Breathe, breathe, breathe and count from 1 to 10! You got this! That was my mantra when the time came for me to take my very first virtual interview and I thought it was going to be easier because I would not have to speak with a recruiter and guess what? It wasn’t, it was actually hard and still as nerve wracking as an in person interview would be.
I felt the same symptoms people warned me they felt with their in-person interviews. The clammy hands, the pacing, tapping of a foot and anxiousness. I felt all of it, plus something else – I felt camera shy. If you have no problem talking in front of a camera, you are blessed, if not I recommend you to practice; it can come in handy, especially now that businesses have transitioned to a virtual hiring process after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Virtual interviewing is similar to an in-person interview, with the difference being that in a virtual interview you are reading and answering questions with time in between to prepare for it and respond in the best way you can. Think of it as you taking a video with your phone or laptop speaking about a specific topic. Simple, right? It would have been simple for me if I did not have camera shyness and getting stuck whenever I lost my train of thought because I got distracted looking at my appearance on the computer screen.
After my first trial, I got the hang of it. Just a little, though! See, I found certain things that helped me finish my video interview and land an incredible internship.
- Do your homework! Research the company you are interviewing for and practice common interview questions.
- Dress professionally just like you would for an in-person interview.
- Stare straight at the camera and smile while you talk.
- If you talk with your hands, use them even though they may not show in the video, but it will help with your nerves.
- Practice talking in front of your laptop and record yourself.
- Choose a quiet space with zero distractions, and
- Get comfortable, you can do the interview either standing or sitting in your favorite chair.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that video interviewing is easy and that it does not require any effort from you. It does! Not having a person in front of you from whom you can tell if you are doing well or not in an interview can mess with your nerves and make you doubt whether you are doing a good job or not. The most important thing is to be yourself and use the prep time in between questions wisely to organize your thoughts and ideas. Remember, breathe, breathe, breathe and count from 1 to 10. You got this!