Exercise: Interviews: Virtual Setup

A virtual interview does require some added concentration on your part to frame yourself on the screen and to transmit your presence effectively in the virtual space. Device setup and practice beforehand is critical- it allows you to focus on connecting with your interviewer and conveying who you are.

Take the time to choose a space where you are comfortable and free of distraction. Practice in the interview space so you know what to expect for sound and feel. If seated be sure to practice in the chair you will use for the interview. Avoid swivel chairs or squeaky chairs. If possible, sign into a video communication platform ahead of time so you can see your framing and adjust your device camera to match your eye level in either a seated or standing position
In an interview you want to be the focus of attention. When the interview calls for a presentation or some kind of virtual sharing that you are in charge of, you will have to employ strategies to draw and maintain control of the interviewer’s focus. Remember that how you present is part of the interview and virtual presentation tools are important to employ.

When you need to screen share, or if there is a split screen with you and your presentation, be sure to maintain your ready positioning, camera/eye connection, and screen framing even if you are reduced in size.  How you manage the attention of your interviewer or interviewers can also be done with your verbal instruction. Purposefully build in verbal instructions to indicate to the interviewer(s) where and what you want them to pay attention to when you are facilitating what is on a split display or if your presentation dominates the screen. Practicing in front of your device camera is the best way to prepare for a virtual interview. 

Once you have your environment arranged, you have practiced with your selected wardrobe, and your device is set up, you remove same day or last minute pressures and interacting in the actual virtual interview will feel more familiar.
Plan to be rested, and on the day of your interview, be sure to warm up your voice and stretch your body at least an hour before you get on screen. Be sure to eat at the best time for you so that you have proper fuel for your interview. Pour a glass of water and have it handy by your device. Have paper and pen ready in case you need to take a note. Remember to keep both feet flat on the floor if you are sitting. Wear flat or block-heeled shoes if you are standing. Most importantly, be ready before you turn on your camera and audio feed.
Lastly, when interviewing in person there is a natural end to an interview as you wrap up and exit. Be aware of how you want to end your virtual interview. Be sure to build in your thank yous and any next step questions if appropriate. You might even plan to state that you will sign off now rather than abruptly ending the video call.

Learner Milestones

  • Strategically arrange your environment and device for an effective virtual interview


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