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This is how to nail a virtual job interview


by Edaein OConnell
31st Mar 2021
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Are you in line for a virtual interview? The process can be daunting but we spoke with Andrew Sheehan of RECRUITERS.ie who shared his top tips on how to prepare and succeed.

Like everything, the way businesses hire has had to pivot.

Face to face interviews are no longer possible, so the hiring process has moved online. However, this can be daunting for many. How do you avoid talking over the interviewer? What do you do with your hands?

What about unruly kids running through the house?

We spoke to Andrew Sheehan of recruiters.ie who shared with us his top tips on how to prepare for your next virtual interview and most importantly, how to ace it.

Before the interview

  • “Email your point of contact 24 hours in advance to confirm that the date and time still suits. This shows them that you value your own schedule and timekeeping. It also shows enthusiasm and professionalism.
  • Make sure you have access to a computer and a camera. Test both with a friend or a family member. You don’t want to spend the first 15 minutes of an interview untangling technical issues.
  • Be sure to prepare your surroundings and inform housemates andor loved ones that you will be conducting an interview and at what time. It’s not always easy when you are working remotely with children. Choose a quiet space with ample light and dress the way you usually would in the office.
  • Log into the virtual interview about 5 to 10 minutes in advance.
  • Switch your phone off and any other possible distractions including open windows that could blow your notes all over the place!”

What to wear to a virtual interview

  • “Take a subtle approach. Subtle tones don’t mean you have to completely shy away from a pop of colour. In fact, it could make you stand out in a good way, as long as it’s not overwhelming.
  • Research the dress code – check out the company’s careers page or Instagram for clues.
  • Comfort is key. If you wear something uncomfortable you will more than likely act uncomfortable, fidgety, and you could easily throw off the rest of your interview.”

During the interview

  • “Try not to fidget while you’re in your interview. If you’re not sure how prone you are to fidgeting during interviews, ask a friend to help you practice. Also, ask them to watch out for excessive filler phrases such as ‘like’ and ‘you know’.
  • Remember, non-verbal communication is believed to make up more than 90% of total communication.
  • A strong handshake won’t help you now, but a warm smile will. Let the interviewer say ‘hello’ first in order to avoid talking over each other. This will also help you identify any delays with the wifi connection.
  • People assume you are more confident, assured, and intelligent the more you move your hands. Sync your hand movements with key points of your conversation or argument.
  • Mirroring body language is a way to connect with and to build understanding with someone.”

End the interview

  • “Asking questions in a job interview is really important. It shows your interest in the company and helps you obtain more info about your future employer.
  • Remember, interviews are two-way and it’s important that an employer’s answers fit in with your career objectives and goals.
  • Don’t forget to thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you and reaffirm your interest in the job. You will stand out from other candidates interviewing for the same role if you finish the interview in control, reminding them that you want the job, and would be delighted to progress to the next round.”

Andrew Sheehan is the head of marketing at RECRUITERS.ie.