Virtual Job Interviews: 5 Tips on Finding a Job During a Pandemic

Graduates in the Class of 2021 are facing an uphill battle: landing a virtual job interview.

In a world where HR interviews now consists of a Zoom call over a handshake, graduates are polishing up their virtual job interviewing skills. So how do you stand out in the online crowd?

For new graduates one thing seems clear: networking and making alumni connections are crucial. Building these relationships can not only offer career expansion, but also the possibilities of  friendship. Graduates nowadays benefit from attending virtual events, connecting on online spaces like Alumni Direct, and following up on introductions. But above all there is an emerging need to perfect the virtual video pitch.

Here are a few tips on landing your next virtual job interview:

Focus on Your Personal Story

One way to nail the virtual job interview is to focus on your personal story. Executive coach and author David Nour says, “More and more companies are going to more video-based, online interviews before they decide to potentially bring you in.” Because of this he mentions the importance of telling a story to stand out. You can try to promote a personal story, including your educational background and life experiences. “Maybe your internships, your co-ops, any experience you have that is most relevant to that industry, company and job,” He says.

Focus On Your Virtual Set Up

It’s really important to get your office space set up before the Zoom call. The Zoom call background can make quite the impression. Francesca Zambaglione, president of Dressed Smart™, a virtual online course series says, “Test your lighting and camera eye contact by Zooming with a friend or family member. So that the interviewer can see your face, make sure the window and lights are not behind you…Check your background to make sure it’s clean and neat. Prequalify your space to acknowledge potential interruptions: “I apologize, you might hear my dog …”,” She says.

Come Prepared

Just like that quiz at school, come prepared for the virtual job interview. “Just because you’re on a computer doesn’t mean you can search the web for answers mid-interview, so avoid clicking around. You want to appear focused and ready to answer any questions without the help of the internet. Research the company ahead of time and jot down notes for easy reference. Also print out a copy of your resume, so that you don’t forget key talking points,” shares Lauren Landry, staff writer for the Harvard Business Review.

Dress Appropriately

According to Indeed, it is critical that you treat a virtual interview like any other in-person interview and that means dressing appropriately. No yoga pants! “In a virtual interview, you should dress the same as you would in a face-to-face interview. Doing so not only makes you appear professional and excited about the opportunity, but it will also make you feel more prepared and confident.”

Test Your Tech

At least a day before your virtual interview, check all of your technology to ensure it works effectively. You should always do a little test call by having a mock interview with friends or family. Check your Internet, check your computer, check your microphone and check your lighting. The worst thing in the world is showing up and no one can hear you or see you.

Good luck! You’re going to do great. Come on Class of 2021, you got this!  

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