Candidate Tips

How to prepare for your virtual interview

Ruth-Beth Jackson

Executive Consultant | Finance

Jul 21, 2022

Lockdown has meant all aspects of our lives have changed. From how we interact with our friends, family, and colleagues to how we move forward with the plans many of us had heading into the new decade.

For many, a new year signifies change. One area that many chose to explore is finding a new role, progressing in their career, or changing altogether. Thankfully lockdown hasn’t completely stopped that from being possible!

Recruitment hasn’t gone away, it’s just changed. Mediums such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Skype now mean interviews can still go ahead, albeit virtually! At Oyster, we are no different since the global pandemic began virtual meetings and interviews have become part of our working life.

As recruiters, we are used to conducting interviews in various ways, however, this is not the same for our candidates. Listening to the feedback from their candidates our Principal Consultants, Chloe Wright and Ruth-Beth Jackson are now running Virtual Interview training workshops. The workshop has been designed for those who are looking to make a change in 2020 but need a few tips on how to make that happen in a virtual world!

Chloe and Ruth

We decided to run the virtual interview tips workshop as a way to connect with our candidates in these unprecedented times while also providing guidance and advice.

It seems that our clients are embracing virtual interviews now more than ever in the current climate. Virtual interviews arguably require more concentration and are more centered on the individuals as there is nowhere else for either of them to look other than at one another. We are also a lot more reliant on our technology.

Much of what we discussed with the candidates were things they usually wouldn’t have to worry about when interviewing. You’d be surprised at how many extra little things you need to think about when doing a virtual interview. Having these laid out for you can reduce the stress and anxiety that is already there, while also improving the chances of the interview going smooth.

The workshop went really well with some good feedback from those who attended. Hopefully, we can run more sessions like this to help candidates be more confident in any situation.

“Chloe & Ruth I want to say a big thanks for inviting me to the virtual workshop. I thought it was really helpful. I truly appreciate it! I thought all the tips were helpful and I liked the idea of having the cv present [for the virtual interview].”

Emmeline Okafor

If you have a virtual interview looming just around the corner, don’t panic! We have put together a list of tips using Chloe’s & Ruth’s advice and expertise on how to better prepare for your virtual interview!

Virtual Interview Tip 1: Test Your Technology

  • Check your internet connectivity
  • Confirm your camera and microphone are working
  • If the picture is grainy or you’re experiencing an echo, you might need to buy a mini webcam with a built-in microphone
  • On the day of the interview, test your equipment and internet connection again. If you are having issues let the employer/ your recruiter know
  • Make sure your laptop/device is fully charged or plugged into a charger

Virtual Interview Tip 2: Create the right environment

  • Find a room with optimal lighting, preferably near a window, or a blank wall to guarantee you’re the focal point of the conversation
  • Tidy up your surroundings. It’s hard to convince employers you’re a detail-oriented and organised individual when your surroundings are in a bit of a mess
  • Let those you live with know that you’re going to be in an interview and are not to be disturbed/ ask them to minimise all noise. If there are many people working from home and using the internet, ask them if they mind turning the WiFi off on the devices they aren’t currently using. The more devices connected to the WiFi in your home the weaker the signal

Virtual Interview Tip 3: Research & Preparation

  • As you would do for any interview – make sure to research the organisation. Avoid clicking around trying to research while you’re mid-interview, it’s both obvious, distracting, and disrespectful to the person you are speaking to
  • Research the person who is interviewing you – knowing a bit about them will make it easier to build rapport
  • If you have a printer have a copy of the CV and JD printed out so you can refer back to these if needed

Virtual Interview Tip 4: Dress to Impress

  • Remember the person interviewing you will be able to see you, so make sure to dress the part
  • Your clothes should be clean and ironed even on camera
  • Make sure you complete the look and don’t just stop at the waist. Getting fully dressed will help you set your mind up for the upcoming interview.

Virtual Interview Tip 5: Timings

  • Make sure you ‘arrive’ 10 minutes early to your interview
  • Prepare your surroundings
  • Calm your nerves
  • Turn off all distractions including your phone
  • Close any nearby windows
  • Grab a drink and wait for the call

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Executive Consultant | Finance

Ruth-Beth Jackson

Ruth-Beth is pretty much what you find in the dictionary under the word ‘efficient’. You can’t throw a problem at her that she can’t solve, in half the time it would have taken you to do it, and she’ll remain upbeat throughout. Ruth-Beth will reliably be there with motivating pep-talks, for candidates, clients, and teammates alike, and I really meant what I said about safe hands. You’re never going to feel lost or out-of-your-depth with Ruth-Beth there to steer you right.

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