll need to stand out in a virtual interview, so here are a few tips to help.
- Dress for success. Just because the interview is virtual doesn’t mean it’s more casual. It’s important to dress for the job you’re applying for and wear professional clothes. Tip: if you are unsure how professionally to dress, always dress more formally than you think, not less.
- Plan your background. The background of your interview is just as important as the way you dress. You should eliminate clutter and personal items and remove any other distractions. If your interview is on Zoom, you can also use one of the virtual backgrounds available in the settings.
- Eliminate distractions. Make sure you can focus on the interview. If you have other people or pets living at home with you, make sure they are in another room and remain quiet. If necessary, put a sign on your door to indicate silence is needed. Turn off your phone and computer notifications that could pop up and steal your attention.
- Do your research. Most employers have a larger digital footprint than ever before. Take advantage of this and do your research on the company and those interviewing you. You can gain understanding of day-to-day business operations, industry issues and company culture by diving into the website and social channels such as LinkedIn.
- Practice your answers. While you want to look natural and unrehearsed, being prepared is important. Practice responses to traditional job-interview questions – think through your strengths and weaknesses and have relevant examples of past projects ready. In addition, be ready with questions for your interviewer. This shows you are genuinely interested in the job and want to learn more.
- Be aware of body language and nonverbal cues. While the strength of your handshake no longer matters in a virtual interview, body language and nonverbal cues can still be seen through your camera. Make sure you sit up straight and avoid being too stiff. It’s also important to keep eye contact and stay engaged with the interviewer. Smiling will make you look more relaxed and comfortable. Lastly, try not to fidget too much.
- Send a follow-up email. You should always send a follow-up email within 24 hours of your interview to thank the hiring manager for taking the time to speak with you. You should also reiterate your interest in the position and keep it concise and straightforward.
Now, go land that job!
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