5 Tips for Making a Good First Impression During a Virtual Interview

A recruiter has reached out to you to schedule an interview, but there’s one catch: it’s being held virtually. How are you to prepare for such an interview? How to make a good first impression? Will the format work in your favor? Since a virtual interview is still a relatively new method of interviewing, job candidates are often left with a lot of questions.

What is clear is that online interviews are becoming increasingly common. Many employers are now using real-time video calls to get their first impressions of prospective employees. From a recruiter’s point of view, conducting a virtual interview is a good way to screen applicants while reducing travel expenses, and broadening their talent pool.

Though a virtual interview eliminates direct contact with the interviewer, it should still be taken seriously and conducted formally. Since they can be done within the comfort of your home, you can use this to your advantage. You are more relaxed because you are in a familiar environment. Also, there is ample time to mentally prepare for the interview, as there is no hurry to reach a faraway location. There may not be any guaranteed methods of success, but you can still learn how to make a good first impression in an online interview. Below are a few simple online interview tips to help you improve your interviewing skills. As you will see, many of the same rules as traditional interviews will apply.

Be on Time

This is one of the easiest things to achieve in a virtual interview. There is no need to log on excessively early, but prior to the interview, perform a test run so that you do not run into any technical difficulties. Make sure there are no issues with your Internet connection and enter the video call a few minutes before your scheduled time.

Be Prepared

If possible, do a trial run of the video call with a friend. Test the video camera, microphone, and speakers to make sure that there is no problem with the video and that the sound is loud and clear. Your computer or laptop should be completely charged or connected to a power source. Check the Wi-Fi connection and Internet speed so that the call is not disconnected during the interview. Turn off all notifications so that they do not disrupt the call. Finally, anticipate a few questions, and practice answering them while pretending your friend is the interviewer. Ask your friend for feedback about how you appear and sound at the end of the trial run, and make adjustments accordingly.

Dress Professionally

It may be a remote call, but you still need to dress appropriately for the role. Dress as you would for a ‘face-to-face’ interview. Although only the top half of your body might be visible on the screen, assume that your interviewer will be able to see your entire outfit. The right attire will make you feel more confident and professional. Wear simple tops with neutral colors. A button-up shirt or blouse is generally the safest option. Be as well-groomed as you would while meeting the interviewer in person. 

Be Engaged and Exhibit Positive Body Language

One of the best online interview tips we can give you is to maintain proper eye contact during a virtual interview. Your screen will display two shots: one of you and one of the interviewer. Make sure that you look and speak directly into the camera and ignore your computer screen. It may feel awkward, but it’s important to look into the camera, as the camera serves as the interviewer’s ‘eyes.’

Knowing how to exhibit positive body language is an invaluable skill for conducting online interviews successfully. This is another reason why practicing with a friend is so important. Seeing yourself on camera can be a great way of becoming more aware of your body language and facial expressions. Smile, and use your hands and eyes to communicate. Be enthusiastic, and let your personality shine through the camera.

Be Aware of Your Background

Find a clean, well-lit setting in your house to take the call. Make sure that the call is free from distractions. If you live with family members or roommates, make sure that you choose a spot in your home that receives less traffic. Talk to the other members of your household to make sure that they limit loud noises during the call. It would also be ideal if the background were free from distracting clutter.

Ultimately, preparation is the key to performing well during a virtual interview. From ensuring that you look presentable to making sure that your technology is working properly, you need to be completely prepared in front of the computer before the interview starts. Being comfortable and ready for the interview will definitely give you a head start in online interviews.

After the call, be proactive and send a follow-up email to thank your interviewers for their time. Check your email to be aware of the next steps, and respond to the recruiter promptly. 

Now all you must do is find the right opportunity with OLAS. Create an account here.

You’ve got this!