6 Tips for a Successful Virtual Job InterviewThe pandemic has caused many companies to shift their hiring practices online. Almost 9 out of 10 U.S. employers are now using virtual interviewing, according to a March 2020 survey conducted by Handshake. Organizations are utilizing video communication platforms, such as Zoom and Skype, to conduct interviews with candidates.

As an EHS professional, you should be prepared to interview online if you’re in the market for a new job. These tips will help you have a smooth and successful virtual interview:

1. Behave during the interview as if you’re meeting the interviewer in person. A good rule of thumb is to simply talk with the hiring manager as if you were meeting with them face to face. Let the interviewer lead the conversation.

2. Look directly at your web camera when speaking. You mimic eye contact best when you look directly into the camera. If you’re looking at the actual video of the interviewer, another application on your computer, or anywhere off the screen, it can seem as though you’re not focused on the interviewer. It’s OK to occasionally look at the hiring manager’s video to see how they’re responding visually to what you’re saying.

3. Consider using an external lapel microphone. The microphones built into computers continue to get better with advancements in technology, so the microphone on your computer likely provides sufficient audio. However, if you’re looking to have the best audio quality possible, consider investing in an external lapel microphone that you can attach to your clothing.

4. Test the video communication platform prior to the interview and address any technology issues. Tech problems are inevitable at times, but if you can avoid them during the interview, you’ll leave a more positive impression on the hiring manager. Having a spotty internet connection could cost you the job, especially if other candidates don’t have the same tech issues. 

5. Make sure your work area and background are organized and professional. It’s best to have a neutral-colored wall behind you with minimal objects. This communicates the message that you’re professional and committed to your work. Having a cluttered background could be distracting for your interviewer.

Many of the video communication platforms offer virtual backgrounds, but it’s best not to use these. Sometimes these backgrounds look artificial, so it could leave your interviewer wondering why you’re hiding your real background.

6. Use a pen and paper to take notes instead of your computer. While typing notes during your interview is convenient, your keyboard strokes can be distracting to the hiring manager. Instead, use a pen and paper to jot down notes. At the start of the interview, explain to the hiring manager that if they see you looking down, it’s because you’re taking notes.

Virtual interviewing is becoming the new norm. Familiarizing yourself with how to take part in online interviewing will set you up for success and increase your chances of a job offer. Use these tips to ace your interview and remain professional throughout the entire experience.

Resource: How to Ace a Virtual Interview, Joseph Liu, EHSCareers.