September 1, 2022
Virtual Interview Etiquette for Candidates and Interviewers
Before virtual offices took over the workforce, the interview process was pretty straightforward. First round interviews were conducted over the phone, and if that went well an in person interview was soon to follow. Now that more companies are remote, the initial interview is almost always virtual and sometimes the entire process is virtual. This creates the need for a new set of interview etiquette guidelines. Here are 6 tips to help candidates and interviewers prepare for virtual interviews.
6 Virtual Interview Tips for Candidates
Virtual interviews can feel daunting, but these 6 tips will help you feel more at ease and make a lasting first impression.
- Set up your environment – When participating in a virtual interview, it’s not just your face the interviewer sees, your space is also on display. Consider using a virtual backdrop to ensure the space behind you is tidy, professional, and free of clutter or distractions. Make sure the lighting is good. Silence your phone to eliminate noise pollution and try to keep pets and family members preoccupied in a different area of your home. That said, most people who work remotely experience distractions, so don’t worry too much if your child walks by or your dog barks—it happens to the best of us! Apologize, mute the sound, or excuse yourself for a moment to handle the distraction.
- Dress for the role – You may be wearing sweatpants, but from your shoulders up it’s important to look professional, even if you’re at home. Dressing up for an interview not only allows you to put your best foot forward but can also help you feel more confident and energized. Studies have shown that wearing formal business attire can even improve your strategic thinking.
- Come prepared – You may not have to navigate directions or find parking, but there are still ways you can come prepared for a virtual interview. Do your research on the company you’re interviewing with, and be sure to have your resume open on your desktop as well as a list of questions you’d like to ask the interviewer.
- Be early – Punctuality is just as important online as it is in person. Log in about 5 minutes before your interview is scheduled to begin so that you can troubleshoot any technical hiccups, test your microphone and camera quality, and be ready to go without any delays.
- Be assertive – A firm handshake makes a great first impression in an in-person interview, but when you can’t shake hands or make a physical first impression, how can you assert a strong sense of confidence? Start by making eye contact with your interviewer, and keep in mind that when speaking virtually, this means looking directly into your camera rather than at your screen. You can also focus on practicing good posture, speaking clearly, and using your interviewer’s name. These are all ways to display strength and confidence that can help you land the job.
- Follow up – There are some interview rules that never go out of style; following up with a sincere thank you note or email is one of them. Thank the interviewer for their time, express your deepened interest in the position, and offer them a friendly well wish in their search for the right candidate… with these tips and a little luck that may just be you!
6 Virtual Interview Tips for Interviewers
As an interviewer, you represent the company you’re hiring for. Here are 6 ways you can set a great example for your company and attract the best candidates.
- Define the process – When you schedule video interviews, make the most of your time with each candidate by including clear instructions for the interviewee. Provide them with a back-up phone number in case of any technical issues, a breakdown of what you’d like to discuss on the call, and a brief overview of the hiring process so they’ll know what to expect.
- Prepare for each candidate – It’s no secret that you may be interviewing several candidates for one position, but it’s important to show that you respect each one and value their unique interest in the role. Make sure to set aside a few minutes before each virtual interview to pull up a candidate’s resume and have it ready on your desktop to reference in your questions.
- Take notes – Virtual calling allows interviewers to conduct more interviews in a shorter period of time, but this also means that candidates may begin to blend together in your head. Be sure to take notes during each virtual interview to help you make clear distinctions and evaluations of each candidate so that you can make an informed decision. You can also ask the candidate’s permission to record the interview.
- Offer flexible time slots – Remote work has opened the doors to new possibilities for companies and candidates. We are no longer bound by geography and can seek out employees from across the country to find the right fit. Keeping this in mind, be sure to take each candidate’s local time zone into account and offer flexible virtual interview time slots that work for everyone.
- Don’t skip the pleasantries – Meeting someone for the first time virtually can be awkward, and your gut reaction may be to get straight down to business, but engaging in light small talk first will not only help you get to know your candidate but can build trust that leads to a more authentic and meaningful interview. Ask them where they’re from, how the weather is where they’re located, or even how their week is going. These seemingly small pleasantries can provide opportunities for connection that set the foundation for more meaningful working relationships.
- Give constructive feedback – More than 90% of candidates want feedback after an interview. And research shows that a candidate is four times more likely to consider a future opportunity with your company if you offer them constructive feedback. Whether or not you choose to hire a candidate, tell them something they did well, and offer a bit of advice or feedback on something that might help them stand out in future interviews. If possible, provide some insight into how the final decision was made.
Find Your Perfect Professional Match Virtually with JurisTemps
Whether you're looking for qualified candidates or trying to land an interview at your dream job, JurisTemps can help. We've spent over 20 years cultivating relationships within St Louis's legal community, matching the top firms with top-notch talent. Contact us to find the perfect candidate or land your dream job by taking advantage of our successful placement process.