online interview

Mastering the Virtual Interview: Essential Tips for College Students in the New Normal in 2023

An interview is always the most stressful part of the job search process. It becomes even more stressful for college students, who still lack experience in making the right impression on potential employers. However, now, the situation has changed even more with more and more employees opting to do a virtual interview instead of an in-person one.

According to the Economic Times, conventional, face-to-face interviews were prevalent just a few years ago, with over 75% of interviews held in person. However, a lasting pandemic forced companies to switch to the virtual format, and apparently, virtual interviews remain the “new normal” today, with 90% of organizations holding first-round interviews online post-pandemic.

As a student with no (or minimal) employment history, you might feel overwhelmed by the necessity to go through a virtual interview. How should you act in such an interview? And how can you nail your first virtual interview like a real pro?

Find a trusted paper writing service to write my essay online and save up a bit of time, and follow us as we discover practical tips for acing a virtual interview as a student!

virtual interview

Test Everything

Heavy reliance on the Internet and digital technology are the two most significant stumbling points of virtual interviews. Sometimes, everything goes wrong due to a poor connection and other tech issues.

So, if you want to make the most out of your interview, you should always test your technology in advance. When you schedule your meeting, be sure you download any necessary software and buy the needed supplies (such as a good mic or headphones).

Then, on the day X, be sure to test your Internet connection, camera, and sound at least 15-30 minutes before the interview.

Create a Distraction-Free Environment

Thanks to their flexibility, you can have virtual interviews literally anywhere where you have the Internet and the needed technology. As a student, chances are that you will think about your dorm, library, or another college facility as an environment for an interview.

While any of these places could work, don’t forget that a distracting environment is the second biggest challenge of a virtual interview. If you are distracted by other people, noises, pets, cars driving by, or other things, you will be less focused and risk failing your interview.

Thus, be sure to find a distraction-free environment well in advance. Also, don’t hesitate to warn your family, friends, or roommates about your interview date so that they don’t interrupt you during that time.

Prepare Well

The next tip is universal both for face-to-face and virtual interviews. If you want to ace it, you’d better prepare well for it! Dedicate time to researching the company you aspire to join. Also, study the role to clearly understand what the potential employer is looking for.

If you want to be prepared better, consider researching common interview questions and writing down thoughtful answers to them. This preparation will bolster your confidence in responding to any queries.

Dress Up Professionally

The biggest mistake young people make in virtual interviews is not taking them seriously enough. The fact that you are taking an interview from home or dorm doesn’t make it less professional.

So, if you want to appear professional and make the right impression, you should dress up for it as if you would be invited into an actual office. The perfect option is to stick to a traditional business casual style. Don’t dress up overly fancy or officially, but stick to neat, professionally-looking attire.

virtual job interview

Learn to Build a Good Rapport

Whether in a face-to-face or a virtual interview, building rapport with the interviewer is the key to leaving a lasting impression. Building rapport helps you establish positive interpersonal relationships and create trust.

In the professional world, this ability can open plenty of doors for you. So now is the ideal moment to perfect your rapport-building skills. It might take time, and we know that you are busy.

But it’s essential for your success. So consider finding the best paper writing service to delegate your current tasks and focus on honing your rapport-building skills.

Consider the following suggestions:

  • Prepare a good introduction (elevator pitch) that will tell the interlocutor about you and your strengths;
  • Hone the art of active listening;
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions;
  • Always seek commonalities, such as shared interests, experiences, and so on;
  • Study the basics of body language and adhere to them.

Lastly, always communicate with respect and empathy. These simple tricks will help you make the right impression.

Virtual Interview Follow Up

Gone are the days when the phrase “We’ll consider your candidacy and call you back” was the final stage of the job search follow-up process. Today, employers are looking for proactive specialists, and they actually expect you to follow up. 

A timely and unobtrusive interview follow-up is a professional and polite gesture. Additionally, this approach demonstrates your eagerness for the position. So, it’s one more chance to stand out from the crowd, especially after a virtual interview.

Generally, it’s a good practice to follow up with the employer via email within 24 hours after your interview. In your email, be sure to thank the interviewer for their time and effort and emphasize that you are willing to have another round of interviews or answer additional questions if they have any.

Virtual Interview FAQs

What Is a Virtual Interview?

It is a job interview conducted virtually. Most often, it takes place online using video conferencing software like Google Meets, Zoom, etc. However, it can also be completed over the phone. Despite different settings, virtual interviews are often very similar to traditional, face-to-face interviews.

What Are the Primary Challenges of Having an Online Interview?

Besides the typical stress, virtual interviews are associated with many additional challenges. The biggest ones include poor internet connection and other tech issues that can hinder the call. Another big challenge is a distracting environment that can make you less focused during the process.

How Many Companies Now Run Interviews Virtually?

According to different numbers, up to 90% of organizations hold web-based interviews in 2023. Often, they are held during the first round of the hiring process, meaning that subsequent meetings might actually take place in person.

How Do You Ace a Virtual Interview as a Student?

Many tips and techniques can help you succeed at your online interview and secure a job. But, most importantly, you must prepare and research in advance. Also, you have to test your connection and technology, dress up professionally, and learn how to build a good rapport with your interlocutors.

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