Interviewing: How to Make a Great Impression on a Virtual Interview

Virtual interviewing is having a moment right now. It was building all along as companies began to make the switch as a cost-saving measure as part of a 3-part interview process. First, the initial phone screen, then the virtual interview and finally the half-day in person interview. But for many students, interviewing at all is a new venture – let alone one in a virtual setting. Here are some quick tips to help you navigate the process.

Prepare in advance – Research the company including their website, reviews of the company on Glassdoor, and prepare for behavioral interview questions. Don’t forget to practice the STAR Method when preparing for an interview.

Show up on time – In a standard face to face interview, we would recommend you arrive 10 minutes early. However, in a virtual setting you may be walking into the Zoom Room and interrupt someone else’s interview. Awkward. Login at the time you are assigned.

Dress for success – even remotely – Sure, they won’t see your bottom half, but you will be mentally prepared if you are dressed to impress. Depending on the industry, you may want to wear business formal (suit and tie for finance) or dress in a more modern and colorful work casual (collared shirt and colorful tie for marketing.) If in doubt, be conservative, and avoid busy patterns which may not translate as well in a virtual setting.

Consider your background – Keep it simple and plain if possible, and make sure the lighting allows your interviewer to see you clearly and focus on what you are saying.

Make eye contact with the camera – You might want to be looking at yourself to make sure you aren’t touching your face or using your hands too much. You may be looking down at the camera, and they will be looking up your nose. If this is the case, put your laptop on a few stacked books so it is level to your face and stick a bright post-it note next to the camera so you focus on your interviewer – and not yourself.

Have your resume, interview stories and questions ready – Print your resume and write a few prompts on post-its in case you blank out on your winning stories. Don’t forget to have thoughtful questions for your interviewer and a notepad to take notes of key things you want to remember just as you would for an in person interview.

Thank you notes matter – Send an email to your interviewer within 24 hours and highlight some of the unique aspects of your conversation.

You can do this – Go Tigers!