With 10 years of recruiting experience for national organizations, WalterFedy Human Resources Generalist, Esther Kong, is no stranger to virtual interviews. We sat down with Esther to discuss her top five tips for job applicants who might be nervous about upcoming virtual interviews.
Set up the tech
Getting familiar with the technology the company uses to host virtual interviews is a must. Whether you’ve never used it, or you are familiar with the tool, make sure you are comfortable with the platform, especially if you need to troubleshoot mid-interview. Before you begin, check your mic and your camera to make sure everything is in good working order. “If you’re not sure what platform the company uses, don’t be afraid to ask. The initiative is always appreciated,” says Esther. “We use Teams at WalterFedy, so if you don’t have an account, download Teams in advance or explore it via browser.”
Set the scene
Now that you’re familiar with the technology, use it to help you set your scene. Turn on your camera and start looking for a quiet place with good lighting and a neutral background. It may be in your home office, or it may not. If you have a laptop and can move around to find the best spot, do it! If you are bound to one area with a desktop, take stock of your surroundings. “Clear away any clutter in the camera’s view so the only thing for the interviewer to focus on is you,” says Esther.
Set up a dry run
If you’re nervous about being on camera, ask a friend to mock interview with you. “A friend can give you honest feedback on your technique and tips on how to behave on camera,” says Esther. “They can also let you know if your space and lighting are working.” Work on your eye contact during your dry run as well by practicing looking directly at the camera instead of the screen. “It may seem counterintuitive not looking at who you’re speaking to, but on the other side the interviewers see you looking into their eyes,” explains Esther.
Set yourself up for success
If you have a portfolio you’d like to share, send it well in advance so everyone can take a look. On the day of your interview, set yourself up early. Have a copy of the job description, your resume, and your questions ready so everything is at your fingertips when you sit down. Esther says prep in this area is key for a smooth interview. “Make notes on how your experience relates directly to the job requirements so you can get your point across succinctly when asked,” she says. “If you sent it in advance, also have your portfolio open so you can walk us through it to show off your skills.” She also suggests you speak slower and enunciate your words more than usual. “It might feel funny, but it makes a huge difference in the interviewer’s ability to understand everything you say,” Esther explains.
Set yourself apart
The interviewer’s job is to determine whether you have the skills and if you’ll be a good fit for the organization; just because you aren’t meeting in person, doesn’t mean you can’t show off your personality. When the interviewer asks you to tell them about yourself, include some personal pieces along with work experience to give a well-rounded image of who you are. Be expressive when you talk, but avoid over-exaggerating. Corporate ‘fit’ is an important part of any hire, so this will help the hiring manager get a good sense of who you are and how you fit in the bigger picture.
If you feel weird about the virtual interview process, don’t worry – it’s likely your interviewer does too. “We’re all learning to adapt to this process at the same time,” says Esther. “Go easy on yourself.”
If you’re interested in joining the WalterFedy team, we’re looking to fill a number of positions like Payroll Administrator and Team Leader, Asset & Facilities Management. Visit www.walterfedy.com/careers for all our open opportunities.