It’s easy to think virtual interviews would be easier. You’re in your comfort zone, you’ve practiced in front of a mirror and done your homework.
Only to find you stuttering and sweating all through the interview.
With more companies adopting virtual interviews in their recruitment process, it helps you get familiar with the process and what’s required.
A good place to start is to know the “do nots”. This will save you ugly interview experiences and create better impressions on interviews. Here are seven things to avoid during a virtual interview.
Sitting in a messy space
Seeing as it is recommended to set up your camera to show behind you, it’s not nice to have a messy environment. If you have some unnecessary items lying around or are disorganized, it leaves a bad image of your person.
Ensure you’re sitting in a space that comes across as professional. You don’t need anything flashy or something that takes the focus off you . These tips will help you with arrange your interview space:
- Ensure there is adequate ventilation
- Don’t lounge on a couch. Use a table and chair that gives you a good posture.
- As much as you can, maintain a clean background
Wearing anything you lay your hands on
The fact it’s a virtual interview doesn’t mean you should dress any less. If it was a physical interview you’d dress at your best so this shouldn’t be different. Ensure your clothes are professional and appropriate for the occasion.
You should stick to block colors because patterns and stripes can create optical illusions on videos, which could distract the interviewers.
Having bad camera settings and angles
You surely don’t want your camera footage to chop your head off. Before you start, do your best to position your camera correctly so you’re always in the frame.
Let the interviewers see you during all phases of the process. Ideally, have the camera in line with the top of your head. Set your laptop or streaming device on a sturdy surface to limit the chance of it falling over and distorting your video.
Don’t forget the lights. Ensure the room is well-lit so the interviewer can always see your face. Natural lighting is the best, but use adequate ceiling lights and lamps if that’s absent.
Losing focus and staring around
Some questions can leave you hanging and staring around for inspiration. However, it’s never a good look to appear dazed. Do your best to maintain clear eye contact with the interviewer.
It’s one thing you should not do during a virtual interview, as interviewers also notice your posture and disposition while answering some questions. Look directly at the camera and not up, down, or sideways.
While you can’t 100% remove distractions, you can reduce them to the barest minimum. Distractions might pop up during virtual interviews – the doorbell, a ringing phone, people talking, or even children can cause distractions. Use these tips to avoid such distractions:
- Close the door and let it remain shut during the interview.
- Put your phone on silent or in flight mode. You wouldn’t want it ringing out and distracting your line of thought.
- If you have kids around, have someone watch over them.
- Remove items you’re likely to stare at.
Battling with your internet or computer gear
Avoid poor internet connections at all costs. It’s okay to struggle to watch your favorite shows and videos online, but a top-notch connection is critical for a virtual interview.
Buffering connections will affect the audio and visual quality. Test the connections with a friend or relative to make sure it’s strong and fast, also test your computer gear and all accessories. You’ll have enough time to correct any issue with sound or video before the interview session.
I understand you want to answer the interviewers’ questions promptly. However, interviews are stressful and can leave you drained for a short period. For these reasons, it’s best to pace yourself. That includes your thoughts and replies.
Your body language speaks; trust me, if you’re nervous, it will show. The following tips will help you remain calm:
- Take a couple of deep breaths before your interview starts.
- Take a few seconds to process each question before thoughtfully replying.
- Provide direct responses with little explanation unless the interviewer suggests otherwise.
Now that you know the seven things not to do during a virtual interview, you’re prepared to go through one. Preparation is critical to how well you perform during the interview. Follow the pointers and tips above to know what to avoid and how to remedy them to make a great first impression on the recruiters.