Follow the 6 tips below to prepare for a successful Virtual Interview
1. Test Your Technology
A few days before the interview test the computer, camera and any software that you've been asked to use. Make sure the picture is clear and the sound quality is good. It is also worth checking your internet connection - perhaps there is a better location for a clearer signal. On the day of the video interview ensure everything is fully charged or plugged in. You do not want to be still setting up as the interview starts, so switch everything on at least half an hour before the interview and sign in to any software that you'll need.
If there are any technical hitches, for example if you can't hear the questions very well, don't struggle through as you won't put in your best performance. If it's a live video interview, mention the problem. It may easily be fixed, or the interviewer may be happy to end the call and redial.
2. Check Your Background
Plan in advance where you are going to be situated during the interview. Use a quiet location, where you won't be disturbed by noises and people. Make sure the room you choose is tidy and use a clean and simple background. You need to think about the lighting as it won't be a great interview if you can't be properly seen. To ensure you don't get a shadow either use natural light from a window or put a lamp in front of the camera and adjust the distance to get the best result. Close any software on your computer that might play notification sounds, and switch your phone to silent to guarantee you won't be distracted. Also, let everyone in the house know you're about to start the interview so they don't interrupt.
3. Dress Appropriately
You may be at home but it is still an interview and this is your opportunity to give a professional first impression. For virtual interviews, dress as though you’re preparing for an in-person interview.
4. Body Language
It's best to avoid slouching, moving too much or touching your face. Instead employers will be looking for you to make good eye contact, smile, listen and take an interest in what they're saying. To help you do this your camera should be at eye level and you should look into it rather than at the screen. If you are nervous it can be easy to rush what you're saying. Remember the interviewer wants to hear your answers. Speak clearly, and be careful not to interrupt as this is more easily done with the slight delay over the internet than during a face-to-face meeting.
Write your talking points on Post-it notes. You can then place those notes on your computer screen to avoid shuffling papers or clicking around during the call.
5. Practice Answers to Common Interview Questions
There’s no way to know exactly what the interviewer will ask, however there are some common questions that you could prepare for. This is another occasion where Post-It notes with your answers can come in handy. Just avoid memorizing your responses as you want the conversation to flow naturally, not feel forced or rehearsed.
6. Do You Have Any Questions?
One of the final things you will be asked will be, 'Do you have any questions for me?' Always say yes. Having a list of questions to ask an interviewer makes you look interested, enthusiastic and engaged. It also gives you one final chance to further highlight your relevant qualities and experience. Not having any questions to ask will give the impression of unpreparedness and a lack of interest.
Common Interview Questions
Good Questions To Ask (College/University interviews)
Good Questions To Ask (Job interviews)
Your CV is like your very own advertisement – a chance to sell yourself and tell people exactly why they should choose you.
It can be tricky to know how to write a CV, especially if you haven’t had any/many jobs. The following CV tips are here to help you make sure that your “ad” does the job.
How long should a CV be?
The general rule is that your student CV shouldn’t be any longer than two sides of A4.
Be concise and pull out your key skills and experience but don’t go too far in the opposite direction and leave off important things either. If it’s less than a single page, have a think about whether you’ve forgotten something. If you’ve got lots to say, don’t try to get too clever with teeny tiny margins and big blocks of text to cram it all into two pages as that can be off-putting. Just prioritise the most important aspects that highlight your skills.
What should I include in my CV?
This part of your CV shouldn’t be too long, keep it short and concise and try to limit it to around 100 words or so.
Get involved in extra-curricular activities
You might not be aware of it, but school has a heap of activities that you can take part in that will help you gain valuable experience. Some activities to consider signing up for include:
Above all, what these activities show is that you have initiative. Most employers are aware that young people find it difficult to get their first break and will appreciate the effort you’ve taken to gain as much work experience as you can.
Consider volunteering for a few weeks
A great way to improve your working experience is to volunteer for a few weeks. If you have a particular type of job in mind that you’d like to do, why not search for companies within that industry and request to do a couple of weeks volunteering with them? The company will benefit from having an extra pair of hands for a few weeks, and you’ll benefit from improving your knowledge, understanding and experience, which will look great on your CV! Finding volunteering opportunities is easier than you think. The first place you should start looking is in your local area. Drop by some of the places that you wouldn’t mind working in for a few weeks and ask if they have the capacity to take you on as a volunteer.
Mention your academic achievements
Most people list their GCSE results, but very few make the effort to make their qualifications stand out. For example, if you’ve been highly commended for a particular project or assignment, why not mention it on your CV? Although your CV should follow a set structure, you should also do what you can to make yourself stand out from the crowd.
Draw attention to your online skills
Regardless of what industry you’re looking to get into, having a good working knowledge of the online world is hugely beneficial. Companies in all different industries now have an online presence, so if you have a particular skill set that could help, you should definitely mention it on your CV, even if it doesn’t directly relate to the position you’re applying for.
Perhaps you’re a programming whizz, or are really good with Excel spreadsheets? These types of skills can prove invaluable to companies that don’t have employees who are well-versed in online matters.