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Virtual Interviews: Tips and Tricks for Acing Them

#becomeanidol #besthire #careerchange #careerpivot #idolcourses #instructionaldesigner #interviewing Nov 05, 2021

We are all aware of the fact that Covid-19 has changed the landscape of pretty much everything; we are all doing things much differently than before. One of the things that have changed is the fact that many more people are, or want to,  work from home. A recent study by Pew Research Center found that nearly 71% of Americans are currently working from home and more people now are leaving their brick and mortar jobs in hopes of scoring a remote position. Additionally, many industries collapsed or had to close leaving many people unemployed. Currently, in America, there are 7.7 million people unemployed according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means many people will be faced, or have been faced already, with completing virtual interviews. 

Let’s talk about how to manage those virtual interviews so that you can ace them and land a job!

I remember my very first virtual interview. I assumed we would all have our videos on; I was camera-ready. When the two interviewers joined they did not have their videos on and I was unsure what to do. Do I keep my video on? Would it be weird if I just turned it off? Is it weird that they are seeing me and I can’t see them? I had SO many questions. In the end, I left my video on and continued the interview and things became more comfortable in a matter of minutes. In the end, I landed the contract but I do wish I could have seen my interviewers as I was initially caught off guard and it’s a little weird seeing yourself and not the people you are speaking with. I had wrongly assumed that there was only one type of virtual interview. I assumed they would all be video interviews but, as you can see I was wrong. 


There are a few different types of virtual interviews that you may encounter, so let’s briefly cover those. 

  •  One-on-one live video interview- this is where you meet with one (sometimes two) interviewers using a video communications platform (Zoom, Teams, Google Meets, etc.). You should have your video on but the interviewers may not. All participants should have audio connected.
  • Live panel interview- this is where you meet with many members of an organization or team. They might all be in one room or they could all be calling in virtually from various locations. Some may choose to have their videos off but you should have yours on. 
  • Pre-recorded interview- this is where you answer questions in video format. You have time to prepare your response before the recording starts. 


Now, that we know the different kinds of virtual interviews that we might face, let’s talk about acing them!

  1. Test your equipment! This is a given, but always run a test on your audio, video, lighting, and internet connection prior to the interview. Give yourself enough time to troubleshoot if there is an issue. You do not want to be rushing around minutes before. 
  2. Set up your space. Declutter. Have things ready that you might need to reference or screen share; maybe a pen and paper, a virtual copy of your resume, or your portfolio so you can easily reference it. 
  3. Be confident! As Kristi Oliva mentions in her blog Interview Like You Date, you landed the interview for a reason, remember that.
  4. Dress for success. Just as you would for a face-to-face interview, you should dress the same for a virtual interview. This will make you appear professional and excited about the opportunity. 
  5. Observe your body language. Unfortunately, some things are lost in the virtual space such as a handshake, but don’t let that get in the way. Exude confidence with your voice and make eye contact; focus on the camera rather than the screen. Additionally, write some important talking points on Post It Notes that you can put on your computer to avoid fumbling around.
  6. Limit distractions. Make sure you have a quiet place where the interview can take place that is free of unnecessary interruptions or distractions. 
  7. Practice! One thing that the IDOL courses Academy has taught me was how to practice deliberately for interviews and they offer some amazing resources for that. Here is an insider tip: look up 3 IDOL jobs that you are interested in and list the qualities, skills, and experiences that make you a great candidate for the role.
  8. Follow up. Send a thank-you note to the interviewers saying thank you and remind them what you discussed and why you are the best fit for the role.


And, if you find yourself in the stage where you think you are not quite ready for interviews yet, remember to Kick Self-doubt to the Curb! With the help of IDOL Courses Academy and the entire Instructional Design community, you can do it!


Connect with Starla on LinkedIn

With a love for learning and adventure, Starla thrives on making learning experiences that embody that as well. As an Instructional Designer and eLearning developer, she looks at performance challenges and finds creative approaches to solve complex and dynamic situations through eLearning and virtual training. She takes great pride in making learning that is inclusive and accessible.  Currently open to new opportunities.