Written by Arcelia Camacho, PMP

This article was originally published in the PrepCan, online pre-arrival employment services website, https://prepcan.ca/

As competition for jobs keeps increasing, companies look for cost-effective ways to short-list you when you apply for a job position. It has then become common for employers to conduct virtual interviews where they can assess your non-verbal communication and your level of comfort with technology. That is why it is crucial for you to become comfortable with virtual interviews.

What is a virtual interview?

A virtual interview is a web- based method used to shortlist job candidates. It is also referred to as a video or a digital interview.

Video interviews can be live or pre-recorded. Some of the technologies used for digital interviews are SkypeGotoMeeting, and SparkHire.

How is a virtual interview different from the others?

  • Virtual interviews are more complex than phone interviews due to the use of technological equipment.
  • Video interviews are considerably less expensive compared to in-person interviews because they allow for easier scheduling for all parties involved, and they give the interviewer the opportunity to watch your non-verbal behaviour.

Elements to consider for a successful virtual interview

1.Physical Elements

Location

  • Set up your computer in a quiet, uncluttered, distraction-free area.

Lighting

  • Test the light in the room before the interview to ensure it is sufficient for the time you are meeting with the employer or recruiter.
  • Do not use light sources coming from behind you because your screen will reflect them.
  • If you need more light, you could use secondary sources such as desk lamps to light your face.

2. Technology

  • Video. Test the quality of your computer camera. If the quality is poor, consider buying another webcam.
  • Audio. Use a headset with a microphone included; this equipment will improve the sound quality.
  • Internet Connection. Test the speed of your Internet connection and close unneeded applications that might use up bandwidth.
  • Video Software. Test the technology utilized for your digital interview. Download the computer application in advance and become familiar with it

3. Virtual first-impression

  • Outfit. Opt for solid top colours, avoiding black or white as they do not look well on video.
  • Body language and posture. Sit up straight, maintain eye contact with the interviewer by looking at the webcam.
  • Interview script. Have all your interview documentation ready: resume, cover letter, portfolio, company research and any other supporting documents you might need. You could have a soft copy open on your computer or a hard copy on your desk.

4. The rest

  • Follow the same advice you have applied to phone interviews and in-person ones.
  • Enlist someone you trust to do a virtual interview dry run with you. This person can help you test the technology and get feedback about lighting, sound, your appearance on camera and your interview performance.

Have you ever participated in a virtual interview? Share your best tips with us and your fellow Newcomers to Canada in the comments.