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Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting stay-at-home orders, many companies had to adjust their hiring processes. Virtual interviews became the go-to alternative for face-to-face meetings, allowing the process to move forward while respecting social distancing and other requirements.  

Many professionals aren’t overly familiar with the video interview approach. As a result, they may not approach the experience the right way. If you want to make sure your virtual interview goes well, here are some virtual interview best practices that everyone should use.  

Double Check Your Lighting  

Virtual interviews are meant to be a substitute for an in-person meeting. However, you can only mimic the face-to-face experience if all participants can clearly see one another. Without the proper lighting, that’s virtually impossible.  

Many professionals have a limited amount of light in their offices. While the space may not seem dark while you are in it, that doesn’t mean it comes across as bright over the camera. If that’s the case, the other person may have trouble seeing you, which hinders the discussion.  

It’s also important to note that you need to assess more than the amount of light, but also the direction. Some lighting angles aren’t particularly flattering, such as intense lighting from just one direction, which can cause large shadows. Ideally, the light should be coming in from all directions, reducing the odds of awkward shadows.  

Before your video interview, take a moment to bring up your camera and examine the image. If you see lighting issues, make the necessary adjustments. You may need to bring in more light sources or adjust the angle, for example. Adjusting your curtains or blinds, shifting your position in the room, and other techniques may also be necessary. While it takes a little time, it’s worth the effort.  

Review Your Background  

Usually, when you participate in a virtual interview, you’ll be at home. You’re used to the space, so you don’t necessarily think about every object or art piece in it. But, when it comes to your video interview, there’s a decent chance the hiring manager is taking a look at what’s behind you. If there’s something strange or inappropriate, that may hurt your chances of landing the job.  

Before your virtual interview, turn on your camera and see what parts of the room it captures. Then, examine that part of your space carefully, removing clutter and any items that might not leave an ideal impression.  

Don’t Rely on Google  

During a virtual interview, in most cases, you’ll be seated in front of your computer. As a result, you might be tempted to forgo a bit of preparation, believing that you can Google any answers you need on the fly.  

The issue is, the hiring manager is probably going to notice if you start typing suddenly. Even if the sound doesn’t carry (which it likely will), your gaze will shift. And attempts to be discrete, such as by muting the microphone or interrupting the video feed, aren’t as subtle as you may think.  

Ultimately, don’t assume that you can skip your research. As with any interview, preparation is key. That way, you can easily articulate your thoughts and share your virtues, increasing the odds that you’ll move forward in the hiring process.  

If you’d like to learn more about successful interviewing, the team at Alpha Consulting can help. Contact us today and see how our interviewing expertise can benefit you.  

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