Intro to Virtual Interview Success: Your Digital Debut

Last update on:
Flat design illustration of a professional setup for a virtual interview, featuring a neatly arranged laptop and microphone on an organized, minimalist workspace, emphasizing a modern and efficient environment for remote communication.

Time to Read: 4 minutes

Gone are the days of navigating bustling office lobbies; your first impression now unfolds digitally. In this ever-evolving job market, knowing proper virtual interview etiquette is a necessity.

TL;DR

  • Thorough Preparation: Deep research on the company and role, along with a technical rehearsal, sets the stage for a successful virtual interview.
  • Professional Presentation: Maintaining a professional setting and demeanor is crucial, including appropriate attire, a neutral background, and positive body language.
  • Strategic Follow-Up: A personalized thank-you email and patient, yet persistent follow-up can solidify a positive impression and demonstrate your continued interest.

Before the Call: Preparation Strategies

1. Company Research

Dive deep into researching the company. Understand their culture, values, recent achievements, and challenges. This knowledge not only demonstrates your genuine interest but also arms you with context to tailor your responses more effectively. 

2. Role Relevance

Make sure you analyze the job description and align your skills accordingly. Prepare examples from your academic or personal projects that showcase your suitability for the role, especially if you lack practical work experience.

3. Technical Rehearsal

A technical glitch can be a major disruptor. Make sure your equipment and software are in working order well before the interview. Familiarize yourself with the video conferencing platform to be used. Check your lighting, sound, and background. We’d recommend using your setup to call a friend or family member to get their feedback.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in a Virtual Interview: Navigating the Digital Do’s and Don’ts

1. Inappropriate Background and Setting

A cluttered or noisy background can be distracting and give an impression of disorganization to your interviewer. Choose a quiet, well-lit space with a neutral background to maintain a professional atmosphere. You can utilize the built in green screen options that come with most video conferencing applications.

2. Casual Attire and Body Language

Dressing too casually or exhibiting poor body language can also be detrimental. Just because you’re not in a physical office doesn’t mean the norms of professional attire and demeanor don’t apply. Dress professionally and be mindful of your posture and gestures to convey confidence and respect for the interview process.

PRO TIP: What’s ‘appropriate’ can sometimes depend on the industry of the job you’re applying for. When in doubt, it’s best to err on the side of over-professionalism. We have tips for men and women on what to wear during a job interview.

3. Lack of Preparation

Failing to research the company, role, or not practicing your responses can leave you stumbling during the interview. Preparation shows your interest in the role, your commitment to making a meaningful contribution to the company, and on a deeper level can provide inferences about your work ethic and attention to detail.

Post-Interview Practices: Locking In Your First Impression

1. The Art of the Thank-You Email

Within 24 hours of your interview, send a personalized thank-you email. This is one of the most under utilized yet very effective tactics. Express your gratitude for the opportunity and reiterate your enthusiasm for the role, but also mention a specific part of the interview that you found engaging or insightful. This is your last chance to stand out after an interview, before your interviewer makes their decision.

PRO TIP: While there is debate as to how effective follow-up emails are, the consensus among hiring managers is that it either does nothing, or adds brownie points to a candidate. When done right, it has at worse, 0 consequences.

2. Patience and Persistence

If you haven’t heard back within the timeframe mentioned during the interview, it’s appropriate to send a polite follow-up email. This demonstrates your continued interest and initiative. Keep your tone professional and friendly, and avoid appearing overly eager or impatient. Learn more about the typical hiring process timeline and steps here.

3. Receiving Feedback

Whether it’s a job offer or constructive feedback, handle the outcome professionally. If the news isn’t favorable, don’t hesitate to ask for feedback. Treat this as a learning opportunity. There is a difference between failing and being a failure. One setback does not mean you should allow yourself to be discouraged. A fixed mindset is the enemy of success.

Bottom Line: Embracing Your Virtual Interview with Confidence

Virtual interviews are all about demonstrating your adaptability, preparedness, and professionalism in a digital environment. With the shift away from in person work environments and interviews, it’s more important than ever to be able to convey yourself properly over video call.

Landed an interview? Here’s how to ace your interview from A to Z.

Stay ahead in your career journey by subscribing to GradSimple. Get the latest tips, insights, and resources delivered straight to your inbox.

Share This Post
Photo of author
Head Writer and Editor for GradSimple. She also translates all of Ricky's incoherent raccoon ramblings into readable content (newsletter subscribers know what's up).

Latest Posts

Bite-Size Stories Of Life After College.

We show what life is like on the other side. One year, three years, ten years out: our interviews share what really goes on after you're handed your diploma. The best part? It’s all free.