As our world continues to operate virtually these days, it is important to stand out among the other applicants. Preparing for a virtual interview or virtual networking opportunity is similar to preparing for an in-person event/interview.
Here are some tips to remember:
- Dress Professionally: You can never make a first impression twice, so ensure your clothes fit well and bring you confidence.
- Appropriate Background: Check your surroundings to be sure it is neat and minimize any background noise. If you use a virtual background, make sure the image/colors are neutral.
- Ask Questions: Take time to research companies in advance in order to prepare a list of questions to ask during an interview or virtual networking session. Extra thought and care will make you memorable.
- Practice Answering Questions: Even the best interviewers need some extra practice to stand out through a computer screen. Have scenarios ready for any STAR method questions.
- Use Mute: When not talking, it has now become the norm to mute yourself in order to help with connectivity and avoid noise feedback. You must remember to always unmute when you are speaking versus the employer reminding you.
- Know Your Technology: Make sure you test your Wi-Fi, microphone/sound, camera and speakers in advance. There are many virtual platforms, so make sure your technology is compatible. Don’t forget to ensure your device is fully charged.
- Non-Verbal Communication: Even through a computer screen, it is important your non-verbal cues like smiling, eye contact with the camera, and attentive posture are present and used.
- Follow-Up: Send a Thank You note to whomever you met with during either an interview or networking session. Add something memorable and reiterate your goal or ask.
Though virtual interviewing and networking may seem challenging, these steps will help prepare your mindset and approach to conquer the task.
Valerie Kielmovitch Mandel is the Director within the Career Services Office at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University- Daytona Beach. She has worked in the Career Services office at ERAU since 2010. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Central Florida and her Master of Education specializing in Higher Education and Student Affairs at the University of South Carolina. Valerie has a diverse background in the field of higher education from residence life to career services.