Over the past couple of weeks, I have been conducting virtual interviews for our summer leadership program, the KM Experience. Typically, we would have conducted these interviews on campus and in-person, but in light of recent events surrounding COVID-19, virtual interviews and meetings have become the new norm.
Several of the students I met told me that our meeting was their first ever virtual interview. Other students expressed concern about whether they were making as good of an impression as they believe they could have in person.
You can definitely make a great impression when interviewing virtually. Here are a few tips that will help you succeed:
- First and foremost, breathe. Know that recruiters are aware you likely do not have access to a school library or a career services room to set up your laptop. A lot of recruiters may be in a similar situation. For example, I had initially booked conference rooms in our office to conduct all of my virtual interviews. With the office now being closed, I too had to change my plans and find a quiet space at home.
- Set your space up for success. Try to find a room with minimal background distractions – any room with a blank wall behind you and adequate lighting will work. If you live with other people – family or friends – I recommend letting them know your interview time and even putting a sign on your door with a reminder to keep the noise down throughout the duration of your interview.
- Become familiar with the technology prior to your interview. When a recruiter sends you the link to access your interview, test it out ahead of time. Make sure you’re able to “enter” your interview room with no complications.
- Dress professionally and show up early. It’s important to dress just as you would for an in-person interview. For our KM Experience interviews, I expect students to wear business professional dress. I recommend also having your padfolio open in front of you. You may take notes throughout the virtual interview and also write down questions you have for your interviewer ahead of time. Be sure to enter the virtual interview at least 5-10 minutes before your interview is scheduled to start – this way, when the recruiter enters the virtual room, you are ready to begin.
- While you can’t ask for a business card when the interview concludes, ask your interviewer for their email address if you don’t already have it. You can write it down in your padfolio so you have it to send a prompt thank you note. Also ask about the next steps in the interview process, especially given the unique situation that we’re currently facing.
The takeaway here is that you should not be discouraged by the idea of virtual meetings. As long as you are prepared and follow the tips above, you will make just as good of an impression as you would if you were meeting in person!
Alyssa George is the Human Resources Coordinator at Kreischer Miller and primarily focuses on the firm’s campus recruiting initiatives. She began interning for the Kreischer Miller her junior year of college and has been with the firm ever since. Alyssa graduated from Temple University in May 2018 earning her bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, cooking, and spending time with her family! Contact Alyssa at Email.
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